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Maine Department of the Secretary of State
Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State

1998 Press Relases

To see the full text, click on the underlined words. Also available are 1997 and 1996 press releases. 

Secretary Gwadosky Approves Petition on Medical Marijuana
December 23, 1998

Advocates Gather to Promote Highway Safety Over Holidays
100,000 Reminder Cards Distributed on Turnpike
December 23, 1998

MEDIA ADVISORY - Holiday OUI Awareness Event Scheduled for Wednesday, December 23, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.
Highway Safety Advocates To Kickoff Holiday Reminder Program at Turnpike Exit 14 A
December 22, 1998

MEDIA ADVISORY - PRESS CONFERENCE
Secretary Gwadosky to Receive Second Award for Young Drivers Initiative
December 16, 1998

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor
Portland Country Club for 100 Years of Incorporation
December 15, 1998

Driver License Services Now Available in Westbrook
Windham Mall location closing mid-December
December 10, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky Suspends Motor Carrier
December 8, 1998

Recount Completed for County Offices
November 23, 1998

Recount for Senate District 26 completed
House District 136 recount finalized
November 20, 1998

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Houlton Grange No. 16 and Monticello Grange No. 338 for 100 Years of Incorporation
November 19, 1998

UPDATED -  House District 117 Recount Completed
House District 136 Recount not yet resolved
November 19, 1998

House District 49 Recount Completed
November 17, 1998

House District 14 Recount Completed
November 16, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky to Receive National Award for Young Drivers Initiative
November 16, 1998

First Set of Election Recounts Scheduled - More to Follow
November 13, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky to Visit Polling Sites Election Day
November 2, 1998

Mock Election Results Favor Incumbents and Passage of Bond Questions
October 30,1998

Student Mock Election to be Held October 29, 1998
Over 300 Schools Participating
October 28, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky Challenges Maine Voters to Lead Nation in Turnout
October 26, 1998

MEDIA ADVISORY - Press Conference - Monday, October 26, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.
Promote the Vote - Shop 'N Save, 205 US Route 1, Scarborough, ME
October 23, 1998

Absentee Ballots Available at Municipal Clerk's Office for November 3 Election
October 20, 1998

License Plate Reservation Forms Available at Municipal Offices
Preparations for Chickadee License Plate Continue
October 6, 1998

New Driver Licensing Road Test More Challenging
Failure Rate of Applicants has Increased Since Implementation
September 30, 1998
 

Secretary Gwadosky to Hold Press Conference
to Discuss the Results of Maine's New Driver Licensing Road Test
September 29, 1998
 

Statewide Voter Registration Drive Kick-Off Event
to Promote the Vote for November 3
September 17, 1998

Statewide Voter Registration Drive Scheduled for Citizenship Day, September 17, 1998
1000 New Registrations Sought
September 14, 1998

Secretary of State Unveils New Maine Kid's Page on Internet
Site Intended to Help Children Learn About Maine
September 14, 1998

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor Bar Harbor Band
For 100 Years of Incorporation
August 3, 1998

National Association of Secretaries of State Elects
Gwadosky as Regional Vice President
July 31, 1998

First phase begins in process to issue new license plates
Chickadee License Plate Available July 1, 1999
July 29, 1998

Gwadosky sets order of ballot questions
Drawing determines placement of questions on November 3 ballot
July 9, 1998

First Recount Completed - Candidate Fails to Qualify as a Write-in
June 26, 1998

Recounts resulting from the June 9 Primary Election to begin Friday Corrected Copy
June 25, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky Suspends Two Motor Carriers
June 15, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky Encourages Citizens to "Cast a Ballot"
Bond Questions Open to All Registered Voters
June 8, 1998

Court Upholds Gwadosky on Medical Marijuana Petition
May 15, 1998

Winners of Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest
to View Original Maine Constitution
May 13, 1998

Internet Access to Candidate Financial Reports
New Web Site to Host Campaign Finance Reports Filed by Candidates for Governor
May 1, 1998
 

Young Driver's Legislation Signed Into Law Today
Task Force Joins Secretary Gwadosky for Ceremony
April 13, 1998

Governor to Sign Young Driver's Legislation
Ceremony Scheduled for Monday, April 13, 1998
April 10, 1998

Court Upholds Gwadosky On Second Tax Cap Effort
April 8, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky Sets Order of Ballot Questions
Drawing Held this Morning to Determine Question Placement
April 7, 1998

Gwadosky to Hold Ballot Drawing Tuesday
Results will Set Order of Questions on June 9 Ballot
April 6, 1998

Gwadosky Rules Medical Marijuana Petitions Invalid, For Now
Petitions Came Up Short, but Still Have Time to Qualify for the 1999 Ballot
March 31, 1998

Press Conference Scheduled for March 31, 1998
Gwadosky to Rule on Validity of Medical Marijuana Petition
March 30, 1998

