Commissioner Stephen Bowen
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
As a registered voter, in the town of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George, or Thomaston, I urge you to declare the apportionment of votes on the Regional School Unit 13 board to be in violation of the principles of One Person One Vote.
As you know, the Regional School Unit 13 apportionment is a system of weighted votes, where each town is given a number of votes in proportion to its population. The apportionment, however, was conducted with Census data that did not reflect the actual population.
The Regional School Unit based its apportionment on Census Bureau estimates for 2006 that credited the town of Thomaston with the population of the Maine State Prison that had closed 4 years prior. Furthermore, such a basis violates Maine state law, which says "a person does not gain or lose a residence solely because of the person's presence or absence ... while kept in any institution at public expense."
This unfairly gives the residents of Thomaston an enhanced say over school board affairs. I ask you to declare the current weighted voting system in violation of the principles of One Person One Vote so that the RSU 13 board will have to update its voting system with newer, correct, data that does not credit the prison population to Thomaston.