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1997 Press Releases
from the
Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State


To see the full text, click on the underlined words. To see 1996 press releases, click here.

Advocates Stress Highway Safety Over Holidays
100,000 Reminder Cards Distributed on Turnpike

December 18, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Recommendations with Students at Fryeburg Academy
December 16, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Recommendations with Students at Lewiston High School
December 16, 1997

Holiday OUI Awareness Event Scheduled for Thursday, December 18, 1997 at Noon
Highway Safety Advocates To Kickoff Holiday Reminder Program at Turnpike Exit 14 A

December 15, 1997

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Readfield Grange No. 217 for 100 Years of Incorporation
December 5, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Dexter High School
December 5, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky Announces Availability of Business Forms Over the Internet
December 1, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Portland High School and Massabesic High School
December 1, 1997

UPDATE: Court Upholds Gwadosky's Decision on People's Veto
Maine's new anti-discrimination law must be put to a vote

November 24, 1997

Court Upholds Gwadosky's Decision on People's Veto
Maine's new anti-discrimination law must be put to a vote

November 21, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Thornton Academy
November 5, 1997

Maine's chief election official makes election day forecast
Gwadosky predicts 25% of eligible voters will go to polls on Tuesday

October 31, 1997

Gwadosky Confident of Decision on People's Veto
Supporters of the anti-discrimination law file appeal

October 27, 1997

Gwadosky Announces People's Veto Petition Results
Maine's new anti-discrimination law must be put to a vote

October 20, 1997

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company for 100 Years of Incorporation
October 17, 1997

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Cony High School
October 15, 1997

Gwadosky to Announce People's Veto Petition Results
If successful, Maine's new anti-discrimination law would be put to a vote

October 15, 1997

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Slovak Catholic Association for 100 Years of Incorporation
October 15, 1997

Task Force On Young Drivers
Public Hearing Advisory For October 21, 1997 - Presque Isle

October 15, 1997

Bicycle Safety Tips Added to Maine Motorist Handbook
Motor Vehicle Operators and Bike Drivers Learn to Share the Road

October 6, 1997

Maine State Archives to Host Experts on Digital Records Management
October 1, 1997

Task Force on Young Drivers
Public Hearing Advisory For October 7, 1997

October 1, 1997

Task Force on Young Drivers
Public Hearing Advisory for September 30, 1997

September 24, 1997

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Mount Desert Island Hospital for 100 Years of Incorporation
September 23, 1997

AAA Launches Major Campaign to Fight Young Driver Deaths
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky Endorses Program

September 23, 1997

Gwadosky proclaims stay on new anti-discrimination law
Law scheduled to take effect tomorrow stayed by filing of People's Veto petitions

September 18, 1997

Deadline for People's Veto petitions approaches
Petitions must be filed by September 18th to prevent laws from taking effect

September 17, 1997

Federal law to require use of social security numbers to verify identity
Driver license applicants must now provide SSN at time of application or renewal

September 16, 1997

Gwadosky finds fraud in new tax cap petitions
Evidence of additional tampering found in petitions filed by Carol Palesky

September 12, 1997

Gwadosky unveils implementation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act
New law allows Maine drivers to limit the release of personal information

September 11, 1997

Gwadosky to hold press conference to discuss Driver's Privacy Protection Act
New law allows Maine drivers to limit the release of personal information

September 9, 1997

Secretary Gwadosky sets order of ballot questions
Drawing held this morning to determine question placement

August 15, 1997

Gwadosky to hold ballot drawing Friday
Results will set order of questions on Nov. 4 ballot

August 13, 1997

Gwadosky Assembles Task Force on Younger Drivers
August 12, 1997

Secretary Gwadosky Announces Availability of State Agency Rules On Internet
July 14, 1997

Length of Terms for New Ethics Officials Set
Gwadosky held public drawing this afternoon

June 2, 1997

Gwadosky to Conduct Lottery to Determine Length of Terms for New Ethics Officials
May 30, 1997

Maine Cultural Affairs Council Releases Report on Maine's "Cultural Economy"
May 28, 1997

Secretary Gwadosky to Present National Mock Election Awards to 4 Maine Schools
May 23, 1997

Gwadosky suspends two trucking companies, places a third on probation
May 19, 1997

Constitution Contest winner to visit capital
Fort Kent fifth-graders get rare peek at original 1819 papers

April 14, 1997

Gwadosky moves to close loophole
Trucker legislation set to be introduced Tuesday

March 21, 1997

Constitution Contest winner to visit Augusta
Bangor students get rare view of 1819 document

March 21, 1997

Gwadosky releases "How to Stop Telemarketing Calls: A Maine Consumer's Guide"
March 14, 1997

Gwadosky suspends trucking company
Cites safety in handing down 120-day suspension

February 28, 1997

Court upholds Secretary of State
Wording of ballot question approved

February 27, 1997

Gwadosky supports protecting polls
Department testifies on signature-collecting ban

February 25, 1997

How did Mattamiscontis leave Howland?
19th century book full of history saved by Lincoln woman

February 14, 1997

Constitution Contest winner to visit Augusta
Belfast honor students will view original 1819 document

February 12, 1997

Gwadosky: Initiative has enough signatures
Same-sex marriage ban must be OK'd or sent to vote

February 7, 1997

Constitution Contest winner to visit Augusta
Hampden third-graders to see original document, Capitol

February 5, 1997

Gwadosky pledges timely review of petitions
Only same-sex marriage ban files by today's deadline

January 23, 1997

Gwadosky taking office today
Hall of Flags ceremony set for 2 p.m.

January 3, 1997

Students Win Constitution Contest
Rare Viewing of Original State Constitution Is Prize

January 2, 1997


December 18, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207)626-8400

Advocates Stress Highway Safety Over Holidays
100,000 Reminder Cards Distributed on Turnpike

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and members of several transportation safety organizations joined together on Thursday to promote safe driving habits over the holiday season and throughout the new year. The main message from the group was don't drink and drive, and motorists on the Maine Turnpike today and tomorrow will be receiving reminder cards outlining the dangers of driving after drinking. Approximately 100,000 reminders will be distributed by the Maine Turnpike Authority.

"It is a message that is important throughout the year, but requires special emphasis during the holiday season when people are celebrating and not necessarily focusing on the dangers of drinking and driving," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We have come together today because we want this to be a safe holiday season for everyone and to remind everyone that the tragedies which result from drinking and driving can be avoided," Gwadosky continued. "We want this to be a safe holiday season on Maine highways."

Joining Secretary Gwadosky at the Kickoff were members from the following organizations:
Maine Turnpike Authority
Maine State Police
Maine Chiefs of Police
Maine Sheriff's Association
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Portland Radio - WPOR
Maine Highway Safety Commission Maine Transportation Safety Coalition

Secretary of State Gwadosky is the chief Driver Licensing official in the state and oversees driver licensing and education, as well as vehicle registrations. Gwadosky's address was delivered at the kickoff of the second annual Holiday OUI Awareness Event. Gwadosky gathered with other safety advocates at Exit 14 A of the Maine Turnpike as turnpike workers began passing out the holiday reminders.

Maine increased the OUI penalties in the summer of 1995 focusing on repeat offenders. A breakdown of the current OUI penalties is outlined in the attached tables.

In addition to court ordered suspensions, administrative suspensions are allowed under the law to ensure the safety of all who travel the roadways and to remove those people from the roads who have shown themselves to be a safety hazard by driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. There are also automatic suspensions if an individual chooses not to submit to a blood alcohol test, as outlined in the informational tables.

"Many people are not aware that there are automatic penalties for not taking the blood alcohol test," counseled Gwadosky. "I want people to understand that a refusal to take the blood alcohol test can result in a minimum 275 day administrative license suspension and to make an informed decision if they find themselves in this situation," concluded Gwadosky.


OUI PENALTIES

CURRENT LAW
Administrative Suspension
(No Court Involved - No criminal conviction)

OPERATOR FIRST OFFENSE SECOND OFFENSE THIRD OFFENSE FOURTH OFFENSE + ADDITIONAL PENALTY1. COMMENTS

Person under 21 yrs of age who takes the Sobriety Test ["ZERO" tolerance]

1 yr. license suspension

1 yr. license suspension

1 yr. license suspension

1 yr. license suspension

None

Work restricted license available immediately for all offenses . Full license is restored in 6 months - after 1/2 of suspension served and DEEP requirements are satisfied.

Person under 21 yrs of age who refuses the sobriety test

1 yr. license suspension

1 yr. license suspension

1 yr. license suspension

1 yr. license suspension

None

No Work restricted license available.

Adult 21 yrs or older who takes the sobriety test (0.08+)

90 day license suspension

1year and 6 month license suspension

4 yr license suspension

6 yr. license suspension

Add 275 day license suspension to each penalty if a person under 16 was in the vehicle

Work restricted license imme- diately available lst offense only. May apply immediately following suspension

Adult 21 yrs or older who refuses the sobriety test (0.08+)

275 day license suspension

1year 6 month license suspension

4 year suspension

6 year suspension

No additional license suspension if person under 16 was in vehicle

Restricted license available after 180 days and satisfactory completion of DEEP program.

Commercial Vehicle Licensee (0.04 or +) who takes the Sobriety Test.

1 yr. suspension of commercial vehicle license;
3 year suspension if hazardous materials are involved

Lifetime suspension of commercial vehicle license

. . None

No work restricted license available.

Commerical vehicle licensee (0.04 or +) who refuses to take the Sobriety Test.

1 yr. suspen- sion of commercial vehicle license;
3 year suspension if hazardous materials are involved.

Lifetime suspension of commercial vehicle license.

. . None

No work restricted license available

Conditional Licensee (Person with prior OUI - "ZERO" tolerance)

1 year license suspension

1 year license suspension

1 year license suspension

1 year license suspension

None

No work restricted license available

Conditional Licensee who refuses to take the Sobriety Test.

2 year license suspension

2 year license suspension

2 year license suspension

2 year license suspension

None

No work restricted license available

1. 29-A MRSA §2453, sub§6, Paragraph B, provides an additional 275 day license suspension for intoxicated drivers who operate a vehicle with a person under 16 years of age in the vehicle. This provision only applies to adults with a BAC of 0.08 or +.

CURRENT LAW
Court Ordered Suspensions
Adults, 21 Years of Age or Older (0.08+)

OFFENSE NUMBER LENGTH OF LICENSE SUSPENSION JAIL TIME AMOUNT OF FINE COMMENTS

First Offense

90 days 0 $400.00

Work restricted license available for first offense only - only after 2/3 of suspension period has been served and DEEP requirements are satisfied.

First Offense - Aggravating Offense *

90 days 48 hours $400.00

Same as above

First Offense - Refusal to take test

90 days 96 hours $500.00

Same as above

Second Offense

1year and 6 months 7 days $600.00 .

Second Offense-Refusal to take test

1year and

6 months

12 days $800.00 .

Third Offense

4 years 30 days $1,000.00 .

Third Offense - Refusal to take test

4 years 40 days $1,300.00 .

Fourth Offense- Subsequent Offenses

6 years 6 months $2,000.00 .

Fourth Offense- Subsequent Offenses
Refusal to take Sobriety Test

6 years 6 months + 20 days $2,400.00 .

Serious Bodily Injury

6 years 6 months $2,000.00 .

* Aggravating Offense is defined as: A) a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or more; B) Criminal speeding (30 mph or more); C) Eluding a police officer; and D) Operation of a vehicle with a person under 16 yrs of age while the driver is intoxicated.

CURRENT LAW
Court Ordered Suspension
Persons Under 21 Years of Age (0.08+)

OFFENSE NUMBER LENGTH OF LICENSE SUSPENSION JAIL TIME AMOUNT OF FINE COMMENTS

First Offense

1 yr 0 $400.00

Work restricted license available for first offense only - only after 1/2 of suspension period has been served and DEEP requirements are satisfied.

First Offense - Aggravating Offense *

1 yr 48 hours $400.00

Same as above

First Offense - Refusal to take test

1 yr 96 hours $500.00

Same as above

Second Offense

1year and 6 months 7 days $600.00 .

Second Offense-Refusal to take test

1year and 6 months 12 days $800.00 .

Third Offense

4 years 30 days $1,000.00 .

Third Offense - Refusal to take test

4 years 40 days $1,300.00 .

Fourth Offense- Subsequent Offenses

6 years 6 months $2,000.00 .

Fourth Offense- Subsequent Offenses
Refusal to take Sobriety Test

6 years 6 months + 20 days $2,400.00 .

Serious Bodily Injury

6 years 6 months $2,000.00 .

* Aggravating Offense is defined as: A) a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or more; B) Criminal speeding (30 mph or more); C) Eluding a police officer; and D) Operation of a vehicle with a person under 16 yrs of age while the driver is intoxicated.


December 16, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Recommendations with Students at Fryeburg Academy

AUGUSTA -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will meet with high school students at Fryeburg Academy at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 17, 1997 to discuss the recommendations of the Task Force on Young Drivers (Task Force) to the Legislature, and seek input from these current and future young drivers. The Task Force was established by Gwadosky to address the high fatality and injury rates among young drivers ages 16 to 24 years old.

The Task Force is recommending a number of proposals to the Legislature and the meeting at Fryeburg Academy will be an opportunity to get the perspective of those young drivers who will be affected by the Task Force's recommendations.

"I want to have as many opportunities as possible to meet with young people and receive their input on the proposals which will be debated by the Legislature," explained Secretary Gwadosky. "The only way this legislation will be effective is if we listen to the concerns of the kids it will impact. I have had the opportunity to meet with several other high school classes throughout the state this Fall."

The Task Force is recommending several different proposals to the Legislature, including passenger limitations, parental involvement, extended provisional licenses, and additional driving experience before receiving a license.