March 20th Proclaimed Transportation Safety Day
March 18, 1998

Maine Transportation Safety Coalition to Hold Safety Conference on March 20, 1998
March 16, 1998

Kennebunk Motor Vehicle Branch Office Grand Opening Wednesday, March 11, 1998
March 10, 1998

Legislation for Young Drivers Receives Unanimous Endorsement by Transportation Committee
March 5, 1998

Gwadosky Amends Certification
Tax Cap Petitions Still Fall Short
March 4, 1998

Gwadosky Proposes Legislation to Clarify Court Decision
Secretary of State to Initiate Legislation to Provide Remedy to Petitioners
February 27, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky Joins Call for Disclosure of Campaign Contributions
February 25, 1998

U.S. District Court Affirms Secretary of State's Decision
Green Party Disqualified
February 24, 1998

Secretary Gwadosky and Task Force Members Discuss Young Driver's Bill
Transportation Committee Holds Public Hearing
February 18, 1998

Press Conference Scheduled for February 18, 1998 on Young Drivers Task Force Legislation
February 13, 1998

Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award to be Presented to Eunice Kennedy Shriver
February 11, 1998

Palesky Sentenced to 9 Months in Jail and Probation
February 3, 1998

Monday Final Day to File Citizen Initiative Petitions for November 3, 1998 Ballot
January 30, 1998

Maine's First State of the State Address Available on Internet
Maine State Archives Transcribes Historical Address by Governor William King
January 30, 1998

Secretary of State Gwadosky Reminds Voters of Availability of Absentee Ballots for Special Election February 10th
January 20, 1998

Gwadosky rules tax cap petitions invalid
Fraud found, but petition came up short regardless
January 16, 1998

Internet Access to Government Information
State Unveils InforME Proposal and Legislation
January 7, 1998
 



December 23, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Approves Petition on Medical Marijuana

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky today ruled that sufficient valid signatures have been filed by Mainers for Medical Rights and the question on the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes will appear on the November 2, 1999 ballot.  In late November Mainers For Medical Rights had refiled its citizen initiative petition with the Secretary of State's Office for certification.

"The turnout in this November's election has lowered the threshold on the number of signatures needed by groups wanting to place an initiative question on the ballot," Secretary Gwadosky said.  "It appears that the issue regarding medical marijuana will now go before the people of Maine to decide."

The Maine Constitution states that the number of signatures required to place a citizen's initiative on the ballot must be at least 10% of the total vote for Governor.  As a result of the recent gubernatorial election, the number of signatures needed to place a citizen's initiative on the ballot is now 42,101.  Previously, 51,131 signatures were required, based upon the 1994 gubernatorial results.

The following question will be put before the voters, unless the Legislature adopts the initiative during its legislative session:

 Do you want to allow patients with specific illnesses to grow and use small amounts   of marijuana for treatment, as long as such use is approved by a doctor?

If the Legislature does not adopt the initiative as presented, then it will be automatically placed on the 1999 ballot.

This is the second attempt by Mainers for Medical Rights to place this question on the ballot.  On February 2, 1998, a petition was filed with the Secretary of State in an effort to place the initiative question on the November 3, 1998 ballot.  This first attempt failed when Secretary Gwadosky ruled that the petitioners had not filed sufficient valid signatures. 



December 23, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400
 
 

Advocates Gather to Promote
Highway Safety Over Holidays
100,000 Reminder Cards Distributed on Turnpike




Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and members of several transportation safety organizations gathered today to promote safe driving habits over the holiday season and throughout the new year.  The main message was don't drink and drive, and motorists on the Maine Turnpike will be receiving reminder cards outlining the dangers of driving after drinking.  The Maine Turnpike Authority has agreed to distribute 100,000 cards at all toll booth locations.  The distribution will be completed in two phases--50,000 over December 23-24 and 50,000 over December 30-31.

"This program is one way to ensure that the important message regarding the risks of drinking and driving will be on traveler's minds as we head into both holiday weekends," said Secretary Gwadosky.

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
 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 remarks were delivered at the kickoff of the third 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 has a tough drunk driving law with increased penalties that focus on repeat offenders.  A breakdown of the current OUI penalties are 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.  These administrative suspensions may be imposed regardless of the result in a criminal proceeding in a court of law.  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.  "These administrative penalties take effect in addition to any criminal penalties imposed by a court for a criminal conviction, Gwadosky said.  "I think it is important for people to understand that a refusal to take the blood alcohol test can result in a minimum 275 day administrative license suspension, so they may make an informed decision if they find themselves in this situation," concluded Gwadosky.

Table of OUI Penalties
 




December 22, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207)626-8400
 
 

- MEDIA ADVISORY -

Holiday OUI Awareness Event
Scheduled for Wednesday, December 23, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.
Highway Safety Advocates To Kickoff
Holiday Reminder Program at Turnpike Exit 14 A

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and representatives from various highway safety organizations will be launching the third annual Holiday OUI Awareness Event at a news conference at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 1998 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
 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.

