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Kingfield woman creates t-shirts to encourage people to vote

Julie Swain is the owner of Maine Stitching Specialties in Skowhegan. She said she plans to donate 20 percent of t-shirt proceeds to the League of Women Voters.

KINGFIELD, Maine — A Kingfield woman is on a mission to encourage more Mainers — especially young Mainers — to vote. She's doing so by, literally, making a fashion statement.

Julie Swain is the owner of Maine Stitching Specialties in Skowhegan. Their products feature the 1901 Maine flag, American flag, and Ukrainan flag, among other merchandise. Now, they're adding t-shirts to the roster. 

Swain said she got the idea in July, and they started printing less than a month ago. 

Her shirts are non-partisan colors (black and white) and simply say, "Vote" on the front. On the back, there are three options to choose from: a quote by Susan B. Anthony, "Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it," an eye exam chart that reads, "Don't lose sight of your right," and the phrase, "Voting is your right and power."

"Local, state, and national [elections] all matter," Swain said. "If you’re frustrated with something that’s going on, you have the power this November to go out and vote for someone that represents your way of thinking."

Swain said she is 53 years old and thinks while certain political decisions will affect her to some degree, they won't affect her as much as they affect the younger generation. She said she wants to encourage young people to use their voices for that reason — and stay in-tune with everything going on in our world.

"There’s so many negative things in the news these days that it’s easy to just say, 'I’m tuning out. It doesn’t affect me. I can’t do anything,'" Swain said. "Well, we still can do something. We’ve all been given this right to vote. We’re lucky to live in a democracy. We can make a difference."

Swain said 20 percent of t-shirt proceeds will go to the League of Women Voters. She said she chose them as an organization because she believes in their mission.

"Being a woman, I affiliate with women voters [and] women representatives," Swain said. "That’s where I really feel like women can make a big difference in this election."

To buy a t-shirt, you can click here


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