In addition to the meetings with students at various high schools across Maine, Gwadosky and the Task Force have held public hearings in Bangor, Portland and Presque Isle.


For Immediate Release
December 16,1997
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Recommendations with Students at Lewiston High School

AUGUSTA -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will meet with high school students at Lewiston High School at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 18, 1997 to discuss the recommendations of the Task Force on Young Drivers (Task Force) to the Legislature, and seek input from these current and future young drivers. The Task Force was established by Gwadosky to address the high fatality and injury rates among young drivers ages 16 to 24 years old.

The Task Force is recommending a number of proposals to the Legislature and the meeting at Lewiston High School will be an opportunity to get the perspective of those young drivers who will be affected by the Task Force's recommendations.

"I want to have as many opportunities as possible to meet with young people and receive their input on the proposals which will be debated by the Legislature," explained Secretary Gwadosky. "The only way this legislation will be effective is if we listen to the concerns of the kids it will impact. I have had the opportunity to meet with several other high school classes throughout the state this Fall."

The Task Force will be recommending several different proposals to the Legislature, including passenger limitations, parental involvement, extended provisional licenses, and additional driving experience before receiving a license.

In addition to the meetings with students at various high schools across Maine, Gwadosky and the Task Force have held public hearings in Bangor, Portland and Presque Isle.


December 15, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207)626-8400

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Holiday OUI Awareness Event Scheduled for Thursday, December 18, 1997 at Noon
Highway Safety Advocates To Kickoff Holiday Reminder Program at Turnpike Exit 14 A

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and representatives from various highway safety organizations will be launching the second annual Holiday OUI Awareness Event at a news conference at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, 1997 at Exit 14 A (West Gardiner) of the Maine Turnpike. The Holiday OUI Awareness Event involves the distribution of information cards at all toll booths on the Maine Turnpike reminding travelers of the dangers of drinking and driving and that Maine has tough drunk driving laws.

The organizations supporting this project are:
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky
Maine Turnpike Authority
Maine State Police
Maine Chiefs of Police
Maine Sheriff's Association
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Portland Radio - WPOR
Maine Highway Safety Commission
Maine Transportation Safety Coalition

Approximately 100,000 cards reminding motorists of the dangers of drinking and driving will be distributed at toll booths across the length of the Maine Turnpike. Additional information will be available on the date of the event and there will be an opportunity for interviews.



December 5, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Readfield Grange No. 217 for 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring the Readfield Grange No. 217 for 100 years of incorporation. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in the state of Maine on November 5, 1897. Secretary Gwadosky will be presenting a special citation to Elsie Damren, Master of the Grange. The presentation will be made at 1:00 p.m. at the Readfield Grange Hall located on Church Street in Readfield.

The Readfield Grange is one of six corporations celebrating their centennial anniversary this year. In addition to the Readfield Grange, 3 nonprofit corporations -- Mount Desert Island Hospital, Slovak Catholic Association, and Wales Grange #40; and 2 businesses -- Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company and J.W. Penney & Sons, Co. are celebrating their 100 year landmark.

"This is an excellent opportunity to recognize Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations," said Gwadosky. "It takes the efforts of many individuals to keep an organization or corporation active for 100 years."

The Readfield Grange was organized by residents of Readfield in 1876. The Grange Hall was completed in 1898 and has been kept up by the membership throughout the years. Presently, the Readfield Grange has approximately 60 members. Meetings are held twice a month at the Grange Hall.



December 5, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Dexter High School

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will meet with high school students at Dexter High School at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 8, 1997 to discuss the proposals under consideration by the Task Force on Young Drivers (Task Force) and seek input from these current and future young drivers. The Task Force was established by Gwadosky to address the high fatality and injury rates among young drivers ages 16 to 24 years old.

The Task Force is considering a number of proposals and the meeting at Dexter High School will be an opportunity to get the perspective of those young drivers who will be affected by the Task Force's recommendations.

"I want to have as many opportunities as possible to meet with young people and receive their input on the proposals currently under consideration," explained Secretary Gwadosky. "The only way we will draft effective legislation is by talking with the kids it will impact. I hope to meet with several other high school classes throughout the state this in the future."

The Task Force has been considering a number of options, including changes in driver education programs, age limits, passenger limitations, parental involvement, graduated licenses and a strengthened road test.

In addition to the meetings with students at various high schools across Maine, Gwadosky and the Task Force have held public hearings in Bangor, Portland and Presque lsle.



For Immediate Release
December 1, 1997
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-287-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky Announces Availability of Business Forms Over the Internet

AUGUSTA -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that over 150 forms used by businesses to incorporate, organize as limited liability companies or form limited partnerships are now available over the Internet. The forms can be downloaded from the Secretary of State's home page http://www.maine.gov/sos/sos.htm. Once at the home page click on Registering a Business. This will lead you to the Lists of Forms and Fees.

"By having the business forms available over the Internet, corporations will be able to download the selected form to be completed for filing with the Bureau of Corporations Elections and Commissions," said Secretary Gwadosky. "Maine businesses are using technological advances to increase their productivity, and state agencies, like the Bureau of Corporations, must match their services with these technological advances."

Some of the business forms available over the Internet include those for business and nonprofit corporations, limited partnerships, service and trademarks, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships.

"As we continue to improve the technological capabilities of the Bureau of Corporations, it is our desire to implement a system to allow for filing of completed forms via the Internet. Having the forms available for downloading is the first step in this process," Gwadosky stated. "This is an exciting opportunity for state government and businesses."



For Immediate Release
December 1, 1997
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Portland High School and Massabesic High School

AUGUSTA -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will meet with students at Portland High School at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, December 2, 1997 and students at Massabesic High School at 12:30 p.m. to discuss the proposals under consideration by the Task Force on Young Drivers (Task Force) and seek input from these current and future young drivers. The Task Force was established by Gwadosky to address the high fatality and injury rates among young drivers ages 16 to 24 years old.

The Task Force is considering a number of proposals and the meeting at both schools will be an opportunity to get the perspective of those young drivers who will be affected by the Task Force's recommendations.

"I want to have as many opportunities as possible to meet with young people and receive their input on the proposals currently under consideration," explained Secretary Gwadosky. "The only way we will draft effective legislation is by talking with the kids it will impact. I hope to meet with several other high school classes throughout the state."

The Task Force has been considering a number of options, including changes in driver education programs, age limits, passenger limitations, parental involvement, graduated licenses and a strengthened road test.

In addition to the meetings with the students at various high schools across Maine, Gwadosky and the Task Force have held public hearings in Bangor, Portland and Presque Isle.



November 24, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207) 626-8400

*** UPDATE ***
Court Upholds Gwadosky's Decision on People's Veto

Maine's new anti-discrimination law must be put to a vote

AUGUSTA - Friday, Justice Roland Cole today ruled in favor of the Secretary of State's decision to validate the people's veto petition filed on September 18, 1997 to force a referendum on Maine's new anti-discrimination law. On October 20, 1997, Secretary Gwadosky approved the petition by determining that 58,182 valid signatures had been submitted.

Today, both sides stipulated to an agreement that invalidated 11 signatures where the local registrar did not circle a number corresponding to each signature certified. On Friday, 542 signatures remained in question prompting Justice Cole to order an evidentiary hearing today. However, the stipulation by the parties negated the need for the hearing.

Both sides had previously stipulated to the invalidation of 273 signatures that were identified as duplicates. The total number of additional signatures invalidated as a result of the lawsuit is 284. The number of signatures needed to invalidate the petition was 7,052.

"I'm very pleased the court has supported our position with its ruling. Democracy works best when the process is open and not bogged down with technicalities," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The standards employed by our office in reviewing petitions ensure that voter intent is followed, while safeguarding against fraud."

"This is an emotional issue; however, the right of voters to petition the government is provided for in the Maine Constitution. It is my duty as Secretary of State to uphold that right regardless of the issue at hand. It is now up to the voters of Maine to determine whether the anti-discrimination legislation will become law," said Secretary Gwadosky.

On Friday, Justice Cole ruled in favor of the Secretary of State on each question of law under consideration. Attached is a summary of the issues, the number of signatures at stake and the outcome for each.

The ruling by Justice Cole clears the way for the Governor to proclaim a date for a special election to determine the people's veto. The special election must be held not less than 60 days, nor more than 6 months from the date of the Governor's proclamation.

To get a people's veto on the ballot, organizers must submit petitions to the Secretary of State which contain valid signatures equal in number to 10 percent of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In this case that number is 51,131. What makes this process particularly challenging is that those signatures must be collected within a narrow 90 day time period from the end of the legislative session in which the legislation was approved.

The people's veto, provided for by an amendment to the Maine Constitution, has been used 22 times (not including this effort) since the procedure became available in 1910. It was successful in preventing legislation from taking effect in 10 of those instances, and it failed in the other 12.

The filing of the petition on September 18th suspended the anti-discrimination law, preventing it from taking effect. The new law will continue to be stayed pending the election on the people's veto.

The question to appear on the ballot is as follows:

At the special election, an affirmative vote would approve the people's veto and the anti-discrimination legislation would not become law. A negative vote would defeat the people's veto and permit the anti-discrimination legislation to become law. If the people's veto is defeated, the new legislation would take effect 30 days after the Governor proclaims the result of the election.

"The elections staff has done a tremendous job in reviewing these petitions. They completed the labor intensive task of manually reviewing over 65,000 signatures, while in the midst of preparing for the November election. I'm very proud of their work," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This decision demonstrates to all Maine citizens that the petition review process was conducted with integrity and accountability."

For more information on the people's veto process, see "Tabulations and Other Data: Special Election" on our website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/elec.htm.


Issues in the People's Veto Lawsuit # of Signatures

Petition invalid because it was approved prior to Legislature's adjournment 58,182
Signatures invalid because collected prior to Legislature's adjournment 1,547
Signatures invalid because notary did not give expiration date 10,115
Signatures invalid because registrar certified before circulator took oath 2,794
Signatures invalid because notarized after September 15, 1997 591
Signatures invalid because registrar didn't circle # to indicate certification 542
Signatures invalid because voter's PO box was listed instead of a street address 425
Duplicate signatures stipulated to by the parties 273

The total number of signatures needed to invalidate the petition is 7,052. The number of signatures invalidated as a result of the lawsuit is only 284. Therefore, the petition is valid.

Note: the arguments listed after each issue are taken from the Memorandum of Law filed with the Court on behalf of the Secretary of State, November 10, 1997.


November 21, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207) 626-8400

Court Upholds Gwadosky's Decision on People's Veto

Maine's new anti-discrimination law must be put to a vote

AUGUSTA - Justice Roland Cole today ruled in favor of the Secretary of State's decision to validate the people's veto petition filed on September 18, 1997 to force a referendum on Maine's new anti-discrimination law. On October 20, 1997, Secretary Gwadosky approved the petition by determining that 58,182 valid signatures had been submitted.

"I'm very pleased the court has supported our position with its ruling. Democracy works best when the process is open and not bogged down with technicalities," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The standards employed by our office in reviewing petitions ensure that voter intent is followed, while safeguarding against fraud."

"This is an emotional issue, however, the right of voters to petition the government is provided for in the Maine Constitution. It is my duty as Secretary of State to uphold that right regardless of the issue at hand. It is now up to the voters of Maine to determine whether the anti-discrimination legislation will become law," said Secretary Gwadosky.

Justice Cole ruled in favor of the Secretary of State on each question of law under consideration. Both sides of the lawsuit also reached agreement on the signature counts represented by each of those questions. Justice Cole ordered an evidentiary hearing to be held on only one batch of signatures. The 542 signatures appearing on 65 petitions where the registrar did not circle a number in the lower right hand corner of the petition corresponding to each individual signature on the petition. That hearing is expected to be held on Monday, November 24th.

Both sides stipulated to the invalidation of 273 signatures that were identified as duplicates. The total number of signatures needed to invalidate the petition was 7,052. Even if all of the 542 signatures that will be reviewed on Monday are found to be invalid, it is not enough to invalidate the petition.

In determining the questions of law Justice Cole stated in his decision, "In view of the principle that constitutional and statutory provisions in this area must be construed so as to facilitate the people's exercise of their right to legislate, this Court finds that 'within' as used in Sec. 901(1) provides merely an end point and not a beginning point."

Justice Cole's decision further stated, "Nowhere [in the law]...is the express or implied requirement that the notary state his or her date of expiration on the notarized document."

Today's ruling by Justice Cole clears the way for the Governor to proclaim a date for a special election to determine the people's veto. The special election must be held not less than 60 days, nor more than 6 months from the date of the Governor's proclamation.

To get a people's veto on the ballot, organizers must submit petitions to the Secretary of State which contain valid signatures equal in number to 10 percent of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In this case that number is 51,131. What makes this process particularly challenging is that those signatures must be collected within a narrow 90 day time period from the end of the legislative session in which the legislation was approved.

The people's veto, provided for by an amendment to the Maine Constitution, has been used 22 times (not including this effort) since the procedure became available in 1910. It was successful in preventing legislation from taking effect in 10 of those instances, and it failed in the other 12.

The filing of the petition on September 18th suspended the anti-discrimination law, preventing it from taking effect. The new law will continue to be stayed pending the election on the people's veto.

The question to appear on the ballot is as follows:

At the special election, an affirmative vote would approve the people's veto and the anti-discrimination legislation would not become law. A negative vote would defeat the people's veto and permit the anti-discrimination legislation to become law. If the people's veto is defeated, the new legislation would take effect 30 days after the Governor proclaims the result of the election.

"The elections staff has done a tremendous job in reviewing these petitions. They completed the labor intensive task of manually reviewing over 65,000 signatures, while in the midst of preparing for the November election. I'm very proud of their work," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This decision demonstrates to all Maine citizens that the petition review process was conducted with integrity and accountability."