*Exit 14A is the toll plaza located on the main part of the turnpike, not the exit from the route 295 connector.



December 16, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

MEDIA ADVISORY
PRESS CONFERENCE
December 18, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.
Office of the Secretary of State
Nash School Building
Corner of Sewell and Capital Streets, Augusta

Secretary Gwadosky to Receive Second Award for Young Drivers Initiative

AUGUSTA--Allstate Insurance Company will present an award to the Department of the Secretary of State for the innovations and legislation developed by the Task Force on Young Drivers.  The award is part of the Allstate Safety Leadership Award.   Several members of the Task Force will be joining Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky for the presentation that will be made by Kimberley Gilley, Allstate Insurance senior account agent and Andrew Perry, Allstate Insurance account agent.

Allstate Leadership Awards are presented in three categories:  National Safety Program, Community Safety Program, and Allstate Agency Safety Program.  Maine was one of several regional winners in the Community Safety category.  Allstate seeks to support successful public safety programs and in the process inspire others to take a leadership role in the safety arena.

The efforts of Secretary Gwadosky and the Task Force have also been recognized by the National Commission Against Drunk Driving.  Earlier this week in Washington D.C., a presentation of the NCADD's Fourteenth Annual State Award recognized Maine's improvements to the laws regarding the education and licensing of young drivers.

In 1997, Secretary Gwadosky established a Task Force on Young Drivers in response to the disproportionately high number of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries among drivers 15 to 24 years old.  The Task Force  reviewed the laws affecting young drivers, as well as the driver education program and made recommendations to improve the educational and licensing processes.  These recommendations were the most comprehensive improvements in driver licensing and training in the last 50 years.

The recommendations included changes in the licensing requirements, in the driver education program and in the driver examination.  The Legislature adopted the Task Force's recommendations to improve and strengthen the laws applying to young drivers.   Other recommendations have been implemented by Secretary Gwadosky's department, through the administrative process.



December 15, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
 
 

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor
Portland Country Club for 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring the Portland Country Club for 100 years of incorporation.  The Portland Country Club is a nonprofit organization that was incorporated in the state of Maine on May 6, 1898.  Secretary Gwadosky will present a special citation on Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 4:30 p.m. to Portland Country Club President, Edwin Heisler, and the members of the Board of Governors.  The Portland Country Club is located on 11 Foreside Road, Falmouth.

Eleven corporations are celebrating their centennial anniversary this year.  In addition to the Portland Country Club, 7 nonprofit corporations--South Sangerville Grange No. 35; Bar Harbor Band; Seal Harbor Library Association; West Eden Village Improvement Society; Houlton Grange No. 16; Monticello Grange, No. 338; and Trustees of the Charity Fund of Hiram Lodge; and 3 businesses--Campbell Bosworth Machinery Company, Great Northern Nekoosa Corporation, and C. M. Bowker Co. are celebrating their 100 year landmark.

"I enjoy this opportunity to recognize these Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations for their longevity," said Secretary Gwadosky.  "It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to keep an organization or business active for 100 years."

The Portland Golf Club was originally formed in 1895, as a four-hole course located in South Portland.  In 1907, the name was changed to the Portland Country Club, and in 1913 property was purchased locating the Portland Country Club at its current site in Falmouth Foreside.  Many members have contributed to the club's rich history, tradition and culture.
 




December 10, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
 
 

Driver License Services Now Available in Westbrook
Windham Mall location closing mid-December

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that license renewal services are now available at the Westbrook Rite Aid at 465 Main Street.  The Bureau of Motor Vehicles' satellite office located in Windham will be closing as of December 19.

"The Westbrook location will allow for license renewal services 7 days a week with expanded hours," said Secretary Gwadosky.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has had a satellite location in Windham since May, 1995.  The office provided limited services--issuing new licenses and state identification cards and renewing licenses.   The office was open on Friday and Saturday only.  The Bureau had been allowed to  maintain an office at the Windham Mall location rent free, however recent developments required a change in this relationship.  Comparable space was sought in Windham prior to deciding on the Westbrook Rite Aid location.  The hours for license renewal at the Westbrook Rite Aid will be Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

"This was a difficult decision for us to make," stated Gwadosky.  "We have been very fortunate to have been provided space in the Windham Mall for the past three years.  We tried to take everything into consideration when selecting an alternative location to the Windham site.  Our long standing partnership with Rite Aid made this an easier transition," Gwadosky continued.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has 13 branch offices across the state that offer full license and registration services.  License renewal services are available at 8 other locations in addition to the new Westbrook site.  A complete listing is attached.  Mobile units service a number of other communities.

