Limiting students’ voting limits military families, too

This Letter to the Editor does a great job in explaining how strict residency rules being advocated for students would hit others as well, including members of the military and their families. It was originally published in the Bangor Daily News.


I was a military spouse for some time. I am astonished by Rep. Doug Damon’s OpEd (“‘Hotel voters’ evidence of registration abuse,” BDN, Sept. 20) stating that American citizens (from other states) who reside in Maine only long enough to vote in one election are exploiting Maine’s voting laws. By this logic he would disenfranchise the very people who serve to defend his right to vote at all: military members and their spouses.

While my husband was in the U.S. Air Force, we held eight residences in less than 13 years, and four for under six months. We were always welcome to vote where we resided.

Damon states that the Maine hotel being used as a St. Joseph’s College dorm for some medical students violates the definition of a residence. Rubbish.

I also was a college student for six of the years my husband was in the military.

Those students probably lived in their hotel apartments longer than my husband and I lived in some of our homes and where we were welcome to vote. All citizens, no matter how frequently they move, have the same voting rights as the military members who serve to protect those rights.

All citizens have a right to vote where they reside, even if their residence is short term. By Damon’s logic, if I were living in Kittery and married to a member of the Navy serving on a submarine stationed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, I shouldn’t vote in Maine because I would only vote here once. How offensive.

Karen Horton

Old Town

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.