Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Battering the ballot

Al Diamon

Thanks to the Maine Republican Party, we are now aware of glaring flaws in the state’s electoral system, the most obvious of which is:

Republicans lost a lot of elections.

The failure of GOP candidates to prevail at the polls this year might be attributed to many factors. The party’s nominees could have held views that were at odds with those of their potential constituents. GOP strategists might have formulated poor campaign plans. It’s possible Republicans have gained reputations as obstructionists in the Legislature, bullheaded blunderers in the Blaine House, and racist, sexist, egomaniacal creeps in the White House.

Maine Republicans don’t think it’s any of that stuff. They believe the real reason the pachyderm party isn’t winning in Maine is because voters are receiving the wrong ballots.

“Clearly, there is a problem we need to get to the bottom of here,’ said Jason Savage, party executive director and rejected Cartoon Network character, in a news release. “When the wrong candidates are showing up on ballots far outside their district, apparently in significant numbers, we need an investigation.”

Savage’s statement would be entirely accurate, except for the part about their being a problem, the mention of the wrong candidates showing up on ballots and that thing about significant numbers. Once you remove those items from this screed, there’s not much left, so that investigation looks a lot less necessary.

The GOP collected affidavits from a few voters in four 1st Congressional District towns who claimed (sorta, kinda) they (maybe) voted from Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the November election. Since Poliquin was running in the 2nd District, that would be concerning – if there was any evidence those erroneous ballots existed. But most of those towns used voting machines that would have flagged them if they did. The other town hand counted the votes, and the tabulators didn’t notice any foreign objects in their ballot box.

I’m not saying these affidavit signers are lying. They could have misremembered. They could be delusional. They could be stupid. (The strongest evidence for those last two is they admit trying to vote for Poliquin.) But they’re not alone in their contradictory claims. I’ve found other voters who also received unusual ballots. Even though I didn’t collect affidavits from them, you can be assured their assertions are every bit as accurate as those good Republicans who signed sworn statements.

Two people from Eustis told me they received ballots for the American League Most Valuable Player award. They both voted for Mookie Betts.

A guy in Windham said he got a ballot for the Academy Awards, but only for the boring technical Oscars such as “Most Successful Removal by Digital Editing of a Serial Sex Abuser from a Major Motion Picture.”

Three citizens of Skowhegan found ballots that asked them whether they preferred:

a) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
b) Being tortured to death
c) Two more years of Bruce Poliquin

I, myself, found a survey mixed in with my ballots that asked which health supplements I took:

1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Cardi B
4. Poliquin repellant

Clearly, something untoward is happening. But the problem doesn’t appear to be with the electoral system, which is being adequately overseen by Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. Nor is the problem with ranked-choice voting, which (pending a court appeal) determined that Poliquin lost his bid for a third term. Some may blame lack of civility or negative TV ads, but, as unpleasant as they may be, neither one can follow you into the voting booth and force you to fill out fake ballots.

The real issue is the Republican Party’s ongoing campaign to undermine the integrity of the electoral system by making wild claims and false accusations. When the GOP doesn’t win, the party refuses to own its inadequacies. Instead, the party faithful promote unsubstantiated rumors, such as the old one favored by former Republican state chairman Charlie Webster that a van filled with black guys from some other state was driving around rural Maine on election day registering its passengers to vote in numerous towns. Other than Webster’s hallucination, there were no sightings of this vehicle, but its legend persists among the subset of voters who can’t imagine why any real Mainer would vote against a swell guy like Bruce Poliquin.

The rest of us can rest assured that when we mark our ballots in the next election for our favorite unhealthy breakfast meat:

a) bacon
b) ham
c) sausage
d) Paul LePage

those votes will be honestly tallied.

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30 Responses »

  1. Fact check. Mr. Diamond is accurate when he writes that I believe fraud exists in Maine's voting system. I am not alone with this view, and clearly many Mainer's agree and support a photo ID for voting. Mr. Diamond is incorrect when he writes that I suggest or ever suggested that anyone or groups of individuals travel about from polling place to polling place casting illegal ballots. I'm sure there are those who believe that it happens, but I am not among them. Regarding the "black person comment", I'm sure Mr. Diamond remembers the facts, but let me remind your readers. After the election of 2014, I received in my capacity as the State Republican Party Chairman, concerns that individuals, who town clerks had never seen, showed up to vote on election day. Individuals that none of the polling clerks had ever seen at the Bank, Post Office, Grocery Store or even at the local landfill. The fact that this happened in rural Maine in a small town seemed to be of concern to them. In reference to Mr. Diamond's article above, my mistake/failure was stating the they were "Black". I apologized at the time for using the word "Black". I expressed at the time and repeat again, no negative intent was meant. For those who know me, I've never cared if you are Black or Gay or Muslim or Catholic or anything else. I do though understand that those like Mr.Diamond, who don't share my political philosophy, will continue to remind folks that I've on occasion, made comments that might not be seen as politically correct.

  2. Mr. Webster’s recollection is, no doubt, every bit as accurate as his spelling of my last name.
    Al Diamon

  3. Mr. Diamon , I appreciate being corrected.
    I'm sure the next time I run into our mutual friend, the professor, he will be sure to razz me for this failure.
    Enjoy your holiday and Merry Christmas to you and yours. Charlie

  4. "When the GOP doesn’t win, the party refuses to own its inadequacies. Instead, the party faithful promote unsubstantiated rumors,"

    Kinda like when Democrats lose elections. Just Sayin.

  5. Kinda how it’s white republican womens fault that Hillary lost because their husband told them how to vote lmao.

  6. Haha, Mr. Webster said ‘Merry Christmas’ to Al. Talk about political incorrectness! Far left loons would rather have a sharp stick in the eye than have those words directed at them.


  8. Cpt. Planet... What a moronic statement!

  9. Sounds like someone got a pine needle in their eye...

    Nuf Said...

  10. …Another way to look at it Mx. Captain Planet is that right wing goons are using the birth of the Christ child as a sharp stick to poke the eyes of their “enemies.” Very “Christian” of you. I’m sure Jesus would approve! This is the “Christianity” the right proclaims.

    And by the way, that's Mister Diamon to you and Mr. Holt.

  11. Curmudgeon... The only problem with Captain Planets statement is how true it is. Liberalism contradicts every principle this country was founded on. Al Diamon is a true representative of the problems with Liberal philosophy. It could be seen as strange humor, but libs believe his craziness. That's very sad.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

  12. Let’s get back to the topic of Mr. Diamon’s latest article.

    Thanks for coming back from the dead Mr. Webster. Unfortunately your return isn’t like Gandalf’s. The only real voter fraud for the last 20 years has been proven to come from the Republican gaming of the system. If you’re up to checking on the truth as opposed to the deranged lying of Republican partisans check the extensive work and evidence compiled by Greg Palast. For a start:

    Another source:

    Mr. Palast’s work since the 2000 election debacle has proven the racist agenda of the current version of the Republican party. The Republican party’s behavior after losing elections has become all too predictable: whine, sue, obfuscate the truth. Since the Republican party has become the party of Trump it has blatantly become the party of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the KKK—all of whom are unapologetic racists.

    What’s becoming obvious is many of the anonymous posters on the Daily Bulldog are acting just like digital KKK members, hiding behind the white robes of digital anonymity. Name calling, outright disrespect of respected members of the local medical profession, taunting, and harassment of those they do not like or understand.

    I still have friends that I call old school Republicans. They have a memory of what the Republican party was. Don’t remember? This was the platform of the last good Republican president:

    1956 Republican Platform
    1) Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;
    2) Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;
    3) Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;
    4) Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;
    5) Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;
    6) Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;
    7) Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;
    8) Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;
    9) Provide assistance to improve the economic of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;
    10) Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public.
    11) The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration.

    What happened?

  13. Ah the old Republicans are racist card. Come on come up with a new smear. Im pretty sure if Donald Trump truly was the racist people claim, we would have known years ago. We know more about him than any president in history. His entire adult life has been on camera in one way or another and nobody claimed he was racist until he won the nomination. We all know the democrats were blatant racists before they became closet racists. Now they just try to keep minorities dependent on the government rather than the obvious ways they used to try to control them. As for Greg Palast? Hes as unbiased and trustworthy as Michael Moore or Alex Jones. And the tired old meme about the 1956 Platform. That was brought out years ago. The republicans were very liberal back then compared to now. But the democrats were running the KKK. It was a different time. Thankfully both parties changed their ways since then.

  14. @Eddie

    "It was a different time."

    Yeah both parties screwing the people over. That sounds real different to me. Spoken like a true Reddit boomer. You and your kind are a meme! You call this progress? News Flash...…both parties were and still are racist, (((they))) hate the human race.

  15. Unfortunately in this big card game the old racist card is the one the current brand of Republicans is using. Don’t need to smear them, they’re doing a pretty good job of smearing themselves. We just have to keep reminding people of what’s happening.

    Funny Eddie, if you run a simple search on the internet you will come up with lots and lots of reporting going back to the 70s showing Mr. Trump and his dad were in trouble with the Federal government, among others, for their racist activities. Here’s just one:

    If you want to know just look.

    The 1956 Platform a tired old meme???? Those 11 sentences prove just how far far far to the right the country has been moved. Do you really think Dwight Eisenhower was a liberal? Or that the Republican party in the late 1950s was just more liberal? That platform was the epitome of conservatism. That was the true center. Both Democrats and Republicans have moved that center and shifted it so far to the right that I’m sure Eisenhower is flipping over and over in his grave. He led the fight to destroy Nazism and Fascism only to see it rear its truly ugly head here. If you believe that platform is liberal and the ideas it contain are tired you have been sucked into the Trump void. Want to Make America Great Again? Take to heart what those 11 sentences contain. Our factories and jobs would still be here, there would be no need for Trump and his fake news and plans. And instead of having this discussion we could be meeting at Java Joes for some good coffee and a chess game.