Motor Vehicle Branch Offices

Augusta - 285 State Street
Bangor-1129 Union Street, Suite 9
Calais- 204 north Street
Caribou -159 Bennett Drive Suite 1
Ellsworth- 24 Church Street
Kennebunk - 63 Portland Road, Suite 4
Lewiston - 124 Canal Street
Mexico-Mexico Shopping Plaza
Portland - 312 Canco Road
Rockland - RR1 Box 1065
Springvale -185 Main Street
South Portland - 364 Maine Mall Road
Topsham - 49 Topsham Fair Mall Road, Suite 25

Satellite Offices--License Renewals ONLY

Fort Kent  Shop 'N Save, Route 1
Millinocket  IGA, 820 Central Street
Brewer  Rite Aid, 405 North Main Street
Houlton  Rite Aid, 137 North Street
Machais  Rite Aid, Route 1
Saco  Rite Aid, 17 Scammon Street
Skowhegan  Rite Aid, 4 Jewett Street
Waterville  Rite Aid, Shaw's Plaza, Kennedy Memorial Drive
Westbrook  Rite Aid, 465 Main Street




December 8, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Suspends Motor Carrier

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky has issued a suspension for a motor carrier who conducts business in Maine.  Secretary Gwadosky's suspension of A & L Transport, Inc. of Oakfield was made pursuant to the recommendation received from the Motor Carrier Review Board.  A & L Transport, Inc. will be suspended for 30 days.  The suspension prohibits the carrier from operating commercial vehicles in Maine and will become effective December 15, 1998.   A & L Transport, Inc. will also be required to submit a safety plan prior to its reinstatement.

"This suspension period will provide the carrier an opportunity to review its safety procedures and refine a safety plan for its drivers," stated Secretary Gwadosky.   "Promoting  safety on Maine's roadways is an important part of our department's mission statement.  The Motor Carrier Review Board has been instrumental in evaluating the records of commercial carriers."

A & L Transport, Inc. has a history of overweight violations, among other safety violations, that resulted in its review by the Board and the subsequent recommendation for suspension.

The Motor Carrier Review Board gives special consideration to hours of service, gross vehicle weight, log book and vehicle defect violations.  The Board is comprised of representatives from large and small motor carriers, the forest products industry, the insurance industry and a citizen representative who is a member of 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.

Since its inception in late 1996 the Board has reviewed the records of 281 carriers of which  66 came before the Board for a hearing.  Of these 66 carriers, the Board worked with a number of carriers to improve their safety efforts.  Eight carriers received suspensions for some period of time.
 




November 23, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Recount Completed for County Offices

AUGUSTA - The York County Sheriff recount which began November 19th concluded today.  Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford withdrew his request after recounting approximately 65% of the ballots.  Mr. Phinney conceded the election to Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford and both candidates agreed to the election night results.  The final vote tally remains 26,629 for Cote and 26,329 for Phinney.

The Somerset County Commissioner District 3 recount concluded Friday evening, November 20th.  The result of the recount is not conclusive as enough disputed ballots remain to affect the outcome.  The disputed ballots will be automatically appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court for determination.  At the conclusion of the recount, Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan received 2,558 votes; Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan received 2,556 votes; there were four disputed ballots and one ballot challenged on election night.

"The ability to request and receive a recount in an election is an important part of this country's electoral process," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "It provides candidates and voters with confidence in the process and election outcomes."

A review by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky of recent recount statistics has shown that since 1994, only one race out of 33 recounts conducted by the Secretary of State's Office has been overturned.   The 33 recounts  included 30 Legislative seats and 3 county positions.  The apparent winner on election night prevailed in all but one of these recounts thus far.  In this instance, the election night result for a senate seat was reversed after the recount.

"The fact that reversals of election night results have become increasingly rare in recounts speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment of the officials at the local level to conduct fair and efficient elections," continued Gwadosky.  "Automation of the ballot counting process has had a positive impact on election night results by alleviating the burden of counting ballots into the early morning."

Recounts are conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media may attend to observe.  State Troopers collect the ballots for the recounts as required by law.  The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks. State Troopers guard the ballots 24 hours a day.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.  Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the apparent results.  The candidates may revise these initial results based on the recount and their mutual agreement in determining the official election result.

A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.

If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome.  This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat.  This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution.  Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.

Recount Requests and Schedule

Senate  26
Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham  7,701 (7,713 - Completed Total)
E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland 7,331 (7,353 - Completed Total)
Friday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  14
William R. Savage (D) of Buxton  1,446  (1,450 - Completed total)
John W. Vedral III (R) of Buxton  1,420  (1,428 - Completed total)
Monday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  49
Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick 1,289 (1,294 - Completed total)
John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick 1,349  (1,351 - Completed total)
 Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 9 a.m
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  117
Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor  1,357 (1,360 - Completed total)
Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor  1,347 (1,335 - Completed total)
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  136
George H. Bunker Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. 1,278 (1,290 - Completed Total)
Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth  1,338 (1,356 - Completed Total)
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m..
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somerset County  Comm. 3
Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan 2,558 (2,558* - Completed Total)
Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan 2,557 (2,556* - Completed Total)
Friday, Nov. 20,  3 p.m.
* 4 disputed ballots and 1 challenged ballot to be appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court for resolution.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
York Sheriff
Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford   26,629 (26,629 - Completed Total)
Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford 26,329 (26,329 - Completed Total)
Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updates and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount process by calling 626-8406.




