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Ruth Nadelhaft of Bangor taught on the College of Maine for 27 years and retired as Director of Honors Program. She additionally served because the chair of the Maine Humanities Council.
On June 14, I used to be one among many election employees on the Cross Middle in Bangor, serving to to facilitate an election on a neighborhood scale. Although the Cross Middle shouldn’t be a welcoming facility for a lot of voters, it’s central, and the Metropolis of Bangor does all the pieces doable to make voting simple and protected.
For many years, I wanted to be an election employee, however my work schedule after which my sample of residing half of every 12 months in New York Metropolis made it unimaginable. Now finally, again in Maine full time, I’m lastly capable of work at native elections.
After the 2020 election, which was electrifying with an enormous and enthusiastic turnout, regardless of COVID and the compulsory distancing and masking, I used to be stuffed with pleasure and pleasure at having contributed to the good success of our election. I used to be outraged when Donald Trump and his disciples raised allegations of election fraud. I used to be sickened by the Massive Lie and seemed ahead to the eventual day of reckoning when our election course of, and all of the 1000’s of devoted employees, can be vindicated and sung as heroic.
However not till the latest testimony earlier than the Choose Committee of Congress investigating the occasions of Jan. 6, 2021, when two election employees from Georgia described their ordeal, did I perceive the horrible, vicious and tragic aftermath of Trump’s competition that the election was stolen.
Till I noticed and heard their story, the Massive Lie was an assault on democracy. Lastly I understood that every one of us have been underneath assault. The testimony of a devoted election employee from Georgia broke my coronary heart and introduced me to tears.
I used to be by no means a Trump supporter (in spite of everything, I grew up in Jamaica, Queens, and I knew Jamaica Estates from my childhood). However till I noticed and heard the small print of the vilification, the lies and the threats to these election employees I by no means took the Massive Lie personally.
All of us, not simply Bangor’s cadre of hard-working officers and volunteers who make our elections bother free, ought to take the Massive Lie personally. All around the nation, election employees are leaving their positions; a lot of them have labored to make elections protected and environment friendly for many years.
I used to be amazed on June 14 at how many individuals thanked me for what they known as my work. I used to be touched however mystified. Our elections are, and have at all times been, protected and glad events. Donald Trump and his cadre of supporters inflicted grievous ache on all of us, and we must always all take it personally.