    Meet ya there.

  16. Rolling stone? Really? A trusted news source unbiased with no agenda? The story has a headline and no content, no history listed. One lawsuit from the early 70's. Businessmen are sued every day. Very often its cheaper and easier to pay a fine and move on. What you need to do is look at the numbers. In just about every measure the United States and Maine are doing incredibly well. Our Governor and our President may say some stupid **** but they do some great things. Please stop reading the propaganda and look around you, outside, in the light of the real world. Things are not that bad and we all really can get along. Turn off the screen and actually experience life. Its pretty good out here.

  17. This can't be the Mike Breault I know. He wouldn't spew left wing propaganda or cite anti-conservative resources.
    Who is stealing elections? Look around the country. Dems are stealing elections everywhere using all dirty the tactics in their arsenal. The Rebs just sit back and watch. I don't care what the parties used to do. Its what they are doing now. American need to wake up.

    BTW the smearing, defamation, racial accusations, misogyny accusations etc. That's coming largely from the left. The left are democrats. Which party supports Christianity? Which supports Sharia?

    The left are experts at projecting all the rights' arguments back at them. Take the KKK for instant. Who are the racists again? Only the left brings this up. Makes you wonder why they're so intent on keeping up the divide.

    If this is Cousin Mike...notice I didn't call you any names.


    I like Al's rebuttal to Mr. Webster: Take something that has no bearing on the conversation (Name spelling) and use that like it's a legit argument instead of actually engaging in a factual debate.Typical

    Maybe B.D. should ban conservative comments so we can avoid debate all together...that's what we do now right?

    Abolish the 2 parties!

  18. Eddie,
    You should check out I think you and Alex Jones would agree on a lot. I agree though, that things are not as bad as the media/government would like us to believe.

  19. Tim - I thought the exact same thing about seeing Mike Breault's name attached to that spewage. Maybe someone will either defend himself or else come clean here.

  20. @Michael Breault....Just like most liberals, their mouth is running so much they barely have time to breathe.

  21. As Gomer Pyle used to say, Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    If you didn’t know my world view was a tad different than yours, well, now you do. I seriously doubt you’ll lose any sleep over it. I certainly won’t.

    I have no problem stating how I see current world events. When you see me around town hopefully you’re reminded of where I stand. In the world I grew up in you publicly take a stand for what you believe is right. I’m no anonymous poster. My way of seeing the world is you have the spine to own up to your beliefs. If I’m the only one who thinks this way you have nothing to fear.

    A famous Indian guru often reminded his listeners “One man’s spewage is another man’s sammich.”

    Meditate on it.

    “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!”

  22. Mr. Breault..... A famous Savage often reminds his listeners 'Liberalism is a Mental Disorder'...

  23. Michael, many of us post anonymously so we can continue to take your money. If you knew our real names you might not happily do business with us.
    Meditate on that....
    Merry Christmas!

  24. Glen Michael Allen Weiner A/k/A Michael "Savage" is a racist crackpot just like those who espouse his drivel and otherwise are of the mind that their excrement is of lesser odious composition

    The U.K. saw fit to ban him from entry as a "hate promoter"

    The Southern Poverty Law Center doesn't like him either!

  25. Fundamentally, I would think this about honesty. Captain Planet, Sir, you’d like me to meditate on dishonesty. Very good; an interesting meditation for the Solstice and Christmas season.

    In my business dealings in the area I have always looked beyond political persuasions. I am aware of most of the political leanings of the folks I do business with. If you’re good at what you do and I like how you’re doing it, you’ll probably get my money. If I’ve come back its because of that. But if you feel you have to do that to keep my business, it’s on your conscience, not mine.

  26. You got me Michael, you’re a saint. Meanwhile now that weed is legal I’m meditating on something else. I just don’t remember what. Cheers!

  27. Like Savage or not... it is true what he said.... By the way I don't like the Southern Poverty Law Center either...

  28. Of course is the reality is that left to their own devices, and given total power, both liberals and conservatives would screw things up. That's because without disagreement, politics stagnates, there is no learning, and ideology overtakes pragmatism. Conservatives and liberals both believe in American values, both respect the constitution, and both believe that their view is what is good for the country. And when they disagree, they have to compromise and learn as they go. Or they can go on some kind of ideological holy war demonizing the other side as being "mentally ill" or fantasize that the other side is some caricature of what it really is. People on both sides do that a lot, they seem to forget that disagreement is the foundation of democracy, disagreement is not only good, it is needed. So as someone from the liberal side of the aisle, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous New Year, a wonderful solstice, and all the best! An.d I am thankful that there are a lot of smart, honest people out there who disagree with me

  29. I see the disagreement you speak of overshadowed by condescending arrogance and personal affront. I remember when politicians respected each other and their constituents Now they have the temerity to take off while the government flounders, due to their collective incompetence. I wonder if they get pay reductions during the shut down.

  30. Thank Heavens the election is over and peace and harmony reign in Maine like a 1950's greeting card.