November 20, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Recount for Senate District 26 completed
House District 136 recount finalized

AUGUSTA - A recount resulting from the November General Election was held today for Senate District 26. Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham remained the winner  by a margin of 360 votes after the ballots were recounted  under the supervision of the Secretary of State's Office.  E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland had requested the recount after the preliminary results from election day showed him to have lost the election.

Additionally, the House District 136 recount conducted on Wednesday, November 18, 1998 was finalized today.  Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth remained the winner by a margin of 66 votes.  George H. Bunker, Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. conceded the election, ending the recount.

The York County Sheriff's recount which began yesterday, will resume Monday, Nov. 23, 1998 at 9 a.m.

The Somerset County Commissioner District 3 recount was begun at 3:00 p.m. today and results are not yet available.

"The ability to request and receive a recount in an election is an important part of this country's electoral process," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "It provides candidates and voters with confidence in the process and election outcomes."

A review by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky of recent recount statistics has shown that since 1994, only one race out of 31 recounts conducted by the Secretary of State's Office has been overturned.   The 31 recounts  included 30 Legislative seats and 1 county position.  The apparent winner on election night prevailed in all but one of these recounts.  In this instance, the election night result for a senate seat was reversed after the recount.

"The fact that reversals of election night results have become increasingly rare in recounts speaks volumes about the dedication and commitment of the officials at the local level to conduct fair and efficient elections," continued Gwadosky.  "Automation of the ballot counting process has had a positive impact on election night results by alleviating the burden of counting ballots into the early morning."

Recounts are conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media may attend to observe.  State Troopers collect the ballots for the recounts as required by law.  The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks. State Troopers guard the ballots 24 hours a day.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.  Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the
apparent results.  The candidates may revise these initial results based on the recount and their mutual agreement in determining the official election result.

A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.

If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome.  This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat.  This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution.  Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.
 
 

Recount Requests and Schedule

Senate  26
Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham  7,701 (7,713 - Completed Total)
E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland 7,331 (7,353 - Completed Total)
Friday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  14
William R. Savage (D) of Buxton  1,446  (1,450 - Completed total)
John W. Vedral III (R) of Buxton  1,420  (1,428 - Completed total)
Monday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  49
Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick 1,289 (1,294 - Completed total)
John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick 1,349  (1,351 - Completed total)
 Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 9 a.m
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  117
Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor  1,357 (1,360 - Completed total)
Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor  1,347 (1,335 - Completed total)
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  136
George H. Bunker Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. 1,278 (1,290 - Completed Total)
Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth  1,338 (1,356 - Completed Total)
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m..
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somerset County  Comm. 3
Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan 2,558
Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan 2,557
Friday, Nov. 20,  3 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
York Sheriff
Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford   25,928
Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford 25,518
Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

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Updates and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount process by calling 626-8406.



 


November 19, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky to Honor
Houlton Grange No. 16 and Monticello Grange No. 338
for 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring the Houlton Grange No. 16, Patrons of Husbandry and the Monticello Grange No. 338, Patrons of Husbandry for 100 years of incorporation.  Both Houlton and Monticello Granges are nonprofit organizations that were incorporated in the state of Maine on September 3, 1898 and April 7, 1898, respectively.  Secretary Gwadosky will be presenting a special citation on Saturday, November 21, 1998.  Grange Master Roger Scott will accept the citation for the Houlton Grange at 1:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall on Green Street in Houlton.   Grange Master Bruce Beaulieu will accept the citation for the Monticello Grange at 2:30 p.m. at the Monticello Grange Hall located on U.S. Route 1 in Monticello.

Eleven corporations are celebrating their centennial anniversary this year.  In addition to the Houlton and Monticello Granges, 6 nonprofit corporations--South Sangerville Grange No. 35; Bar Harbor Band; Seal Harbor Library Association; West Eden Village Improvement Society; Portland Country Club; and Trustees of the Charity Fund of Hiram Lodge; and 3 businesses--Campbell Bosworth Machinery Company, Great Northern Nekoosa Corporation, and C. M. Bowker Co. are celebrating their 100 year landmark.

"I enjoy this opportunity to recognize these Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations for their longevity," said Secretary Gwadosky.  "It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to keep an organization or business active for 100 years."

