I'm a relative newcomer to Maine. Here's what the divided swing state looks like on the ground before the election, and what voting was like for me. (by marykearl)
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Here's a glimpse of what that division looks like on the ground.A coffee shop in neighboring Rockland displays a "No Masks Allowed in Store" sign, "Democrats for Trump" bumper sticker, and "I Heart Trump" sign on its front door.
Mary KearlIn Cushing, a Trump flag flies and a "#Walkaway and vote for Trump 2020" sign sits in the yard.Mary KearlA massive Trump-Pence sign along with smaller Trump-Pence and Susan Collins campaign signs sit in front of a house in South Thomaston.
Mary KearlEntire medians are often overtaken with opposing political signs, like these in Thomaston.Mary KearlA group of yard signs grace another island in St. George.A group of yard signs grace an island in St. George, Maine.Mary KearlCertain signs show the division of certain groups, like this "Veterans Against Trump" sign along a road in St. George.
Mary KearlThis house hangs a "Veterans for Trump" banner.Mary KearlRead more:In addition to signs for a given candidate, some voice their support of Black Lives Matter, like this house in Thomaston.Mary KearlA 'Back the Blue' sign shows support of police officers at a mom and pop shop in Rockland.
Mary KearlFor the anti Trump signs, there's a decided theme. In St. George, a handmade sign reads "Dump Trump. Vote Joe. Flush Trump."Mary KearlRead more:"Dump Trump" is a recurring phrase.Mary KearlIn Cushing, an elaborate display includes both a "Veterans against Trump" and "Dump Trump" sign.
Mary KearlSome choose to express their political views absent of representing any party or candidate, like this sign in St. George.Mary KearlThe back of this double-sided sign reads "Use your superpower. Vote."Mary KearlAnother sign in the same town says, "Don't vote, don't complain."
Another in the same town reads, "Don't vote, don't complain."Mary KearlA Halloween-inspired display in Thomaston reads "Kindness Matters."Mary KearlIn Cushing, a sign encourages "Honor Ruth. Vote."Mary KearlDriving around, and taking in all of these signs, it's obvious there are clear differences about how people in Maine feel about this election. At an individual level, from my in-person interactions, I haven't experienced much division.
When I went to vote for the first time through in-person, early voting at our town office, I had no idea about the politics of the officials who took my ballot to be counted. When I go on one of my frequent hikes around the area's many trails, most people wear masks, keep their distance, and say nothing more than a brief hello. At the grocery store, everyone has been respectful of keeping a distance and following the mask mandate.
It's unclear what things will look like after the election, and how the division will manifest itself after the campaign signs get taken down. As much as I hope this will not continue to be the case — for the sake of everyone's health —in the state that will persist, no matter what this year's election results bring.
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