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For Immediate Release
at 5 p.m. is Deadline to File Citizen Initiative
Augusta--Monday, January 28, 2002 is the final day for filing citizen initiative petitions with the Office of the Secretary of State for inclusion on the November 5, 2002 ballot. The state Constitution prescribes that petitions be "filed in the office of the Secretary of State by the hour of 5:00 p.m., . . .on or before the 25th day after the date of convening of the Legislature in second regular session." (Article IV, Part Third, section 18) The Legislature convened on January 2, 2002. (The final day to file would be January 27, 2002, however, when a deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the next business day, in this instance January 28, 2002.)
The direct initiative process is set forth in the Maine Constitution and allows citizens to propose bills for consideration by the Legislature through the petition process. Petitioners seeking to utilize this democratic process must collect signatures of Maine voters that represent 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. Currently, this figure is 42,101. If the Legislature does not adopt an initiative as presented, then it is automatically placed on the next November ballot, in this case November 5, 2002.
One citizen initiative petition, An Act to Impose Limits on Real and Personal Property Taxes, was filed with the Secretary of State in October 2001 and is currently being reviewed. A decision on the certification of this petition is pending.
For more information about the citizen initiative process and a list of the initiatives currently in circulation please visit www.state.me.us/sos/cec/elec/.