During its 100 year history, the Houlton Grange at one time had 1200 members, the most of any grange in the world.  The Houlton Grange also ran a Feed and General Store until the 1960s when the building was destroyed in a fire.  The Houlton Grange has recently elected new officers and is planning activities for the upcoming year.

The Monticello Grange members are involved in a number of civic activities and include holding traditional Town Meeting suppers and sponsoring an annual community Christmas Party.  Many members of the grange serve as town officers and volunteer on many community groups.  The Monticello Grange Hall itself has been an intricate part of the community, serving as Town Hall for many years, as well as a facility for school plays, graduations and basketball.  Other organizations have also used the Monticello Grange Hall for meetings.




November 19, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400
 
 

UPDATED -  House District 117 Recount Completed
House District 136 Recount not yet resolved

AUGUSTA - A recount resulting from the November General Election was held yesterday for House District 117. Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor remained the winner  by a margin of 25 votes after the ballots were recounted  under the supervision of the Secretary of State's Office.  Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor had requested the recount after the preliminary results from election day showed him to have lost the election.

A recount in House District 136 was also conducted yesterday, but the results have not been finalized.  The preliminary count shows Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth with 1,356 votes and George H. Bunker (D) of Kossuth Township with 1,290 votes.  The candidates reserved their option to continue the recount at a later date in order to complete a review of the voting lists and other election materials.

Recounts are conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media may attend to observe.  State Troopers collect the ballots for the recounts as required by law.  The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks. State Troopers guard the ballots 24 hours a day.

A person requesting a recount may be required by law to make a deposit, depending on the margin of victory in the election.  For example, if the margin between the two candidates in an election is less than 2 % of the votes cast, then no deposit is required.  If the margin is 2 % to 4%, then a $500 deposit is required.  If the margin is greater than 4 %, then a $1,000 deposit is required.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.  Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the apparent results.  The candidates may revise these initial results based on the recount and their mutual agreement in determining the official election result.

A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.

If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome.  This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat.  This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution. Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.
 

Recount Requests and Schedule

Senate  26
Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham  7,701
E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland 7,331
Friday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  14
William R. Savage (D) of Buxton  1,446  (1,450 - Completed total)
John W. Vedral III (R) of Buxton  1,420  (1,428 - Completed total)
Monday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  49
Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick 1,289 (1,294 - Completed total)
John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick 1,349  (1,351 - Completed total)
 Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 9 a.m
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  117
Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor  1,357
Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor  1,347
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  136
George H. Bunker Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. 1,278
Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth  1,338
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m..
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somerset County  Comm. 3
Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan 2,558
Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan 2,557
Friday, Nov. 20,  3 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
York Sheriff
Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford   25,928
Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford 25,518
Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updates and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount process by calling 626-8406.
 
 



November 17, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

House District 49 Recount Completed

AUGUSTA - A recount resulting from the November General Election was held today for House District 49.  John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick remained the winner  by a margin of 57 votes after the ballots were recounted  under the supervision of the Secretary of State's Office.  Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick had requested the recount after the preliminary results from election day showed him to have lost the election.

Recounts are conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media may attend to observe.  State Troopers collect the ballots for the recounts as required by law.  The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks. State Troopers guard the ballots 24 hours a day.

A person requesting a recount may be required by law to make a deposit, depending on the margin of victory in the election.  For example, if the margin between the two candidates in an election is less than 2 % of the votes cast, then no deposit is required.  If the margin is 2 % to 4%, then a $500 deposit is required.  If the margin is greater than 4 %, then a $1,000 deposit is required.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.  Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the apparent results.  The candidates may revise these initial results based on the recount and their mutual agreement in determining the official election result.

A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.

If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome.  This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat.  This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution.

Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.

Recount Requests and Schedule

Senate  26
Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham  7,701
E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland 7,331
Friday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  14
William R. Savage (D) of Buxton  1,446  (1,450 - Completed total)
John W. Vedral III (R) of Buxton  1,420  (1,428 - Completed total)
Monday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  49
Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick 1,289 (1,294 - Completed total)
John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick 1,349  (1,351 - Completed total)
 Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 9 a.m
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  117
Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor  1,357
Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor  1,347
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  136
George H. Bunker Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. 1,278
Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth  1,338
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m..
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somerset County  Comm. 3
Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan 2,558
Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan 2,557
Friday, Nov. 20,  3 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
York Sheriff
Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford   25,928
Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford 25,518
Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updates and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount process by calling 626-8406.



November 16, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400
House District 14 Recount Completed

AUGUSTA - A recount resulting from the November General Election was held today for House District 14.  William R. Savage (D) of Buxton remained the winner  by a margin of 22 votes after the ballots were recounted  under the supervision of the Secretary of State's Office.  John W. Vedral (R) of Buxton had requested the recount after the preliminary results from election day showed him to have lost the election.

Recounts are conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media may attend to observe.  State Troopers collect the ballots for the recounts as required by law.  The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks. State Troopers guard the ballots 24 hours a day.

