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May 6, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Receives 4 People's Veto Applications Prior to Application Deadline

Augusta - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap today announced his office has received a total of four People's Veto applications. The deadline for People's Veto applications was 5:00 pm Monday – ten business days after the adjournment of the 1st Special Session of the 123rd Legislature on April 18. “Two different bills passed into law are each the focus of two separate People's Veto efforts,” Dunlap said. He continued, “The Bureau of Elections is currently reviewing all four applications. Barring any problems, the Bureau of Elections will soon provide the applicants with petition forms, so they can begin the work of gathering signatures from people who support their veto efforts. The petitions will contain the language of the veto questions, so people signing the petitions will know exactly what laws the veto efforts are trying to overturn. ”

Once applications are approved and petition forms are provided to proponents, they will have until 5:00 pm on July 17, 2008 to submit 55,087 signatures (equivalent to 10 percent of voter turnout during the most recent Gubernatorial Election) in order to have their veto question appear on the statewide ballot in November. “If this department verifies that a sufficient number of signatures have been submitted, the fate of these veto questions will be decided by Maine’s voters during the November 4 General Election,” Dunlap said.

One application aims to reject in its entirety Public Law Chapter 629, "An Act to Continue Maine's Leadership in Covering the Uninsured" (LD 2247), also known as the Dirigo Health law. This application was filed by Christopher J. Perkins of Bangor. A second application targeting the Dirigo Health law was filed by Newell Augur of Brunswick. That veto application specifically seeks to overturn Parts D, E, and F of the law. These sections contain the funding mechanisms for the Dirigo Health Insurance plan, including taxes on beer wine, and soda.

Two other veto applications target Public Law Chapter 648, "An Act to Enhance the Security of State Credentials" (LD 2309). This law calls for changes to Maine’s driver licensing process, including the creation of a so-called “legal presence” requirement and a requirement that the Secretary of State “study the most cost-effective way, such as facial recognition or fingerprint technology, to ensure that an applicant does not have more than one driver’s license or nondriver identification card issued by the State.” One application was filed by Kathleen McGee of Bowdoinham, and the other was filed by Donna Bendiksen of Portland. Both veto applications seek to reject the law in its entirety.

A complete explanation of the People's Veto process is available on the Secretary of State’s website here: