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March 2 , 2004
Secretary Gwadosky says bear petition can proceed
AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky determined today that a citizen initiative on bear hunting practices has enough valid signatures to advance in the citizen initiative process.
“The petition has enough valid signatures to move forward,” said Secretary Gwadosky. “Voters will see the question on the ballot in November, unless the Legislature takes some other action on the proposal.”
As with all citizen initiatives, the Legislature could order a vote on the proposal sooner than November or the measure could be passed into law without going to a statewide vote. Otherwise, the initiative will be scheduled for the statewide ballot on November 2, 2004 .
Unless the Legislature adopts the initiated legislation, the following question will be put before Maine voters: "Do you want to make it a crime to hunt bears with bait, traps or dogs, except to protect property, public safety or for research?"
The full text of the legislation for An Act Prohibiting Certain Bear Hunting Practices is available by clicking on the “Citizen Initiative” link at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/ . Information for contacting the citizen initiators also is available at that site.
Under a formula established in the Maine Constitution, 50,519 valid signatures were required for the proposal to advance. Secretary Gwadosky certified that 97,622 valid signatures were submitted, or 47,103 signatures more than required. Secretary Gwadosky formally notified the petition organizers of the decision today.
A detailed determination is attached which lists the various categories and the numbers of valid and invalid signatures for this petition. The summary of the signature determination is:
“This wraps up the citizen initiative review process for the current election cycle,” said Secretary Gwadosky. “It's a challenge whenever tens of thousands of signatures need to be reviewed. Election officials at both the local and state level did another great service for democracy in getting the job done well and on time.”
STATE OF MAINE
DETERMINATION OF THE VALIDITY
“An Act Prohibiting Certain Bear Hunting Practices”
1. On January 28, 2004 , petitions containing 102,785 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 on behalf of the initiated legislation entitled, “An Act Prohibiting Certain Bear Hunting Practices”.
2. Following a review of the petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
3. For the reasons set forth above, I find that 5,163 signatures are invalid. Petitioners have therefore submitted 97,622 valid signatures. The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 50,519. Because the number of valid signatures exceeds the required number by 47,103 signatures, I find the petition to be valid.
Dated: March 2, 2004