A person requesting a recount may be required by law to make a deposit, depending on the margin of victory in the election.  For example, if the margin between the two candidates in an election is less than 2 % of the votes cast, then no deposit is required.  If the margin is 2 % to 4%, then a $500 deposit is required.  If the margin is greater than 4 %, then a $1,000 deposit is required.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.  Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the apparent results.  The candidates may revise these initial results based on the recount and their mutual agreement in determining the official election result.

A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.

If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome.  This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat.  This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution.

Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.

Recount Requests and Schedule

Senate  26
Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham  7,701
E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland 7,331
Friday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  14
William R. Savage (D) of Buxton  1,446  (1,450 - Completed total)
John W. Vedral III (R) of Buxton  1,420  (1,428 - Completed total)
Monday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  49
Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick 1,289
John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick 1,349
 Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 9 a.m
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  117
Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor  1,357
Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor  1,347
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  136
George H. Bunker Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. 1,278
Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth  1,338
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somerset County  Comm. 3
Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan 2,558
Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan 2,557
Friday, Nov. 20,  3 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
York Sheriff
Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford   25,928
Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford 25,518
Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updates and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount process by calling 626-8406.



For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
November 13, 1998
(207) 626-8400

First Set of Election Recounts Scheduled - More to Follow

AUGUSTA - A losing candidate seeking to overturn the results of the November 3, 1998 election has until 5 p.m. today, November 13, 1998, to request a recount.  Seven apparently unsuccessful candidates have pursued this option by filing a request for a recount with the Office of the Secretary of State. A listing of the requests and recount schedule, as of today, is attached.  Additional requests may be filed up until 5 p.m. today.

The recounts will be conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media may attend to observe.  State Troopers collect the ballots for the recounts as required by law.  The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks. State Troopers guard the ballots 24 hours a day.

A person requesting a recount may be required by law to make a deposit, depending on the margin of victory in the election.  For example, if the margin between the two candidates in an election is less than 2 % of the votes cast, then no deposit is required.  If the margin is 2 % to 4%, then a $500 deposit is required.  If the margin is greater than 4 %, then a $1,000 deposit is required.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.  Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the apparent results.  The candidates may revise these initial results based on the recount and their mutual agreement in determining the official election result.

A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.

If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome.  This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat.  This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution.

Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.
 

Recount Requests and Schedule

Senate  26
Carol A. Kontos (D) of Windham  7,701
E. Stephen Murray (R) of Cumberland 7,331
Friday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  14
William R. Savage (D) of Buxton  1,446
John W. Vedral III (R) of Buxton  1,420
Monday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  49
Reginald G. Pinkham (R) of Brunswick 1,289
John G. Richardson (D) of Brunswick 1,349
 Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 9 a.m
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  117
Christina L. Baker (D) of Bangor  1,357
Willard C. Farnham (R) of Bangor  1,347
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House  136
George H. Bunker Jr. (D) of Kossuth Twp. 1,278
Barry G. Gillis (R) of Danforth  1,338
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somerset County  Comm. 3
Joseph B. Bowman (D) of Skowhegan 2,558
Carol A. McKenney (R) of Skowhegan 2,557
Friday, Nov. 20,  3 p.m.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
York Sheriff
Philip G. Cote (D) of Sanford   25,928
Clinton Wesley Phinney Jr. (R) of Sanford 25,518
Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updates and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount process by calling 626-8406.
 




For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
November 16, 1998
207-626-8400
Secretary Gwadosky to Receive National Award for Young Drivers Initiative

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that the National Commission Against Drunk Driving (NCADD) has awarded the Maine Department of the Secretary of State with the NCADD's Fourteenth Annual State Award in recognition of Maine's improvements to the laws regarding the education and licensing of young drivers.

"We are very honored to be receiving this award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving," said Secretary Gwadosky.   "It is wonderful to receive recognition for our efforts, however," continued Gwadosky, "our true reward is in saving the lives of Maine's young people."

The NCADD recognizes state initiatives that seek to reduce impaired driving through comprehensive legislative, education and enforcement efforts.  The award will be presented on December 14, 1998 in Washington, D.C. during the Fourteenth Annual NCADD Awards Luncheon.   The NCADD will present awards in 11 separate categories.  The 1998 NCADD award recipients and categories are attached.  Previous State Award winners include North Carolina and Indiana in 1997 and 1996, respectively.

In 1997, Secretary Gwadosky established a Task Force on Young Drivers in response to the disproportionately high number of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries among drivers 15 to 24 years old.  The Task Force  reviewed the laws affecting young drivers, as well as the driver education program and made recommendations to improve the educational and licensing processes.  These recommendations were the most comprehensive improvements in driver licensing and training in the last 50 years.

