There’s been a lot of attention lately about the possibility of election fraud. While state officials in Maine say instances of voter fraud are rare, there are a number of federal, state and local resources available on Election Day should voters have concerns.

“Every four years in connection with a presidential election the Department of Justice has a nationwide Election Day program which is designed to handle complaints,” says Don Clark, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maine.

The Pentagon is under fire following news reports that described how hundreds of National Guard members and veterans in California are being asked to pay back enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses they received during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon now says some of those payments were improperly paid out. And the same recruitment program was also used in Maine.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Under a new rule, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services will soon count gambling winnings as income in determining eligibility for the SNAP program, more commonly called food stamps.

“This rule specifically focuses upon food stamp eligibility if you have lottery ticket winnings of $5,000 or more in a calendar month,” says Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

LEWISTON, Maine - A new report indicates that more Maine families are taking advantage of new public pre-kindergarten programs.

The report, from the business-led education lobbying group Educate Maine, found that 36 percent of Maine's 4-year-olds were enrolled in public pre-schools, which is more than double the number from a decade ago.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The two Republican state senators accused of using campaign funds to pay for travel and lodging while also billing taxpayers for the same expenses want to clear their names.

Sens. Andrew Cushing and Ron Collins are calling for a meeting of the Senate ethics panel to refute Democrats' charges that they engaged in a double-dipping scheme that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

PORTLAND, Maine - This year’s Maine ballot features five citizen-initiated referenda and a bond issue. Maine Public’s Irwin Gratz talked with longtime political columnist Al Diamon to get his thoughts on the issues and the campaigns being waged around the measures. Al writes the column, “Politics and Other Mistakes,” for several Maine publications.


SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A nonprofit group led by a Republican state legislator is being penalized $672 for failing to disclose spending on a campaign flier targeting Democratic Rep. Jeff McCabe.

The Maine Ethics Commission contacted Republican Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst after the Morning Sentinel reported on the fliers, which claimed that McCabe supported harboring illegal immigrants and terrorists in Maine.

Portland-based Preble Street, which provides services to people experiencing homelessness, hunger and poverty, is getting two federal grants totaling more than a million dollars.

One is to help homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youths in southern Maine find supportive housing, and the second is for efforts to combat human trafficking.

Preble Street’s Elena Schmidt says almost 40 percent of homeless youth report being LGBTQ. She says $625,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeks to address their particular needs.

Sixteen of Maine’s biggest manufacturers, from Verso Paper to Jackson Laboratories, are in line to get millions of dollars from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. The payments are seen by some as equitable payback for the millions the companies have shelled out for the cap and trade program.

PORTLAND, Maine — Police say they’ve arrested a man dressed as a tree in Portland for blocking traffic.

The man did not respond to officers when they warned him against obstructing traffic in a busy intersection in the city’s downtown.

WCSH-TV posted video of the man being arrested after he blocked traffic again.

A friend of the man says he was attempting to study the city’s traffic patterns.

The man appeared to be dressed as a pine tree or other type of evergreen.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's Sunday River resort will be without one of its ski lifts this winter.

The Spruce Peak Triple failed - and ultimately fell down - this summer. The resort investigated and found that the lift needed to be replaced. But the resort's communications director, Darcy Lambert, says it didn't make sense to do it right now. She says construction would mean closing a lot of otherwise open terrain during the resort's busiest season.

BANGOR, Maine - Democratic 2nd Congressional District candidate Emily Cain said today that Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin let firefighters down when he refused to co-sponsor a healthcare bill for 9/11 first responders.

Poliquin says that he voted for the legislation last December.  But during a Bangor press event, John Martell, president of the Professional Firefighters of Maine and a Cain supporter, said that doesn't matter.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations to protect against sleep-related infant deaths — babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months to one year of life, but on a separate surface.

Putting babies to bed in the same room as their parents can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, by as much as 50 percent, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Interstate fishing regulators who want to get a firmer handle on how many horseshoe crabs die as part of their harvest for biomedical use are meeting this week to discuss the issue.

The crabs are harvested for their blue blood, which is used to make sure medical products aren't contaminated. Their blood contains a chemical that can be used to detect bacteria.

PORTLAND, Maine - Several municipalities across Maine have moved to enact moratoriums on marijuana social clubs and retailers in anticipation of the passage of referendum Question 1 on the November ballot.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the ballot measure would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 if it's ultimately approved.