BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Municipal clerks across the state are speaking out after Donald Trump’s comments on a “rigged” election return to the spotlight.
The republican presidential nominee reiterating his anti-establishment rhetoric at Wednesday night’s debate, similar to the comments he made on stage at his latest rally in Bangor last Saturday.
"It's a rigged system, and they take these lies and put them on front pages. This is a rigged system folks, but we're not going to let it happen,” Trump said to a packed Cross Insurance Center.
Trump continuing to slam Hillary Clinton, the media and the establishment for working only in his opponent’s favor.
It is a line that is directly targeting his base—people who truly feel like the system as a whole is working against them, but some city and town clerks across the state say the election process here is far from “rigged”.
“It does bother me to the extent that I have been doing this for 25 years, and it's very important to me and it always has been that the integrity of the whole process is upheld and that we do everything—we dot every I we cross every T—we check everything before a ballot is cast,” Lisa Goodwin said.
Goodwin is the president of the Maine Town and City Clerks’ Association.
She and many others across the state have been working diligently to prepare for the upcoming election, managing registration and early voting.
For Goodwin, Trump’s message goes against the very foundation of our democracy and could potentially impact voter turnout by spreading the idea that their vote does not matter.
“To put those thoughts into people's heads that maybe it's not. That's just wrong,” Goodwin said.
She also pointed to the countless volunteers who work at the polls on election day, highlighting that it is a job many have pride in regardless of their party.
"The people in our communities that help us during the election are just ordinary citizens. We have republicans. We have democrats,” Goodwin said.
With election day just around the corner and early voting already underway, Goodwin hopes people do not feed into the negativity and have faith in the process.
"Every vote matters. Every person should be out voting. I feel very strongly about that. Never stay home because you think your vote doesn't count because it does,” Goodwin said.
Presidential election years are also crucial to turnout for local and state races as well.
In Bangor, early voting will take place at the Cross Insurance Center from Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
For more information on election plans in your area, reach out to your local town office or city hall.