For more information on the people's veto process, see "Tabulations and Other Data: Special Election" on our website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/elec.htm.


Issues in the People's Veto Lawsuit # of Signatures

Petition invalid because it was approved prior to Legislature's adjournment 58,182
Signatures invalid because collected prior to Legislature's adjournment 1,547
Signatures invalid because notary did not give expiration date 10,115
Signatures invalid because registrar certified before circulator took oath 2,794
Signatures invalid because notarized after September 15, 1997 591
Signatures invalid because registrar didn't circle # to indicate certification 542
Signatures invalid because voter's PO box was listed instead of a street address 425
Duplicate signatures stipulated to by the parties 273

Note: the arguments listed after each issue are taken from the Memorandum of Law filed with the Court on behalf of the Secretary of State, November 10, 1997.


November 5, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Thornton Academy

AUGUSTA -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will meet with high school students at Thornton Academy at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 7, 1997 to discuss the proposals under consideration by the Task Force on Young Drivers (Task Force) and seek input from these current and future young drivers. The Task Force was established by Gwadosky to address the high fatality and injury rates among young drivers ages 16 to 24 years old.

The Task Force is considering a number of proposals and the meeting at Thornton Academy will be an opportunity to get the perspective of those young drivers who will be affected by the Task Force's recommendations. Secretary Gwadosky received several letters from Thornton Academy students which prompted the school visit.

"I want to have as many opportunities as possible to meet with young people and receive their input on the proposals currently under consideration," explained Secretary Gwadosky. "The only way we will draft effective legislation is by talking with the kids it will impact. I hope to meet with several other high school classes throughout the state this Fall."

The Task Force has been considering a number of options, including operating curfews, passenger limitations, parental involvement and graduated licenses.

In addition to the meeting with the students at Thornton Academy, Gwadosky and the Task Force have held public hearings in Bangor, Portland, and Presque Isle.


October 31, 1997
For immediate release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Maine's chief election official makes election day forecast
Gwadosky predicts 25% of eligible voters will go to polls on Tuesday

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky is predicting that 230,000 to 240,000 Maine citizens will turn out to vote in the statewide referendum election on November 4.

"Maine's voter turnout is consistently strong when compared to other states," said Secretary Gwadosky. "While 25% may sound low, it's average for an off-year election."

Maine has consistently placed in the top 5 states for voter turnout. Maine was first in the nation for voter turnout in 1990 and 1992; fourth in 1994; and first again in 1996.

"Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong," said Secretary Gwadosky. "I hope the actual turnout is two or three times what I'm predicting."

"Referendum elections are an important part of our democracy. On Tuesday, voters will have an opportunity to decide these issues directly, rather than through elected representatives. Issue elections are every bit as important as candidate elections," said Secretary Gwadosky.

Voter turnout in Maine runs highest in a presidential election year, averaging 65.8% since 1980. The gubernatorial election year ranks second with an average of 52.6% since 1978. The referendum elections held in the off, or odd numbered, years have a significantly lower turnout rate which includes an unusual trend. The pre-presidential election year turnouts since 1979 average 40.1 %, while the post-presidential election year turnouts since 1977 average only 25.8%. The November 4 election falls in a post-presidential election year.

Secretary Gwadosky's forecast of a 25% turnout translates into more than 230,000 votes being cast for the top-drawing question on the November 4 ballot. This number is based an the estimated voting age population in the state. Maine's most recent estimate of voting age population, dated July 1, 1995, is 936,487 people. The Secretary develops the forecast by reviewing past election data, ballot issues, current registrations, absentee ballot activity and other information.

Maine is noted for its progressive voting laws. Maine was among the first states to adopt mail-in voter registration, same day voter registration and a motor voter program. Maine law makes absentee ballots easily accessible. Maine law also has special provisions to make registering to vote easier for those who have nontraditional residences. Most recently, the Maine Legislature protected the voting rights of stalking victims, by requiring their addresses to be kept confidential.

"I urge all Maine citizens to vote on Tuesday," said Secretary Gwadosky. "You can register to vote now or on election day. In many towns, you can register right at the polls. People should contact their town or city clerk for information on where to register and vote on election day."

REFERENDUM ELECTION
VOTER TURNOUT HISTORY
1977-1995
YEAR TURNOUT
%
VOTES
CAST
ESTIMATED
VAP
TOP QUESTION
1995 44.4 415,500 936,487 Limit Human Rights
1993 25.4 236,517 932,004 Term Limits
1991 41.3 381,138 924,219 Sensible Transportation Act
1989 25.8 234,929 910,947 Cruise Missile Testing
1987 44.7 397,791 890,363 Maine Yankee
1985 19.9 172,491 870,477 Radioactive Waste Storage
1983 36.2 306,728 848,196 Repeal Moose Hunt
1981 28.7 235,000 821,431 Bridge & Highway Bonds
1979 34.0 268,167 791,000 Repeal Bottle Bill
1977 29.0 219,735 759,000 Repeal Property Tax

Referendum Election average turnout (1977-1995): 32.9%
Pre-presidential year average turnout (1979-1995): 40.1%
Post-presidential year average turnout (1977-1993): 25.8%


October 27, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky Confident of Decision on People's Veto
Supporters of the anti-discrimination law file appeal

AUGUSTA - An appeal of the Secretary of State's decision on the people's veto petition was filed today in Cumberland County Superior Court. At issue is the opponents' claim that their review has unearthed at least 15,000 invalid signatures in addition to the 7,074 identified by the Secretary of State.

"We are not surprised at this appeal," said Secretary Gwadosky. "Given the level of organization on both sides of the. issue, we anticipated a challenge regardless of our decision."

"We have cooperated fully with both sides," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We have given them access to the petitions and we have provided them with information on our process."

The only specific claim outlined in the appeal is that signatures collected prior to the adjournment date of the Legislature should be considered invalid. However, the Secretary of State determined upon the advice of the Attorney General's Office that:

"We feel confident that the decision to count these signatures was the appropriate decision," said Secretary Gwadosky.

Applicable law: The Maine Constitution requires that a people's veto petition must be filed "by the hour of 5:00 p.m., on or before the 90th day after the recess of the Legislature." Maine statute further requires that, "An application for a people's veto referendum petition must be filed... within 10 working days after adjournment of the legislative session..."

Relevant dates: Law signed by the Governor 5-16-97
People's Veto Petition Approved for Circulation 6-03-97
Legislature Adjournment Date 6-20-97

October 20, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky Announces People's Veto Petition Results
Maine's new anti-discrimination law must be put to a vote

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky today ruled that the people's veto petition filed on September 18, 1997 contains sufficient valid signatures to force a referendum vote on Maine's new antidiscrimination law. Secretary Gwadosky determined that 58,182 valid signatures had been submitted.

"We have reviewed the petition and find it to contain enough valid signatures to force a vote on the antidiscrimination law," said Secretary Gwadosky.

To get a people's veto on the ballot, organizers must submit petitions to the Secretary of State which contain valid signatures equal in number to 10 percent of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In this case, that number is 51,131. What makes this process particularly challenging is that those signatures must be collected within a narrow 90 day time period from the end of the legislative session in which the legislation was approved.

The specific breakdown of signatures submitted is as follows:

Total number of signatures submitted: 65,256
Excluded by local officials: (6,074)
Excluded by state officials: (1,000)
Total number of valid signatures: 58,182

Number of signatures required: (51,131)
Number in excess of requirement: 7,051

"The people's veto is a difficult process," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The last time a people's veto appeared on the ballot was in 1980, and that effort failed."

The people's veto, provided for by an amendment to the Maine Constitution, has been used 22 times (not including this effort) since the procedure became available in 1910. It was successful in preventing legislation from taking effect in 10 of those instances, and it failed in the other 12.

The filing of the petition on September 18th suspended the anti-discrimination law from taking effect. The Secretary of State then had 30 days to determine the validity of the petition. The Governor must now issue a proclamation sending the measure to referendum. The antidiscrimination law will continue to be stayed pending the election on the people's veto.

The Maine Constitution requires that the measure be voted on at the next statewide election not less than 60 days nor more than 6 months after the date of the Governor's proclamation. Because of the timing of the people's veto deadline, it is not possible for the measure to appear on the November 4, 1997 referendum ballot. A special election must be held sometime between December 1997 and April 1998.

The question to appear on the ballot is as follows:

"Do you want to reject the law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation with respect to jobs, housing, public accommodations and credit?

At the special election, an affirmative vote would approve the people's veto and the antidiscrimination legislation would not become law. A negative vote would defeat the people's veto and permit the antidiscrimination legislation to become law. If the people's veto is defeated, the new law would take effect 30 days after the Governor proclaims the result of the election.

"Voting in referendum elections is an important part of our democracy," said Secretary Gwadosky. "I urge all citizens to educate themselves on the issue and to vote at the special election."

A challenge to the Secretary of State's ruling may be made by any voter who did not sign the petition or initiate the people's veto application by filing suit in Superior Court on or before October 27, 1997.


October 17, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company for 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring the Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company for 100 years of incorporation. The business was incorporated in the state of Maine on August 19, 1897. Secretary Gwadosky will be presenting a special citation to Larry M. Shaw, CPCU, the President and CEO of Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The presentation will be made October 21st at 4:00 p.m. at the Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company located at 44 Maysville Street in Presque Isle.

The Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company is one of six corporations celebrating their centennial anniversary this year. In addition to Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 4 nonprofit corporations-- Slavak Catholic Association, Mount Desert Island Hospital, Readfield Grange #217, and Wales Grange #40; and 1 other business-- J.W. Penney & Sons, Co. are celebrating their I 00 year landmark.

"This is an excellent opportunity to recognize Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations," said Gwadosky. "It takes the efforts of many individuals to keep an organization or corporation active for 100 years."

Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company has 1,050 licensed agents, representing 127 agencies located in 235 offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. In 1996 the company's written premium totaled $47,053,785.


October 15, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky to Discuss Task Force Proposals with Students at Cony High School

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will meet with high school students at Cony High School at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, October 17, 1997 to discuss the proposals under consideration by the Task Force on Young Drivers (Task Force) and seek input from these current and future young drivers. The Task Force was established by Gwadosky to address the high fatality and injury rates among young drivers ages 16 to 24 years old.

The Task Force is considering a number of proposals and the meeting at Cony High School will be an opportunity to get the perspective of those young drivers who will be affected by the Task Force's recommendations.

"I want to have as many opportunities as possible to meet with young people and receive their input on the proposals currently under consideration," explained Secretary Gwadosky. "The only way we will draft effective legislation is by talking with the kids it will impact. I hope to meet with several other high school classes throughout the state this Fall."

The Task Force has been considering a number of options, including operating curfews, passenger limitations, parental involvement and graduated licenses.

In addition to the meeting with the students at Cony High School, Gwadosky and the Task Force have held public hearings in Bangor and Portland. A third public hearing is scheduled for Presque Isle on October 21, 1997 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Christie Building located at Northern Maine Technical College.


October 15, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Rebecca Wyke
(207) 626-8406

- Media Advisory -

Gwadosky to Announce People's Veto Petition Results
If successful, Maine's new anti-discrimination law would be put to a vote

10 a.m., Monday, October 20,1997
Office of the Secretary of State, Nash School Building, Augusta

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky will announce whether the people's veto petition filed on September 18, 1997, contains sufficient valid signatures to force a referendum vote on Maine's new anti-discrimination law. Maine law requires that the petition contain the valid signatures of 51,131 registered Maine voters.

The filing of the petition on September 18th suspended the anti-discrimination law from taking effect. The Secretary of State then has 30 days to determine the validity of the petition. If the petition is determined to be invalid, then the new law will take effect the day following the determination. If the petition is determined to be valid, then the Governor must issue a proclamation sending the measure to referendum. In this event, the effect of the anti-discrimination law is stayed pending the election on the people's veto.

The measure must be voted on at the next statewide election not less than 60 days, nor more than 6 months after the date of the Governor's proclamation. If there is no statewide election during that time period, then a special election must be held. Because of the timing of the people's veto deadline, it is not possible for the measure to appear on the November 4, 1997 referendum ballot. Instead, a special election would have to be called sometime between December 1997 and April 1998.


October 15, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Slovak Catholic Association for 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring the Slovak Catholic Association for I 00 years of incorporation. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in the state of Maine on September 10, 1897. Secretary Gwadosky will be presenting a special citation to Eric E. Hutchins, President of the Slovak Catholic Association. The presentation will be made October 19th at 1:00 p.m. at the Slovak Catholic Association located on Avery Street in Lisbon Falls, during the 18th Annual Past Presidents and Lifetime Members Dinner.

The Slovak Catholic Association is one of six corporations celebrating their centennial anniversary this year. In addition to the Slovak Catholic Association, 3 nonprofit corporations--Mount Desert Island Hospital, Readfield Grange #217, and Wales Grange #40; and 2 businesses--Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company and J.W. Penney & Sons, Co. are celebrating their I 00 year landmark.

"This is an excellent opportunity to recognize Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations," said Gwadosky. "It takes the efforts of many individuals to keep an organization or corporation active for I 00 years."

The Slovak Catholic Association was founded by Slovak immigrants many of whom arrived in the United States from 1850 to 1925. The Association members meet in the same building owned by their forefathers. Presently, the Association has approximately 400 members and is involved in numerous civic projects, including an annual scholarship.


October 15, 1997
For immediate release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State
(207) 626-8400

Task Force On Young Drivers
Public Hearing Advisory For October 21, 1997 - Presque Isle

AUGUSTA - The Task Force on Young Drivers, created by Secretary of State, Dan A. Gwadosky, in response to public and legislative concerns about the disproportionally high fatality and injury rates among young drivers, ages 16 to 24 years old, will hold a public hearing in Presque Isle on Tuesday, October 21, 1997, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the lecture room of the Christie Building at Northern Maine Technical College.

"Motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death among young drivers in Maine," Gwadosky says. "The 16 to 24 year old age group accounts for only 12.5% of all operator licenses, but suffers 24.6% of total motor vehicle fatalities and 29% of all OUI arrests," according to Gwadosky. "The statistics clearly show there is a serious problem with respect to fatalities and accidents among young people that can only be addressed by more aggressive measures," asserts Secretary Gwadosky.

The Task Force on Young Drivers is looking for ideas from all Maine citizens, and especially young people. The Task Force cordially invites area residents to actively participate in the October 21 public hearing, and is particularly interested in recommendations to address this most serious problem.

The Task Force will be considering a number of options that have already been presented to it, which include, operating curfews, passenger limitations, increased driving experience to qualify for a license, improvements to the driver education program, parental involvement, graduated licenses, and a number of similar recommendations.


October 6, 1997
For Immediate Release
A Joint Release with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, P.O Box 5275, Augusta, Maine 04332
Contact: Jeff Miller, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, 207/288-3028; or Dan Gwadosky, Secretary of State, 207/626-8400

Bicycle Safety Tips Added to Maine Motorist Handbook
Motor Vehicle Operators and Bike Drivers Learn to Share the Road

AUGUSTA - The Secretary of State's Office has recently added a section on bicycle safety to the Bureau of Motor Vehicle's Maine Motorist Handbook (Handbook). The additions to the Handbook provide both motor vehicle operators and bicycle drivers with helpful hints on sharing Maine's roadways, The Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a nonprofit organization that advocates statewide for improvements in bicycle safety, additional bicycle education and increased bicycle access, was instrumental in seeking these additions to the Handbook.

"We first approached the Secretary of State last winter to propose these new inclusions in the Motorist's Handbook," explained Jeff Miller, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. "We have been very impressed not only by the cooperation we have received from Dan Gwadosky's office, but also by the speed at which they have made these improvements," continued Miller.

The Handbook notes, "There are nearly 900,000 bicycles in Maine and most bicycling is done on the roadways of Maine." It recognizes the right of bicycle drivers to travel on Maine's roadways and provides motor vehicle operators with many tips to help them share the road safely, The Handbook includes a section on "Bicycle Driving Recommendations" recognizing the fact that bicycle drivers must obey the same rules of the road as motor vehicles, such as riding on the right only, stopping at all stop signs and red lights, signaling turns and using head and tail lights at night.

"It is important for everyone using Maine's roadways to be courteous and obey the rules of the road," stated Secretary of State Dan A, Gwadosky. "We are committed to continuing this dialogue of improving roadway safety with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine."

"Motorists need to understand that bicycles do belong on the roads of Maine," added Miller. "by the same token, bicyclists must be responsible bike drivers if they want the respect of motorists. Bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles."

The Maine Motorist Handbook may be obtained from any motor vehicle branch office, or by calling 207/287-5400.


October 1, 1997
For immediate release
Contact: James Henderson, State Archivist
207/287-5793

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Maine State Archives to Host Experts on Digital Records Management

AUGUSTA - Dr. Richard Cox and Dr. Margaret Hedstrom, two distinguished scholars in the area of library and information studies will be visiting the Maine State Archives, a bureau of the Secretary of State's Office, on October 7 and 8, 1997 to discuss digital records management and the implications to State government electronic documents. Dr. Cox, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Library and Information Science, and Dr. Hedstrom, from the University of Michigan, School of Information and Library Studies, both have national and international reputations in the field of digital records management for academic research and practical business applications. Their schedule includes a meeting with the Digital Records Management Project Team (Project Team) and a presentation to the State's Information Services Managers Group.

The Project Team is composed of Maine State Archives staff members and representatives from other State agencies. The Project Team is developing a plan to ensure that State electronic records are 1) retained for appropriate current business, legal and administrative needs; 2) destroyed, when authorized, after current agency business needs have ended; and 3) retained indefinitely in an accessible form when records have continuing value, and after current agency business needs have ended. The Project Team is funded in large part with a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

The problems faced by those in state government are the continuing changes in technology that can make information retained in certain formats obsolete when the next generation of computer technology is introduced. Dr. Cox and Dr. Hedstrom are expected to provide invaluable assistance in helping the Project Team meet its goals.

The public is welcome to attend the open forum from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on October 8, 1997 at the Archives Conference Room. Additional information is available from James Henderson, Maine State Archivist at 287-5793.


October 1, 1997
For immediate release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State
(207) 626-8400

Task Force on Young Drivers
Public Hearing Advisory For October 7, 1997

The Task Force on Young Drivers, created by Secretary of State, Dan A. Gwadosky, in response to public and legislative concerns about the disproportionally high fatality and injury rates among young drivers, ages 16 to 24 years old, will hold a public hearing in Portland on Tuesday, October 7, 1997, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.

"Motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death among young drivers in Maine," Gwadosky says. "The 16 to 24 year old age group accounts for only 12.5% of all operator licenses, but suffers 24.6% of total motor vehicle fatalities and 29% of all OUI arrests," according to Gwadosky. "The statistics clearly show there is a serious problem with respect to fatalities and accidents among young people that can only be addressed by more aggressive measures," asserts Secretary Gwadosky.

The Task Force on Young Drivers is looking for ideas from all Maine citizens, and especially young people. The Task Force cordially invites area residents to actively participate in the October 7 public hearing, and is particularly interested in recommendations to address this most serious problem.

The Task Force will be considering a number of options that have already been presented to it, which include: operating curfews, passenger limitations, increased driving experience to qualify for a license, improvements to the driver education program, parental involvement, graduated licenses, and a number of similar recommendations.

A third public hearing will be conducted by the Task Force on Tuesday, October 14, 1997, from 6:00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., in the Lecture Hall in the Christie Building at Northern Maine Technical College in Presque Isle, Maine.


September 24, 1997
For immediate release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State
(207) 626-8400

Task Force on Young Drivers
Public Hearing Advisory for September 30, 1997

The Task Force on Young Drivers, created by Secretary of State, Dan A. Gwadosky, in response to public and legislative concerns about the disproportionally high fatality and injury rates among young drivers, ages 16 to 24 years old, will hold a public hearing in Bangor on Tuesday, September 30, 1997, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Peaks Auditorium at Bangor High School.

"Motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death among young drivers in Maine," Gwadosky says. "The 16 to 24 year old age group accounts for only 12.5% of all operator licenses, but suffers 24.6% of total motor vehicle fatalities and 29% of all OUI arrests," according to Gwadosky. "The statistics clearly show there is a serious problem with respect to fatalities and accidents among young people that can only be addressed by more aggressive measures," asserts Secretary Gwadosky.

Task Force on Young Drivers is looking for ideas from all Maine citizens, and especially young people.. The Task Force cordially invites area residents to actively participate in the September 10 public hearing, and is particularly interested in recommendations to address this most serious problem.

The Task Force will be considering a number of options that have already been presented to it, which include, operating curfews, passenger limitations, increased driving experience to qualify for a license, improvements to the driver education program, parental involvement, graduated licenses, and a number of similar recommendations.

A second public hearing will be conducted by the Task Force on Tuesday, October 7, 1997, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.


September 23, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Mount Desert Island Hospital for 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring Mount Desert Island Hospital for 100 years of incorporation. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in the state of Maine on September 29, 1897. Secretary Gwadosky will be presenting a special citation to Leslie A. Hawkins, President of Mount Desert Island Hospital and Marcia L. Dworak, Chairman of the Mount Desert Island Hospital Board of Trustees. The presentation will be made at 3:00 p.m. at the Mount Desert Island Hospital located on Wayman Lane, Bar Harbor.

Mount Desert Island Hospital is one of six corporations celebrating their centennial anniversary this year. In addition to Mount Desert Island Hospital, 3 nonprofit corporations--Slovak Catholic Association, Readfield Grange #217, and Wales Grange #40; and 2 businesses--Maine Mutual Fire Insurance Company and J.W. Penney & Sons, Co. are celebrating their 100 year landmark.

"This is an excellent opportunity to recognize Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations," said Gwadosky. "It takes the efforts of many individuals to keep an organization or corporation active for 100 years."

Dates for the presentations to the other recipients have yet to be confirmed.

Over the years Mount Desert Island Hospital has evolved in the medical services it has provided and the building has been renovated to meet current patient and medical staff needs. The hospital serves and cares for families living on the island and surrounding communities, as well as seasonal residents, as it has done over the past 100 years.


FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Matthew C. McKenzie
Public Relations - AAA
(207) 780-6831

AAA Launches Major Campaign to Fight Young Driver Deaths
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky Endorses Program

AAA today launched a national campaign to help curb the leading cause of death among young people, a problem that could worsen as the population of teen-agers increases significantly.

The AAA Campaign - "Licensed to Learn: A Safety Program for New Drivers" - targets the high rate of crashes and fatalities among novice drivers age 15 to 20 and calls for a series of key action steps. The campaign will be coordinated by AAA clubs in all 50 states.

"Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year olds and are responsible for nearly one-third of the deaths in this age group," said Matthew C. McKenzie. "Yet in a survey conducted by AAA, only 22 percent of 1,000 respondents identified traffic crashes as the greatest threat to teen-agers. Almost half listed the biggest risk as drug addiction, which ranks 28th among all causes of death for persons in the age group."

Drivers 15- to 20-years-old account for only 7 percent of the driving population but are involved in 14 percent of all fatal traffic crashes and nearly 20 percent of total crashes.

More than 6,300 drivers and passengers ages 15 to 20 years died in traffic crashes in 1996-- an average of more than 20 per day -- as the number of young drivers increases by 25 percent in the next 15 years.

In 76 percent of fatal crashes involving 15- to 20-years-old drivers, police reports show driver error or other factors related to driver behavior as the cause of the crash. AAA says most crashes involving young drivers are caused by inexperience, poor driving skills, risk-taking or poor decision making.

"Mistakes are part of any learning process, including driving," McKenzie said. "The issue is how to minimize the likelihood that crashes will occur while young people are learning to drive and how best to protect them from injury."

The problem extends beyond teen-age drivers to the young people driving with them. Two-thirds of teen passengers killed were in vehicles driven by another teen.

The "Licensed to Learn" program contains three key action steps:

The "Licensed to Learn" program is endorsed by Secretary of State, Dan A. Gwadosky, who has appointed a "Task Force on Young Drivers" to reduce accidents and fatalities among young drivers, particularly drivers in the 16 to 24 year old age category. While the Task Force on Young Drivers is expected to develop a comprehensive legislative package for consideration by the 118th Legislature in the Second Regular Session, the Secretary of State sees the "Licensed to Learn" program, as an essential educational component to any approach adopted by the State to improve roadway safety in Maine. According to Gwadosky, "parental involvement is a key element in building good driving habits among our young drivers, and Triple A should be commended for developing the "Licensed to Learn" program that is an outstanding model of interactive involvement of parents and children learning to drive."


- MEDIA ADVISORY -

A major public safety announcement to address the #1 killer of teen-agers

WHO:
Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State
Matt McKenzie, AAA Northern New England

WHAT:
News conference to announce AAA's Licensed to Learn, the first ever National campaign to train new teen-age drivers by giving them the education and behind-the-wheel experience they need to operate a motor vehicle safety and skillfully.

WHEN:
September 23, 11:30 a.m. (simultaneous events to be held nationwide by AAA clubs).

WHERE:
Office of the Secretary of State

WHY:
Motor vehicle crashes kill more teens than any other cause -- more than AIDS, drugs and gun violence combined. Over the last 20 years, the Death rate has declined for every age group except young drivers. The reason: motor vehicle crashes. The U.S. does not have a quality, national program to give new drivers the education, skills and experience needed to drive safely. The traditional high school "driver ed" course has disappeared in many jurisdictions, the victim of budget cuts and lack of priority. And, even where it exists the goal usually is to just pass the state driver test -- not develop a skilled driver. With the teen population increasing dramatically, fatalities among this age group also are expected to increase unless something is done.

AAA is sounding the national call to action....and assuming the leadership of a dramatic new effort to prepare teens for today's complex and very challenging driving environment. Motor vehicle fatalities are the number one cause of death for teens and should be a priority public safety issue.

CONTACT: Matt McKenzie at AAA (207) 780-6831


September 18, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky proclaims stay on new anti-discrimination law
Law scheduled to take effect tomorrow stayed by filing of People's Veto petitions

AUGUSTA - The effort to prevent Maine's new anti-discrimination law from taking effect culminated today when petitions were filed with the Secretary of State for that purpose. Petitions said by supporters to contain 58,796 signatures were filed with the Elections Division of the Secretary of State shortly before noon. Petitions containing the valid signatures of 51,131 registered Maine voters must be filed by 5 p.m. today in order to put the issue to referendum. Another effort to prevent a law allowing for tax credits to Bath Iron Works was unsuccessful.

"The supporters of the people's veto have filed what appear to be a sufficient number of signatures," said Gwadosky. "I therefore am required by the Constitution of this State to proclaim a stay is now in effect on the law known as Chapter 205, An Act to Prevent Discrimination."

Citing the 90 day time period for filing a people's veto petition, Secretary Gwadosky said, "A people's veto effort has not appeared on the ballot since 1980. If these petitions are found to be valid, it represents an extraordinary effort on the part of the circulators."

The Secretary of State announced in an impromptu press conference at 12:30 today, that a stay would be placed on the new anti-discrimination law pending the determination of the validity of the petitions. Filing of a people's veto petition has the effect of suspending the Act in question from taking effect. The Secretary of State has 30 days after the filing deadline to determine the validity of the petitions. If the petition is determined to be invalid, then the Act in question takes effect the day following that determination. If the petition is determined to be valid, then the Governor must issue a proclamation sending the measure to referendum. In this event, the effect of the Act is stayed pending the election on the people's veto.

