Read his 2016 Electoral College Speech
Learn more about David Bright from his chapter in Steve King's “Hearts in Suspension.”
Remarks by David Bright at the meeting of the Maine Electoral College
Dec. 14, 2020
On Election Day I spent 15 hours working at my town’s polling place, moved from our town office to the local snowmobile club where we could socially distance our voting stations. As deputy warden, my job was to sanitize each polling station after a voter left. And to feed firewood into the stove that kept the place warm.
For the first time in the town’s 213-year history we did not hand count the votes at the end of the night, but instead employed a machine to scan and count our paper ballots.
Republicans won every race in my town, and I accepted that result because I knew every person in town who could vote – and wanted to vote – had voted, and that every one of those votes had been accurately counted. This scene played out in precincts all over this nation as hard-working, unselfish, honest, and dedicated poll workers kept our democracy on track.
Yet even today, as we cast our electoral votes, there remain in parts of this country those who would defame and disrupt this nation’s election system, those who would advocate and encourage the armed invasion of a seat of government, or – worse – the kidnap or murder of government officials who work for free and fair elections.
This behavior borders on sedition. It must be stopped, and certainly must not be condoned by people holding public office. It’s time for them to not just stand back, but to stand down.
America faces life-threatening events, not only from climate change and the Corona virus, but also from a deep history of racism and bigotry which must be overcome. It’s time to accept the election results and work together for a more peaceful America, a place where all people living here – no matter their native homeland, race, or personal identities – may prosper.
That’s what we, in this room, are doing today. We are from different backgrounds, with different perspectives. But today we come together to make democracy work for us all.
Peter LaVerdiere and I share politics born of the age of Truman, Ike, and JFK. And while we may diverge on the political spectrum, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in respect for the process.
Jay Philbrick is one of the youngest – possibly THE youngest – member in the history of the Electoral College. He brings a fresh set of eyes to our political landscape. He represents the future of this state and the country. In my speech before this College four years ago I urged the participation of young voters. I’m very pleased to see Jay here today.
And then there’s Shenna Bellows, the daughter of a homesteading carpenter and nurse, soon to become Maine’s first Madam Secretary. Shenna has made her life’s work the defense of civil liberties and human rights. In these turbulent times, when the right of people to vote freely and have their vote counted fairly is constantly threatened, Shenna is the perfect person to continue the work of Secretary Dunlap and his able staff.
It’s clear to me that with racist Gerrymandering and voter suppression still in play in places across this nation, we are not yet ready for a popular vote for President. And while I remain troubled by the seditious acts I see in parts of the country, I am confident that democracy will prevail and our Republic will stand.
I urge the nation to look to Maine as a leader in free and fair elections.
Be it same-day registration, unfettered early voting, community-based polling stations, or the allocation of electoral votes by congressional district, which rightfully allowed Peter to serve here today, I hope our work in this state will be one more example of “As goes Maine, so goes the Union.”
It’s been an honor and a pleasure to serve with you all today. Thank you for your work.