Maine's top three Democrats emphasized the importance of the youth vote in interviews with the Orient at the Maine College Democrats of America College Convention.

Keynote speaker Governor John Baldacci spoke in Moulton Union on Saturday to a packed house.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm here, and I believe it's the young people who are giving me this enthusiasm," Baldacci said in an interview. "I felt a lot of energy in that room, and you want to harness that energy."

Baldacci said he thought the upcoming election would bring the largest turnout to the polls in the state's history, citing "huge referendum impacts" as the cause.

"It is your future," said Baldacci. "The policies I'm working on...will be there to benefit you."

When asked whether he believes students should vote in Maine or in their home states, Baldacci said that as long as students vote, it is up to them to choose where.

"I'd hate to advise them," he said.

Baldacci expressed similar sentiments in his speech concerning youth voters.

"You're interested, you're concerned, and you want to make a difference," he said. "It's the collective strength that allows the changes to occur."

Congressman Mike Michaud of Maine's second congressional district was the first major speaker at the event last Friday.

"It's important for the younger generation to get involved because it's your future," said Michaud in an interview. "Everything that we're dealing with in Congress is going to affect the younger generation."

Like Baldacci, Michaud said that he felt speaking with college students was important

"When you look at college students, they're young and energetic and have a lot to offer in their thoughts and ideas," he said.

Congressman Tom Allen '67 followed Michaud. He said that students can "mobilize in such numbers that they can make the difference in this election."

Allen also touched on the idea of the "common good," saying that no Bowdoin speech was complete without its mention.

"The concept of the common good is what has been missing in political dialogue," he said.

In an interview, Allen said the political scene at Bowdoin in the 1960s was not "particularly political" until the Vietnam War.

In his speech, Allen also stressed the importance of voting and Maine's role in the election. He said, "We are so lucky because we are living, studying in a battleground state."

He told the Orient, "Maine could be important because we divide into electoral districts."

Along with college students, Allen also talks to children as young as third graders about politics.

"I'm trying to be an educator as well as an elected official," he said.