"Our next step is to review these petitions, page by page, line by line, to determine if in fact there are sufficient signatures to send this issue to the voters," said Gwadosky.

The measure must be voted on at the next statewide election not less than 60 days, nor more than 6 months after the date of the Governor's proclamation. If there is no statewide election during that time period, then a special election must be held. Because of the timing of the people's veto deadline, it is not possible for either of these efforts to appear on the November 4, 1997 referendum ballot. Instead, a special election would have to be called sometime after November 1997 and before April 1998.


Pending People's Veto Questions - 1997

Do you want to reject the law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor that would allow tax credits to Bath Iron Works to encourage investment in shipbuilding?

Do you want to reject the law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation with respect to jobs, housing, public accommodations and credit?


Information Summary on Pending People's Vetoes

P.L. 1997, Ch. 205: An Act to Prevent Discrimination.

P.L. 1997, Ch. 449: An Act to Encourage Major Investments in Shipbuilding Facilities and to Encourage the Preservation of Jobs.

Application filed; Period of Review. A written application containing the name, address and signatures of the applicant and 5 other registered voters must be filed with the Secretary of State on an approved form within 10 working days after the adjournment of the legislative session at which the Act in question was passed. For a citizen initiative, the Secretary of State must review the proposed legislation within 15 working days after receipt of the application. There appears to be no language governing the period of review for a people's veto. If the Secretary of State rejects the application, the reasons must be given in writing. (21-A MRSA 901, sub-1 and 3-A)

Ballot Question; Petition Form. The ballot question must be drafted by the Secretary of State. The question must be written in "...a simple, clear, concise and direct manner that describes the subject matter of the people's veto..." The question "...must be phrased so that an affirmative vote is in favor of the people's veto..." The applicants must print the petition on a form approved by the Secretary of State. (21-A MRSA 901, sub-3-B, and 906, sub-6)

Circulation of Petition; Signatures Required. Any registered voter may circulate a petition. The petition must contain signatures equivalent to at least 10% of the total vote cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election. (21-A MRSA 903-A and Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 17, sub-1, and 20)

Certification by Local Officials. The petition must be submitted to the local officials for certification of the petitioners' signatures by 5 p.m. on the 5th day before the petition must be filed with the Secretary of State. The local officials must complete the certification and return the petitions to the circulators within 2 days, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays excepted. (Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 20)

Petitions filed with the Secretary of State. The petition requesting the Governor to refer the Act in question to the People must be filed with the Secretary of State by 5 p.m. "...on or before the 90th day after the recess of the Legislature..." (Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 17, sub-1)

Result of Filing the Petition. The effect of the Act in question is suspended upon the filing of the petition. The Act in question would otherwise not have taken "...effect until 90 days after the recess...of the Legislature..." (Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 16 and 17, sub-2)

Determination of Validity. The Secretary of State must determine the validity of the petition within 30 days after the final date for filing the petitions and must certify the result to the Governor. If the petition is determined to be invalid, then the Act in question takes effect the day following that determination. If the petition is determined to be valid, then the governor must issue a proclamation sending the measure to referendum. (21-A MRSA 905, sub-1, and Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 17, sub-2 and 3)

Governor's Proclamation; Timing of Election. Upon a determination by the Secretary of State that the petition is valid, the Governor must issue a proclamation giving notice thereof and the date of the election. The measure must be voted on at the next statewide election not less than 60 days, nor more than 6 months after the date of the proclamation. If there is no statewide election during that time period, then the Governor may order a special election. If the Governor fails to order such an election, the Secretary of State must do so. (Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 17, sub-3)

Result of Vote on People's Veto. An affirmative vote approves the people's veto and the Act in question does not become law. A negative vote defeats the people's veto and permits the Act in question to become law. If the people's veto is defeated, the Act in question will become law 30 days after the Governor proclaims the result of the election. The Governor must proclaim the result of the election within 10 days of receiving the tabulation from the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State must submit the tabulation to the Governor within 20 days of the election. (Me. Constitution, Art. IV, Part Third, 17, sub-1, and 19; 21-A MRSA 722)


September 17, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Deadline for People's Veto petitions approaches
Petitions must be filed by September 18th to prevent laws from taking effect

AUGUSTA - The effort to prevent Maine's new anti-discrimination law from taking effect is coming to a close. Petitions containing the valid signatures of 51,131 registered Maine voters must be filed by 5 p.m. on September 18, 1997 in the Augusta office of the Secretary of State. Another effort to prevent a law allowing for tax credits to Bath Iron Works faces the same deadline.

Filing of a people's veto petition has the effect of suspending the Act in question from taking effect. The Secretary of State has 30 days after the filing deadline to determine the validity of the petitions. If the petition is determined to be invalid, then the Act in question takes effect the day following that determination. If the petition is determined to be valid, then the Governor must issue a proclamation sending the measure to referendum. In this event, the effect of the Act is stayed pending the election on the people's veto.

The measure must be voted on at the next statewide election not less than 60 days, nor more than 6 months after the date of the Governor's proclamation. If there is no statewide election during that time period, then a special election must be held. Because of the timing of the people's veto deadline, it is not possible for either of these efforts to appear on the November 4, 1997 referendum ballot, Instead, a special election would have to be called sometime between November 1997 and April 1998.


September 16, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Rebecca Wyke
(207) 626-8406

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Federal law to require use of social security numbers to verify identity
Driver license applicants must now provide SSN at time of application or renewal

AUGUSTA - A new federal law will require driver license applicants to provide their social security number in order to obtain or renew their license. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in 1996. The law takes effect in Maine on September 19, 1997.

The new federal requirement is intended to ensure the identity of the driver license applicant in order to prevent fraud, The driver license is widely used as a primary form of identification. This new requirement will also apply to persons seeking an identification card.

Persons seeking to renew their driver license should be prepared to provide their social security number at the time of renewal. First time applicants for a driver license will need to provide their social security number before a license will be issued. The social security number will be used to verify the identity of the applicant with the Social Security Administration. The social security number is not considered to be public information and will be kept confidential.

Beginning in the year 2000, federal law will further require all driver license and identification credentials to contain the social security number so that it can be read visually or by electronic means. Because most Maine driver licenses are valid for six years, it will take until the year 2001 for the state to fully comply with the new federal law.


September 12, 1997
For immediate release
Contact: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8406

Gwadosky finds fraud in new tax cap petitions
Evidence of additional tampering found in petitions filed by Carol Palesky

AUGUSTA - The Attorney General's Office today filed a sentencing memorandum on behalf of the State in Superior Court in the matter of State of Maine v. Carol Palesky. On August 26, 1997, Carol Palesky was convicted of aggravated forgery for tampering with hundreds of petitions she filed with the Secretary of State on behalf of the local property tax cap initiative she headed. The filing of the sentencing memorandum freed Secretary Gwadosky to publicly discuss evidence of tampering found in additional petitions filed by Palesky in December of 1996 and in August and September of 1997. The latter petitions were filed after Palesky's indictment on the criminal charges for which she was later convicted.

"The fraud is blatant and excessive," stated Gwadosky. "Once again, Carol Palesky has discredited her own cause in her zeal to place this issue on the ballot."

The sentencing memorandum cites that over 90 of the new petitions filed by Palesky have been altered in the portion of the form where the registrar of voters certified the number of valid signatures on the petition. This evidence will be used to advocate for the sentencing recommendation for Palesky requested by the State. Aggravated forgery is a Class B crime punishable by a period of up to 10 years in prison. The Attorney General's Office on behalf of the State is asking for a sentence of 7 years, with all but 5 years suspended, and 4 years probation. Current law would require that Palesky serve at least four years, three months and 17 days of that sentence if it is imposed.

In requesting the stiff sentence, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin stated, "Her conduct discredited not only her own cause, but diminished the citizen initiative process in general and further fueled skepticism about our political system."

"It is clear that the tampering goes beyond the 90 plus petitions identified in the State's sentencing recommendation," said Gwadosky. "What remains to be seen is whether there are sufficient signatures remaining to validate the petition."

A decision on the latest petitions filed on behalf of the tax cap initiative is still pending. The Secretary of State's Office is conducting a careful review of each petition to insure that each valid signature will be counted on behalf of the petitioner who signed it. However, the manner in which the tampering was conducted is making that process arduous. A decision is not immediately pending.

"Our duty is to insure that each valid signature is counted," said Gwadosky. "We cannot discount the efforts of many honest citizens because of the unfortunate actions of one individual."

Carol Palesky's prior conduct is cited in the Attorney General's sentencing recommendation. She was found guilty in Federal Court on November 24, 1987, of the theft of over $40,000 from her former employer Attorney Peter Fessenden. That same year she was found not guilty only by reason of insanity in Federal Court for bank robbery.

The Attorney General also submitted evidence that points to Palesky having tampered with a separate petition drive backing an alternative budget for the Town of Topsham in 1993. At least 25 signatures on those petitions were forged. In other evidence submitted by the Attorney General, Palesky appears to have misrepresented herself as a notary public authorized to perform marriages in Maine on June 11, 1997. In connection with the tax cap initiative, Palesky also appears to have made payments to petition circulators on a per signature basis in violation of Maine law.

"The Attorney General's Office has done a tremendous job in pulling this case together," said Gwadosky. "They have recognized that a crime against our democratic process is a crime against us all."


September 11, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky unveils implementation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act
New law allows Maine drivers to limit the release of personal information

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky held a press conference at 11:45 a.m. today to discuss Maine's implementation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). The new law was enacted by Congress and signed into law by the President in 1994. The Secretary of State has adopted rules that will make the benefits of the new law available to Maine motor vehicle operators and owners effective September 13, 1997.

"I am pleased that Maine motorists will now have an opportunity to keep their personal information confidential," said Gwadosky, "This is a protection that is long overdue."

Under the DPPA, motor vehicle operators and owners may request to limit the release of personal information from their motor vehicle records to sales and marketing companies or to the general public. Personal information is information that identifies an individual, such as a name, address, photograph, license or social security number. Information relating to motor vehicle accidents, driving violations, or a driver's status is deemed public information under the federal law.

The DPPA does allow for the release of personal information from motor vehicle records if used in connection with vehicle safety, vehicle theft or vehicle emissions and for market research, product recalls and court proceedings. Those agencies with access to personal information for these purposes are: law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, motor vehicle dealers, businesses and employers to verify personal information for employement, towing companies to notify owners of towed vehicles, and private detective and security agencies.

"The Maine Privacy Form can be picked up wherever people receive motor vehicle services,"said Gwadosky. "It's a simple form, that takes only a moment to complete."

Motor vehicle operators and owners can choose to keep their personal information confidential by completing and filing a simple form, which will be available at all motor vehicle branch offices and at municipalities which provide motor vehicle services. Forms can also be obtained by writing or calling Secretary Gwadosky's office.


September 9, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Gwadosky to hold press conference to discuss Driver's Privacy Protection Act
New law allows Maine drivers to limit the release of personal information

Press Conference
Thursday, September 11, 1997, 11:45 a.m.
Secretary of State's Office
2nd Floor of the Nash School Building, Augusta

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky will hold a press conference to discuss Maine's implementation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, which was enacted by Congress and signed by the President in 1994.

The new law takes effect in Maine on September 13, 1997. Motor vehicle operators and owners may request to limit the release of personal information from their motor vehicle records to sales and marketing companies or to the general public. Personal information is information that identifies an individual, such as a name, address, photograph, license or social security number. Information relating to motor vehicle accidents, driving violations, or the driver's status is deemed public information under the federal law.

The federal law does allow for the release of personal information from motor vehicle records if used in connection with vehicle safety, vehicle theft or vehicle emissions and for market research, product recalls and court proceedings.

Motor vehicle operators and owners can choose to keep their personal information confidential by completing and filing a simple form, which will be available at all motor vehicle branch offices and at municipalities which provide motor vehicle services. Copies of Maine's Driver Privacy Brochure, which contains additional information about the new law and a copy of the Maine Privacy Form, will be available at the press conference.


August 15, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky sets order of ballot questions
Drawing held this morning to determine question placement

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky conducted a public drawing this morning to determine the order of the six questions scheduled to be on the November 4, 1997 ballot. Secretary Gwadosky held the lottery at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 15, 1997 in his office in the Nash School Building in Augusta. The drawing for ballot position is required by Maine law.

Maine law also requires the questions to be organized on the ballot by category as follows: people's veto questions, if any, are first, then citizen initiatives, followed by all bond questions, then constitutional amendments and finally all referendum questions. Secretary Gwadosky conducted the hearing on Friday to determine the order of the questions within each of the previously listed categories. To date, none of the people's veto petitions currently in circulation have been returned and certified for placement on the ballot. If more than one people's veto is certified, then a drawing will be held to determine the order for that category.

The forestry referendum will appear at the top of the ballot, labeled as Carry-over Measure. The forestry referendum appears on the ballot because none of the competing forestry measures on last November's ballot received a majority of the votes. In this situation, the Maine Constitution requires the competing measure with the largest number of votes to be place on the next general election ballot.

The questions will appear on the November 4, 1997 ballot in the following order:


STATE OF MAINE
Referendum Election, November 4, 1997
LISTING OF REFERENDUM QUESTIONS

Carry-over Measure
Question carried forward from November 5, 1996, Referendum Election

Question 1
Do you want the Compact for Maine's Forests to become law to promote sustainable forest management practices throughout the State?

Bond Issues

Question 2
Do you favor a $7,000,000 bond issue, which will match $15,000,000 in federal funds, to construct water pollution control facilities, to clean up tire stockpiles and to make drinking water improvements?

Question 3
Do you favor a $10,000,000 bond issue to provide funding for the Adaptive Equipment Loan Program fund, which provides loans to individuals with disabilities to purchase adaptive equipment and to small businesses to improve accessibility, and for improving accessibility and addressing related safety issues at the University of Maine System and at the State House?

Question 4
Do you favor a $56,850,000 bond issue for improvements to municipal and state roads, state and local bridges, airports, state ferry vessels and terminals and rail and marine facilities that makes the State eligible for approximately $129,740,000 in matching federal funds?

Constitutional Amendment

Question 5
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove the language providing that all persons under guardianship for reasons of mental illness are disqualified from voting?

Referendum Question

Question 6
Do you favor adding one travel lane in each direction to the southern end of the Maine Turnpike, paid for by turnpike tolls, to reduce accidents and congestion?

August 13, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Gwadosky to hold ballot drawing Friday
Results will set order of questions on Nov. 4 ballot

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that he will conduct a public drawing on Friday, August 15, 1997 to determine the order of the six questions scheduled to be on the November 4, 1997 ballot.

Secretary Gwadosky will conduct the drawing at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 15, 1997 in his office in the Nash School building at the corner of Sewall and Capital Streets in Augusta. The drawing process for ballot position is required by Maine law.

Maine law also requires the questions to be organized on the ballot by category as follows: people's veto questions, if any, are first, then citizen initiatives, followed by all bond questions, then constitutional amendments and finally all referendum questions. Secretary Gwadosky will conduct a drawing on Friday to determine the order of the questions within each of the previously mentioned categories. To date, none of the people's veto petitions currently in circulation have been returned and certified for placement on the ballot.

The forestry referendum will appear at the top of the ballot, labeled as Carry-over Measure. The forestry referendum appears on the ballot since none of the competing forestry measures on last November's ballot received a majority of the votes. In this situation, the Maine Constitution requires the competing measure with the largest number of votes to be placed on the next general election ballot.

The questions that will appear on the November 5, 1997 ballot are attached, and placed in no particular order.


STATE OF MAINE
Referendum Election, November 4, 1997
LISTING OF REFERENDUM QUESTIONS

Carry-over Measure
Question carried forward from November 5, 1996, Referendum Election

Question ___
Do you want the Compact for Maine's Forests to become law to promote sustainable forest management practices throughout the State?

Bond Issues

Question ___
Do you favor a $56,850,000 bond issue for improvements to municipal and state roads, state and local bridges, airports, state ferry vessels and terminals and rail and marine facilities that makes the State eligible for approximately $129,740,000 in matching federal funds?

Question ___
Do you favor a $10,000,000 bond issue to provide funding for the Adaptive Equipment Loan Program fund, which provides loans to individuals with disabilities to purchase adaptive equipment and to small businesses to improve accessibility, and for improving accessibility and addressing related safety issues at the University of Maine System and at the State House?

Question ___
Do you favor a $7,000,000 bond issue, which will match $15,000,000 in federal funds, to construct water pollution control facilities, to clean up tire stockpiles and to make drinking water improvements?

Constitutional Amendment

Question ___
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove the language providing that all persons under guardianship for reasons of mental illness are disqualified from voting?

Referendum Question

Question ___
Do you favor adding one travel lane in each direction to the southern end of the Maine Turnpike, paid for by turnpike tolls, to reduce accidents and congestion?

August 12, 1997
For Immediate Release
Call: Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky (207) 626-8406

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Gwadosky Assembles Task Force on Younger Drivers

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky today announced that he has assembled a Younger Driver Task Force to research and hold hearings on issues involving younger drivers such as inexperience and risk-taking behavior. The task force will hold its first meeting on Thursday, August 14 at 10:00 a.m. It will be held in the Executive Conference Room of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 101 Hospital Street in Augusta.

Secretary Gwadosky says, "Assembling this Task Force is a very important first step in dealing with today's issues surrounding younger drivers in Maine. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death among teenagers in this state." A disproportionately high percentage of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities occur in the 15 to 24 year old age group and can often be traced back to driver inexperience and/or risk-taking behavior. Gwadosky says, "This task force consists of a very diverse and experienced membership. It will tackle issues such as safety, inexperience, and risky behavior patterns on our roads in an effort to find ways to reduce motor vehicle fatalities in younger drivers."

The task force will review research and conduct public hearings over the next several weeks in order to offer recommendations for legislation to the 118th legislature.


July 14, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8406

Secretary Gwadosky Announces Availability of State Agency Rules On Internet

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that State Agency Rules are now available for the first time ever over the Internet. "I am very excited by this development. We are providing information to people by using technology that will bring us into the 21st century. This is part of our ongoing effort to bring state government services closer to the people of Maine," said Gwadosky.

The agency rules may be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/sos/sos.htm. This will take you to the Secretary of State's homepage. The rules are located under the section entitled "State Agency Rules Online!"

Each agency, having received the authority from the Legislature, develops specific rules within its department which have the full force and effect of law. Governed by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), state agencies may adopt rules of practice governing the conduct of adjudicatory proceedings, licensing proceedings and the rendering of advisory opinions.

The significance of the agency rules can be seen in the scope of the rulemaking authority of each agency. For example, the Public Utilities Commission issues rules that set the rate for utility companies, which ultimately translate into the price paid by consumers. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has developed rules for the safe transportation of oversized loads, such as modular homes, over Maine's highways and the Maine Milk Commission sets milk prices through the rule making process. "Agency rules affect people's lives everyday in many ways they do not realize," and Gwadosky reasoned, "by placing the agency rules on the Internet, we are giving Maine citizens an opportunity to better observe the way government functions."

A complete list of the state agencies with agency rules on the Internet is available online. Over 23 agencies are included and over 1600 chapters of rules are available over the Internet. All rules for the agencies are complete with the exception of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP has many Shoreland Zoning maps that have required special formatting. (Anyone interested in these rules and maps may contact the Secretary of State's Office directly.) The rules for all agencies are revised as amendments are made by each agency, however, the Internet availability should not be considered a replacement for the certified copies required in legal proceedings.


June 2, 1997
For immediate release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8406

Length of Terms for New Ethics Officials Set
Gwadosky held public drawing this afternoon

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky supervised a random lot drawing in his office at 2 p.m., Monday, June 2, to determine the length of the terms for the 5 members of the revised Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

Under the new law two of the new members will be appointed for 1-year terms, two are appointed for 2-year terms and one is appointed for a 3-year term.

Governor King's five nominees received the confirmation of the Maine Senate on Wednesday, May 28, 1997. The five new commission members and their newly determined terms of office are as follows:

Length of Term
Hon. Merle R. Nelson of Falmouth 1-Year Term
Linda Cronkhite of Brunswick 1-Year Term
Peter B. Webster of Yarmouth 2-Year Term
Hon. Harriet P. Henry of Standish 2-Year Term
G. Calvin MacKenzie of Bowdoinham 3-Year Term

Subsequent appointees will be appointed to serve 4-year terms. A person may not serve more than 2 terms.


May 30, 1997
Call: Dan Gwadosky
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

- MAINE MEDIA ADVISORY -

Gwadosky to Conduct Lottery to Determine Length of Terms for New Ethics Officials

Office of the Secretary of State, 2nd Floor of the Nash School Buidling in the Capitol Complex, Monday, June 2nd at 2 p.m.

Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky will supervise a random lot drawing to determine the length of the terms for the 5 members of the revised Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

Governor King's five nominees received the confirmation of the Maine Senate on Wednesday, May 28, 1997. The five new commission members are Peter B. Webster of Yarmouth, Linda Cronkhite of Brunswick, G. Calvin MacKenzie of Bowdoinham, Hon. Harriet P. Henry of Standish, and Hon. Merle R. Nelson of Falmouth.

Under the new law two of the new members will be appointed for 1-year terms, two are appointed for 2-year terms and one is appointed for a 3-year term. Subsequent appointees will be appointed to serve 4-year terms. A person may not serve more than 2 terms.


May 28, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Henderson
207-287-5793

Maine Cultural Affairs Council
Stephen P. Podgajny, Chair
83 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333

Members Affiliates
Maine Arts Commission Maine Community Cultural Alliance
Maine Historic Preservation Commission Maine Film Commission
Maine State Library Maine Humanities Council
Maine State Museum Maine State Archives

Maine Cultural Affairs Council Releases Report on Maine's "Cultural Economy"

AUGUSTA - The Maine Cultural Affairs Council will be releasing a report on Maine's cultural economy at a news conference on May 29, 1997 at 2:00 pm at the Hall of Flags in the State Capital. "The Cultural Economy in Maine" is a compilation of programs, grants and special projects of Maine's cultural agencies during 1995 and 1996. These projects had a multi-million dollar direct impact on the state's economy.

The 210 page report details over 4,000 events affecting Maine citizens in every area of the state. A full copy will be released to Governor Angus King, Speaker of the House Elizabeth Mitchell and President of the Senate Mark Lawrence. Individual sections of the report will be delivered to Members of the Legislature, detailing events of significance to citizens in their districts.

Membership on the Maine Cultural Affairs Council consists of the following State cultural Agency Directors: Arts Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, State Library, and State Museum. The Council is chaired by Stephen Podgajny, Director of the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. The Maine State Archives and the Maine Humanities Council also contributed to the report.

"The purpose of the report is to remind public officials and the citizens of Maine that 'culture' is more than an expression of our unique heritage, a mind broadening experience, or just plain fun. It is all this plus an important component of the Maine economy," said Jim Henderson, Maine State Archivist.

In the two years covered by the study, nearly $4.4 million was raised to support over 4,000 events. The money received from federal, state, and local governments, and private groups was spent in the Maine economy.

Copies of the report will be available at the news conference at the Hall of Flags or by contacting Jim Henderson.


May 23, 1997
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8406

Secretary Gwadosky to Present National Mock Election Awards to 4 Maine Schools

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced that the National Parent/Student Mock Election has selected 4 Maine schools as National winners. The Mattanawcook Junior High School in Lincoln, Cascade Brook School in Farmington, Surry Elementary School in Surry, and Dr. Levesque School in Upper Frenchville, have been chosen as the 1996 National Mock Election recipients of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NAASP)/John Herklotz Award for outstanding contributions in teaching democracy.

"Maine has outstanding participation in the National Mock Elections," said Gwadosky, "I congratulate all the schools that participated, but these four schools have been chosen for recognition by the National Student/Parent Mock election for the programs at their schools."

Mattanawcook Junior High and Dr. Levesque School are repeat winners having taken the honors in prior National Mock Elections.

Schools across the nation participated in the 1996 Mock Election on October 30, 1996. Each School had an opportunity to submit its democracy curriculum for consideration by the National Parent/Student Mock Election.

"The educators and students who will be honored in the next few weeks have done an outstanding job of promoting the democratic process," said Gwadosky.

The award presentations will take place on the following dates:

Cascade Brook Elementary School on May 27, 1997 at 2:00 p.m. at an assembly in the Cafetorium. Secretary Gwadosky will make the presentation to Patricia Flint, the school librarian, and the students at Cascade Brook Elementary School.

Mattanawcook Junior High School at an assembly on May 28, 1997 at 1:30 p.m. . Secretary Gwadosky will make the presentation to Donna Przystup, a social studies teacher, and the students at Mattanawcook Junior High School.

Surry Elementary School at an assembly on June 6, 1997 at 1:30 p.m.. Secretary Gwadosky will make the presentation to Lynn Bonsey, a language arts and social studies teacher, and the students at Surry Elementary School.

Dr. Levesque School at an assembly on June 9, 1997. The presentation will be to Bea Ouellette, a special education teacher, and the students at Dr. Levesque School.

For further information on each school's program, please contact the following individuals:

Patricia Flint at 778-4821, Cascade Brook School
Donna Przystup at 794-8935, Mattanawcook Junior High School
Lynn Bonsey at 667-9358, Surry Elementary School
Bea Ouellette at 543-7302, Dr. Levesque School


May 19, 1997
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
For immediate release
(207) 686-8400

Gwadosky suspends two trucking companies, places a third on probation

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky today announced he will enforce the unanimous recommendations of the Motor Carrier Review Board by suspending two trucking companies from operating in Maine.

"We're sending a message," said Secretary Gwadosky. "That message is safety."

RRAS Auto Parts, Inc. of Vassalboro was issued a suspension of 120 days, while Long Brook Trucking, Inc. of Monticello received a 30 day suspension. Each of the motor carriers will also be required to submit a safety plan prior to the reinstatement of their privilege to operate in the state and will be placed on probation for three years. Any significant violation during the probationary period may result in an additional suspension imposed by the Secretary of State.

"We're not trying to run these motor carriers out of business," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We're trying to make sure their businesses run safely. Highway safety is the focus. If we can influence these trucking companies to improve their safety records, everyone benefits. The trucking companies, their operators, the driving public, all benefit from safer roads."

In another action, the Secretary of State placed O'Neal Construction of Aroostook, New Brunswick on probation for three years. The motor carrier will also be required to submit a safety plan by June 15, 1997, that outlines the steps taken to upgrade the company's trucks and other safety initiatives being undertaken by the company. Failure to submit an adequate plan by the required deadline may result in a suspension imposed by the Secretary of State.

The Motor Carrier Review Board gives special consideration to hours of service, gross vehicle weight, logbook and vehicle defect violations. Some of the safety issues included:

RRAS Auto Parts, Inc.
14 carrier violations in Maine from June 1, 1995, to May 30, 1996, including 10 vehicle defect or inspection violations, 3 weight violations and 1 failure to surrender a suspended registration. 9 additional violations since June 1, 1996. 32 Safetynet inspections were conducted, which documented 305 safety violations. Trucks were taken out of service in 26 of these inspections.

Long Brook Trucking, Inc.
33 carrier violations in Maine from June 1, 1995, to May 30, 1996, including 10 vehicle defect violations, 14 weight violations, 4 over dimension violations and 5 other violations. 33 additional violations since June 1, 1996. 36 Safetynet inspections were conducted, which documented 192 safety violations. Trucks were taken out of service in 21 of these inspections.

O'Neal Construction
13 carrier violations in Maine from June 1, 1995, to May 30, 1996, including 7 vehicle defect violations, 5 weight violations and 1 other violation. 3 additional violations since June 1, 1996. 10 Safetynet inspections were conducted, which documented 49 safety violations. Trucks were taken out of service in 7 of these inspections.

Safetynet is the U.S. Department of Transportation's summary database of motor carrier safety inspections.

The Motor Carrier review Board also reviewed the records of two other motor carriers. The Board voted to take no action on Maxwell Farms of Lee. The Board voted to continue the case of Robert Coburn d/b/a Winn Contracting of Winn at their next meeting.

Maine's Motor Carrier Review Board is part of the Legislature's response to increased public concerns about fatigue among truck drivers and related highway safety issues. The Board first met to review specific motor carriers on Dec. 10, 1996. The Board's second meeting was Feb. 25, 1997, which resulted in the 120 day suspension of Lariviere & Fils de Beauce, Inc. of St. Zacharie, Quebec. The Board will next meet on August 12, 1997.

The Board includes representatives from large and small members of the motor carrier industry, the forest products industry, the insurance industry and Parents Against Tired Truckers. The Board's existence, membership and actions are authorized by laws passed in 1995.

The Secretary of State is responsible for considering and, if warranted, acting on the Board's recommendations.

Each of the three motor carriers against whom action was taken has until June 9, 1997, to request a hearing.


Release date: April 14, 1997
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Constitution Contest winner to visit capital
Fort Kent fifth-graders get rare peek at original 1819 papers

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will welcome Aline Potvin and 20 of her fifth grade Fort Kent Elementary School classmates to the state capital Friday, April 18, as part of Aline's reward for her prize-winning poster in the first-ever Maine Constitution Contest.

"The judges and I were very impressed with all the entries," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The contest is another fun way to help us teach the important lessons of democracy."

Students submitted essays and posters in four different contest categories. All focused on issues such as state history, symbols of Maine and the state constitution. The project was part of Maine's largest-ever 1996 Mock Election project and aims to help instill the lifelong lessons of good citizenship in Maine's young people. The call for entries was made in September, 1996, and all contest entries have been placed on public display.

Judges selected one winner from each of the four contest categories. Each winning student received a $100 savings bond and an invitation to visit Augusta with their classmates. In Augusta, the students have the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of State, talk with their local Legislators, tour the Capitol and visit other sites.

"The Legislature, the Clerk of the House, the State Museum and many others have been extremely helpful to the Archives in setting up this opportunity for these students," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This visit couldn't happen without all that assistance and cooperation."

Aline and her classmates also will get a rare viewing of the original Maine constitution as part of the trip to Augusta. The original document is kept in a secure underground vault at the Maine State Archives and is overseen by the Secretary of State.

The poster Aline entered in the constitution contest was about Maine history. Aline's parents are Denise and Joey Potvin of Fort Kent.

The three other contest winners are:

Grades K-3: Poster contest on the official symbols of Maine:
Ariel Ann Perrow, third grade, Weatherbee School, Hampden (Visited on Feb. 6).
Grades 9-12: Essay on the Importance of Voting and Democracy: Meghan Lane, Belfast (Visited on Feb. 13).
Grades 6-8: Essay contest on the Maine Constitution:
Christopher Patterson, eighth grade, Bangor Christian School (Visited on March 27).


March 21, 1997
Call: Dan Gwadosky
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

Gwadosky moves to close loophole
Trucker legislation set to be introduced Tuesday

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky today moved to close a legal loophole which currently allows motor carriers suspended for safety violations to keep driving on Maine's roads by changing their corporate identity.

"The loophole is literally big enough to drive a truck through," said Secretary Gwadosky. "It's an extremely serious situation. Maine's ability to have a safe trucking industry is at stake."

Secretary Gwadosky plans to work with the Legislature and the Governor in the coming days to secure approval for a new law. The Secretary of State is seeking emergency adoption of the new law so it will become effective immediately upon final approval, rather than 90 days after passage. The new law, as drafted, would allow the Secretary of State to suspend or revoke the operating authority of separate legal entities when they are related as a result of common ownership or control and one entity is issued a suspension or revocation. The legislation is expected to come before the Legislature on Tuesday, March 25, 1997.

The legislation has bipartisan support. It is sponsored by Senator Mark Lawrence. The bill is being cosponsored by Senators Jane Amero and William O'Gara, Speaker of the House Elizabeth Mitchell and Representatives Jim Donnelly, Joseph Driscoll and William Lemke.

The action today comes as the Secretary of State continues an investigation into the operation of Lariviere & Fils de Beauce Inc. of St. Zacharie, Quebec. The Secretary of State suspended the company for 120 days starting March 10, 1997, based on its record of safety violations and a recommendation from Maine's Motor Carrier Review Board.

The Secretary's investigation has shown that Lariviere & Fils former trucks have continued to operate under a new corporate identity since Lariviere & Fils was suspended. The new identity is "9043-3012 Quebec Inc." with a road name of G.D. Transport. Additional evidence has been collected and will be collected as part of the ongoing investigation.

"The Motor Carrier Review Board was created by the Legislature because people are very concerned about having safe highways and a safe trucking industry. The Board has done an excellent job," said Secretary Gwadosky. "If we can help it, were not going to allow companies to ignore or evade the Board. This new law is a step in the right direction."

An appeal of Lariviere's current 120-day suspension was heard March 13 at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. None of the safety violation evidence presented by the state was disputed by the company. A written denial of the appeal, dated March 20, 1997, was sent to the carrier today.

Copies of the appeal denial and copies of the draft legislation are available upon request from the Office of the Secretary of State.

"Safe highways and a safe trucking industry are critically important to Maine," said Secretary Gwadosky. "And safety demands we take action."


For release on:
Call: Dan Gwadosky
March 21, 1997
(207) 626-8400

Constitution Contest winner to visit Augusta
Bangor students get rare view of 1819 document

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will welcome Christopher Patterson of Brewer and approximately 30 of his fellow Bangor Christian School eighth-grade students to the capital Thursday, March 27, as part of Christopher's reward for his prize-winning essay in the first-ever Maine Constitution Contest.

"The judges and I were very impressed with the students' work," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The contest is another fun way to help us teach the important lessons of democracy."

Students submitted essays and posters in four different contest categories that all focused on issues such as state history, democracy and state symbols. Christopher's essay was about the Maine Constitution. The project was part of Maine's largest-ever 1996 Mock Election project and aims to help instill the lifelong lessons of good citizenship in Maine's young people. The call for entries was made in September, 1996, and all contest entries have been placed on public display.

Judges selected one winner from each of the four contest categories. Each winning student receives a $100 savings bond and an invitation to visit Augusta with their classmates. In Augusta, the students will have the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of State, talk with their local Legislators, tour the Capitol and visit other sites.

Christopher and his classmates also will get a rare viewing of the original Maine constitution as part of his contest reward during the trip to Augusta. The original document is kept in a secure underground vault at the Maine State Archives in the custody of the Secretary of State.

"The Legislature, the Clerk of the House, the State Museum and many others have been extremely helpful to the Archives in setting up this opportunity for these students," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This visit couldn't happen without all that assistance and cooperation."

The other contest winners are:

Grades K-3: Poster contest on the official symbols of Maine:
Ariel Ann Perrow, third grade, Weatherbee School, Hampden (Visited on Feb. 6).
Grades 4-5: Poster contest on Maine history:
Aline Potvin, fifth grade, Fort Kent Elementary School, Fort Kent (Will visit April 18).
Grades 9-12: Essay on the Importance of Voting and Democracy: Meghan Lane, Belfast (Visited on Feb. 13).


February 28, 1997
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
For immediate release
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky suspends trucking company
Cites safety in handing down 120-day suspension

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky today announced he will enforce the recommendation of the new Motor Carrier Review Board by suspending a trucking company's privilege to operate in Maine. It is the first such suspension ever to result from this new process.

"This is about safety, plain and simple," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This trucking company needs to operate more safely or it won't be allowed to operate at all."

The Board did not suggest a duration or starting date when it unanimously recommended the suspension earlier this week of Lariviere & Fils de Beauce Inc. of St. Zacharie, Quebec.

Secretary Gwadosky subsequently determined a suspension was appropriate and is announcing today that Lariviere's privileges in Maine will be suspended for 120 days beginning March 10. Notice of the suspension was faxed and mailed to Lariviere & Fils de Beauce Inc. this afternoon.

"The Motor Carrier Review Board is concerned about this particular company and for good reason," said Secretary Gwadosky. "They unanimously recommended a suspension and I agree."

Secretary Gwadosky said he considered the Board's recommendation, input from staff, the seriousness of the motor carrier's safety record and the significant importance of highway safety in making his decision to suspend the motor carrier.

"Safe roads and safe truckers are critically important for the health and welfare of individual Maine residents as well as the health of our economy," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This suspension sends a clear message. Maine is serious about safety. We have to be."

Maine's Motor Carrier Review Board is part of the Legislature's response to increased public concern about fatigue among truck drivers and related highway safety issues. The Board first met to review specific motor carriers on Dec. 10, 1996. The Board's second hearing was Feb. 25, 1997. The Board's next meeting is set for May 13, 1997.

The Board includes representatives from large and small members of the motor carrier industry, the forest products industry, the insurance industry and Parents Against Tired Truckers. The Board's existence, membership and actions are authorized by laws passed in 1995.

The Board's attention has prompted many of the motor carriers it reviews to improve safety voluntarily. The Board's ultimate authority, which it exercised for the first time this week, is to recommend the suspension of a motor carrier's operating privileges.

The Secretary of State is responsible for considering and, if warranted, acting on the Board's recommendations.

The Board has developed a numerical safety rating to identify carriers that may merit the most significant concern. Further investigation by the Board and staff in the Bureau of Motor Vehicles determines if a special circumstance explains a worrisome rating, if a company should receive a warning letter from the Board or if a company should be subject to a full review. The Board also conducts reviews based on referrals from the Maine State Police.

As a result of this new process, 11 carriers have undergone full safety reviews at the Board's hearings in December, 1997, and this week. Of those 11 carriers:

The one motor carrier recommended for suspension is the subject of Secretary Gwadosky's action today. To get back its operating privileges, that company must:

When considering a motor carrier's safety record, the Board gives special consideration to hour of service, gross vehicle weight, logbook and vehicle defect violations. Some of the safety issues with Lariviere & Fils included:

In announcing his action today, Secretary Gwadosky praised the Board and the work of the employees in the Departments Bureau of Motor Vehicles who serve as staff to the Board.

"The Board has focused on improving highway safety first and suspending a motor carrier's privileges only when necessary," said Secretary Gwadosky. "It's a smart strategy and it's working. Maine is safer place because of the Board's efforts."

Lariviere & Fils has until March 20 to request a hearing in this matter. The 120-day suspension would not be stayed while the hearing was pending.


February 27, 1997
Contact: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

Court upholds Secretary of State
Wording of ballot question approved

AUGUSTA - The wording of a ballot question written by the Secretary of State was upheld today by Maine's highest court.

"It's a good question and a good decision," said Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky. "If this initiative makes it to the ballot, the court ruling today means we'll be talking about the merit of the proposal, not the quality of the question."

Under Maine law, the Secretary of State is responsible for writing citizen initiative questions. The law states: "The Secretary of State shall write the question in a simple, clear, concise and direct manner that describes the subject matter of the . . . direct initiative."

"This question passes that test easily," said Secretary Gwadosky.

The question upheld by the court today is: "Should spraying pesticides from the air or putting pesticides in Maine's waters be a Class A crime?"

In its ruling, the court again explained that ballot questions are not tools for educating voters. The ballot question is supposed to provide voters with a mechanism to cast their ballots the way they want. The question can't mislead a voter into casting their ballot contrary to their wishes.

"Voters are not to rely on the ballot question alone in order to understand the proposal," said the court in its ruling. "The procedure is designed to ensure that voters, who may be reading the question for the first time in the voting booth, will understand the subject matter and the choice presented. It is assumed that the voters have discharged their civic duty to educate themselves about the initiative."

The question could appear on a referendum ballot as soon as November of 1998. The Legislature could order a special election sooner. To get on the ballot, initiators must submit 51,131 valid signatures on petitions approved by the Secretary of State no later than the close of business on Feb. 2, 1998. If the effort submits enough valid signatures, the matter would be considered by the Legislature. The Legislature could adopt the proposal or put the matter to a statewide vote.

The question involved in the ruling today was approved by the Secretary of State on September 11, 1997. At that time, the Honorable Bill Diamond was Maine's Secretary of State.

While the question is approved, the actual signature petition has not yet been approved. The initiators may not collect signatures until that document is approved. This approval is administrative only and is required to ensure the document contains the necessary elements. The petition is the document which people would sign to put the measure on the ballot.

Copies of today's decision are available at the court's web site or by calling the Office of the Secretary of State.

The court's web site address is http://www.courts.state.me.us. The Secretary of States web site address is http://www.maine.gov/sos/sos.htm.

The court ruling today was in the case "Olson v. Secretary of State."

The person organizing the initiative effort that was the subject of the suit is Nancy Oden of Jonesboro.


February 25, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

Gwadosky supports protecting polls
Department testifies on signature-collecting ban

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky is supporting plans to protect Maine's polling places for the purpose of voting. The Department testified today in support of legislation that would protect the voters at the polling place by barring the collection of signatures at the polls.

"We're talking about improving Maines polling places for voters," said Secretary Gwadosky. "People have a right to vote and we want people to vote. That's what this is all about."

"People do have an important constitutional right to petition in Maine and I'm not suggesting we change the constitution," said Secretary Gwadosky. "But the point of polling places isn't to allow the easy collection of signatures. The point of polling places is to give voters a secure place to cast their ballot."

"It isn't an accident that these special sites are called polling places," said Secretary Gwadosky. "They are not called petitioning places."

Secretary Gwadosky directed the Department staff to testify in support of Legislative Documents 89 and 381 during a legislative hearing today before the Joint Standing Committee on Legal and Veterans Affairs. Copies of the testimony given at the hearing are available upon request. Secretary Gwadosky's comments were not made at the hearing.

Secretary Gwadosky today said that he supports banning all signature collecting at the polls. This would include collecting signatures for new political parties, candidates, citizen initiatives or for any other purpose. Secretary Gwadosky supports proposals to ban signature collecting within 250 feet of any polling place.

In addition to supporting the ban on signature collecting at the polls, Secretary Gwadosky has submitted a separate proposal to create a public record of individuals who challenge another person's right to vote.

"The polling place should be reserved for voting, period," said Secretary Gwadosky.


February 14, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

How did Mattamiscontis leave Howland?
19th century book full of history saved by Lincoln woman

AUGUSTA - How Mattamiscontis separated from Howland and other historical facts will be preserved for future generations thanks to the actions of Faye Moore of Lincoln.

"Mrs. Moore brought this particular book to our attention and now we'll be able to preserve it," said Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky. "The book dates from the early 19th century and now it will be around for much longer. It's a positive thing and it's thanks to Mrs. Moore."

Secretary Gwadosky oversees the Maine State Archives, the agency Mrs. Moore contacted for help with preserving the book of records from the now-deorganized town of Mattamiscontis.

Mrs. Moore brought the records to the attention of the Archives staff after the book was given to her by a woman who inherited it from her deceased uncle, a selectman of Mattamiscontis. The Archives worked with Mrs. Moore to get the records to Augusta where they now are maintained in a climate controlled room and available for public research.

"Another piece of Maine's heritage is protected now, thanks to Mrs. Moore," said Maine State Archivist James Henderson. "We all benefit from actions to preserve records like these."

By law, these kinds of records must be delivered to the proper officials and may not be sold.

"The law is important, but its success relies heavily on the good will of people like Mrs. Moore who help ensure these historical documents get into the right hands," said Maine State Archivist James Henderson. "If a town still exists, the records should be given to the municipal clerk. If the town is deorganized, historical records can be sent to Archives here in Augusta."

In addition to material relating to the separation of Mattamiscontis from Howland, the book also contains original minutes from town meetings, early marriage records and other records.

"I certainly hope others will follow this example and do their best to keep Maine's historical records safe for the future," said Henderson.

Anyone with questions about the preservation of historical Maine records may contact the Maine State Archives at (207) 287-5790 for assistance.


February 12, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8400

Constitution Contest winner to visit Augusta
Belfast honor students will view original 1819 document

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will welcome Meghan Lane of Belfast and approximately 20 of her fellow Belfast High School students to the capital Thursday as part of Meghan's reward for her prize-winning essay in the first-ever Maine Constitution Contest.

"The judges and I were very impressed with the students' work," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The contest is another fun way to help us teach the important lessons of democracy."

Students submitted essays and posters in four different contest categories that all focused on issues such as state history, symbols of Maine and the state constitution. The project was part of Maine's largest-ever 1996 Mock Election project and aims to help instill the lifelong lessons of good citizenship in Maine's young people. The call for entries was made in September, 1996, and all contest entries will be placed on public display.

Judges selected one winner from each of the four contest categories. Each winning student will receive a $100 savings bond and an invitation to visit Augusta with their classmates. In Augusta, the students will have the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of State, talk with their local Legislators, tour the Capitol and visit other sites.

"The Legislature, the Clerk of the House, the State Museum and many others have been extremely helpful to the Archives in setting up this opportunity for these students," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This visit couldn't happen without all that assistance and cooperation."

Meghan and her classmates also will get a rare viewing of the original Maine constitution as part of her award in the contest during the trip to Augusta. The original document is kept in a secure underground vault at the Maine State Archives and is overseen by the Secretary of State.

The essay Meghan entered in the constitution contest was about the importance of voting and democracy. Meghan's parents are Karen Lane of Belfast and Kenneth Lane of Morrill.

The other contest winners are:

Grades K-3: Poster contest on the official symbols of Maine:
Ariel Ann Perrow, third grade, Weatherbee School, Hampden (Visited on Feb. 6).
Grades 4-5: Poster contest on Maine history:
Aline Potvin, fifth grade, Fort Kent Elementary School, Fort Kent (Will visit April 18).
Grades 6-8: Essay contest on the Maine Constitution:
Christopher Patterson, eighth grade, Bangor Christian School (Date for visit not yet finalized).


February 7, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

Gwadosky: Initiative has enough signatures
Same-sex marriage ban must be OK'd or sent to vote

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky today ruled that a citizen initiative seeking to ban same-sex marriages in Maine has submitted enough valid signatures to move forward.

"We reviewed the petitions and it has enough signatures to be presented to the Legislature," said Secretary Gwadosky. "That's the critical issue at this point in the initiative process: Are there enough signatures? The answer in this case is yes."

"Maine residents take their civic duties seriously and our voter turnout record shows it. We've been ranked No. 1 in the nation many times, including this past year," said Secretary Gwadosky. "But, even by our standards, we seem to take the citizen initiative process especially seriously. The citizen initiative has a very unique role in Maine's democracy."

The same-sex marriage ban is the only citizen initiative that is moving forward for the current 1997 ballot cycle. As with any initiative proposal, the Maine Legislature must now either adopt the proposal as it is written or put the matter to a statewide vote in November, 1997. Also, as with any initiative, the Legislature could place a competing measure on the ballot at that time.

To get to this stage in the process, a citizen initiative must submit petitions to the Secretary of State which contain valid signatures equal in number to 10 percent of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In this case, that number is 51,131. Secretary Gwadosky ruled today that the initiative had submitted 62,032 valid signatures.

The specific breakdown of signatures submitted is as follows:

In making his ruling today, Secretary Gwadosky praised the staff in the Division of Elections for their work reviewing the petitions. The law did not require a ruling until 5 p.m. Feb. 24.

February 5, 1997
Call: Dan Gwadosky
For immediate release
(207) 626-8400

Constitution Contest winner to visit Augusta
Hampden third-graders to see original document, Capitol

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky will welcome Ariel Ann Perrow of Hampden and about 20 of her third-grade Weatherbee School classmates to the capital tomorrow as part of Ariel's reward for her prize-winning poster in the first-ever Maine Constitution Contest.

"I was impressed with all the students work and so were the judges," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The contest is another fun way to help us teach the important lessons of democracy."

Students submitted essays and posters in four different contest categories that all focused on issues such as state history, symbols of Maine and the state constitution. The project was part of Maine's largest-ever 1996 Mock Election project and aims to help teach the lifelong lessons of good citizenship in Maine's young people. The call for entries was made in September, 1996.

Judges selected one winner from each contest category. Those individual students receive a $100 savings bond and an invitation to visit Augusta with their classmates. In Augusta, the students meet the Secretary of State, tour the State Museum, Capitol and other sites.

"The Legislature, the Clerk of the House, the State Museum and many others have been extremely helpful to the Archives in setting up this opportunity for these students," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This visit couldn't happen without all that assistance and cooperation."

Of course, Ariel and her third-grade classmates also will get a rare viewing of the original Maine constitution as part of Ariel's award in the contest. The original document is in a secure underground vault at the Maine State Archives and is overseen by the Secretary of State.

Ariel's parents are Angeli and Mark Perrow. Her teacher is Candis Penley.

The other students who won their categories are:

Grades 4-5: Poster contest on Maine history: Aline Potvin, fifth grade, Fort Kent Elementary School, Fort Kent.
Grades 6-8: Essay contest on the Maine Constitution: Christopher Patterson, eighth grade, Bangor Christian School.
Grades 9-12: Essay contest on the importance of voting and democracy: Meghan Lane, senior, Belfast Area High School.

Dates for these school visits have not yet been finalized.

All contest entries will be placed on public display.


5:01 p.m. Jan. 23, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

Gwadosky pledges timely review of petitions
Only same-sex marriage ban files by today's deadline

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky tonight said that only the citizen initiative seeking to ban same-sex marriages filed enough signatures by today's 5 p.m. deadline to merit further review.

The review by the Secretary of State will determine if the petition has met the legal requirements to move forward.

"The Citizen Initiative process has a special place in the public process in Maine. It's direct democracy and it's important to voters," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We will review these petitions carefully and as the law requires to determine if this initiative can go ahead."

Nine citizen initiatives had been approved for circulation and could have filed signatures in an attempt to get approved by the Legislature or sent to a statewide referendum.

However, only the petition to ban same-sex marriages filed enough signatures by the 5 p.m. deadline today to merit further review.

The Secretary of State has 30 days from today's deadline to rule on whether the same-sex marriage initiative submitted enough valid signatures to move forward. If there are enough valid signatures, the initiative would next go to the Legislature for its consideration. The Legislature can either approve the measure as written or send it to a statewide referendum vote in November.

Citizen initiatives are required to submit to the Secretary of State valid signatures equal to at least 10 percent of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election to move forward. In this case, that number is 51,131 valid signatures.

"The staff in the Division of Elections does an excellent job," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The ruling will be ready within the 30-day review period."


January 3, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8406

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Gwadosky taking office today
Hall of Flags ceremony set for 2 p.m.

AUGUSTA - Dan A. Gwadosky of Fairfield will be sworn in to his first term as Maine's 41st Secretary of State during a ceremony at 2 p.m. today in the Capitol's Hall of Flags.

"I'm looking forward to the challenges of the office," said Secretary-Elect Gwadosky before the ceremony. "There is a strong record here of meeting those challenges and I look forward to continuing it."

The Secretary of State is one of three Constitutional officers in Maine who, along with the State Auditor, are elected by a Joint Convention of the Legislature. Secretary-Elect Gwadosky was elected by the 118th Legislature on December 4, 1996. All four of those officers - the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer and the State Auditor - will be sworn in during the ceremony today.

The Lawrence High School Band and the Lawrence High School Chorus are scheduled to perform during the ceremony today.

The Secretary of State in Maine oversees the Maine State Archives, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. These three areas include duties as diverse as licensing drivers, registering vehicles, maintaining custody of the original State Constitution and other records of permanent value, overseeing notaries public, recording all corporate filings in the state, administering state election laws and much more.

"Whether were working on democracy, motor vehicle issues, business filings or one of the Department's many other responsibilities, the focus will remain on customer service and efficiency throughout the Department," said Secretary-Elect Gwadosky. "Just about everyone uses the Department's services at one time or another, so top-quality customer service is critical."

Secretary-Elect Gwadosky began his public service when he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1978 at the age of 23. He has just completed his legislative service as the 92nd Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.

Secretary-Elect Gwadosky has a B.S. degree in management from Thomas College, which also recently awarded Secretary-Elect Gwadosky an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Additionally, Secretary-Elect Gwadosky has been employed as an administrator by the Atrium Hotels Corporation since 1985.

Secretary-Elect Gwadosky serves or has served as trustee, director or advisor to many local, state and national organizations, including the Kennebec Valley Vocational Technical College, the State Y.M.C.A., Thomas College, the Council of State Governments, the Lawrence Public Library Building committee and the Lawrence High School Alumni Association. He also has coached both boy's and girl's baseball, soccer and basketball.

Secretary-Elect Gwadosky is married to the former Cheryl Norton, a Financial Accountant for the S.D. Warren Company. They are the parents of Joshua, 13, and Jessica, 10.


January 2, 1997
Call: Chip Gavin
For immediate release
(207) 626-8400

Students Win Constitution Contest
Rare Viewing of Original State Constitution Is Prize

AUGUSTA - Outgoing Secretary of State Bill Diamond today announced the winning students in the 1996 Maine Constitution Contest.

The four students and their classes are being invited to visit Augusta for a rare viewing of the original state constitution, which is kept in a secure underground vault at the maine State Archives. The Archives is part of the Department of the Secretary of State. The four students who wrote or created the award-winning entries also will receive a $100 savings bond.

"The judges were very impressed with all the entries," said Secretary Diamond. "We're going to work to display all the posters and essays in our various offices. I think the students learned quite a bit. The judges and I learned that this contest is another good tool for teaching the importance of democracy, voting and good citizenship in Maine."

The contest - which called on students to create posters or write essays on different Maine and democracy themes - was part of the largest-ever 1996 Maine Mock Election. Secretary Diamond started the first-ever constitution contest on September 17, 1996.

The four students who won the contest are:

Grades K-3: Poster contest on the official symbols of Maine:
Ariel Ann Perrow, third grade, Weatherbee School, Hampden
Grades 4-5: Poster contest on Maine history:
Aline Potvin, fifth grade, Fort Kent Elementary School, Fort Kent
Grades 6-8: Essay contest on the Maine Constitution:
Christopher Patterson, eighth grade, Bangor Christian School
Grades 9-12: Essay contest on the importance of voting and democracy
Meghan Lane, senior, Belfast Area High School

Letters to these students were mailed this week informing them of their success and inviting them to Augusta. The details of those trips to Augusta to see the constitution will be worked out with each student and their school in the near future.

"I had a lot of fun with this contest and I think the students did, too," said Secretary Diamond.


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