The recommendations included changes in the licensing requirements, in the driver education program and in the driving examination.  The Legislature adopted the Task Force's recommendations to improve and strengthen the laws applying to young drivers.   Other recommendations have been implemented by Secretary Gwadosky's department, through the administrative process.

The NCADD award particularly highlighted the recommendations and legislation that strengthen the operating under the influence (OUI) laws.  Under the newly implemented laws, any person who operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs with any passengers under 21 years old will be subject to an additional suspension of 275 days.   This is an increase in the passenger age from 16 to 21.   Additionally, the penalty for operating under the influence for persons under the age of 21 years was increased for second and subsequent offenses.  The new law also provides for an 18 month suspension for drivers under 21 years old who refuse to take a chemical test.

The NCADD is a nonprofit organization of private and public sector leaders who are dedicated to minimizing the human and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes by working to make driving impaired a socially unacceptable act.  NCADD is the successor organization to the Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to develop the first report on this national problem.

****************************
Fourteenth Annual NCADD Awards Winners

Legislative Leadership - U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, State of Ohio
Law Enforcement - Suffolk County, NY Police Department's Selective Alcohol Task Force (SAFE-T Team)
Adjudication -  The Honorable Jeri Beth Cohen, Dade County, Florida
Media Awareness - National Association of Broadcasters', Stations Target Alcohol Abuse Reduction" (STAR) program
Government Leadership - Jim Long, Commissioner of  Insurance, North Carolina
Education and Prevention - Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning's "The Dummy's Guide to Youth Alcohol Programs"
Youth Initiative - MADD Youth in Action, San Diego County, California
Citizen Activist - Carol Harris, Remove Intoxicated Drivers; Ascadero, California
Corporate Leadership -  AAA Southern New England  "No One Has a License to Drink and Drive" program
State - Maine, Department of Secretary of State, "Task Force on Young Drivers"
Humanitarian of the Year - The late New York Senator Levy



November 2, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8406
Secretary Gwadosky to Visit Polling Sites Election Day

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be visiting a number of polling places across the state on election day in support of the Promote the Vote activities sponsored by his office.  Secretary Gwadosky will greet voters and distribute "I Voted Today!" stickers at the polls.   Secretary Gwadosky has also asked that voters Bring a Buddy with them to vote on Tuesday.

"I have challenged the people of Maine to go to the polls and lead the nation in voter turnout," stated Gwadosky.  "I plan to tour as much of the state as possible to show my support, greet voters, and personally provide them with 'I Voted Today!' stickers."

Secretary Gwadosky is scheduled to visit the following municipalities:

Municipality,   Poll Location,     Approximate Time
 Portland,   Ward 5, Precinct 6        8:30 a.m.
     (Universal Unitarian Church, Allen Avenue)
Ward 3, Precinct 3 and 4       9:00 a.m.
     (St. Patrick's Church, Congress Street)
South Portland Ward  5 (Memorial Middle School)      9:30 a.m.

Windham  Community Center    10:30 a.m.

Lewiston  Ward 7 (Lewiston Auburn College)  12:30 p.m.
Auburn  Ward 5 (New Auburn Community Ctr.)   1:00 p.m.
Augusta  Ward 1 (Armory)        2:00 p.m.
              Ward 2 (City Center)  2:30 p.m.

Bangor   Ward 2 (Abraham Lincoln School)     4:00 p.m.
              Ward 4 (Bangor Civic Center)       4:30 p.m.
Fairfield  Community Center        6:00 p.m.

Additional polling sites may be added as time permits.




October 30, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
Mock Election Results Favor Incumbents and Passage of Bond Questions

Approximately 175 students from 13 schools converged on the Bangor Auditorium to take part in the 1998 Maine Mock Election on Thursday evening.  Students received results phoned in from participating schools, tallied votes, listened to candidates and enjoyed pizza.  Students conducted most of the evening's activities--introducing speakers, making presentations on the issues, and participating in a news conference.

The Maine Mock Election was coordinated by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky as part of the Fostering Youth Involvement programs sponsored by his office.  The Maine effort is part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, a nonpartisan democracy education project which provided students in all 50 states an opportunity to cast ballots on October 29, 1998.

The preliminary results found the incumbents receiving the nod from the student voters.  The students also voted in favor of both bond questions.  The current voting percentages are listed below.  Final results of the Maine Mock Election will be compiled early next week, as the remaining schools provide their vote totals.  As of Friday afternoon, 43% of the schools had reported their results by phone, mail, fax and e-mail.  Current results are posted on the Secretary of State's web page and will be update periodically.

The Mock Election evening was sponsored by the Bangor Daily News, Coca-Cola, United States Cellular, Infotech, Hannaford Bros., Pizza Oven, WCSH Channel 6 and WLBZ Channel 2.

Governor
   5.6%  Clarke
   9.1%  Connolly
 62.1%  King
 11.2%  LaMarche
 12.0%  Longley

Congress 1st District
 58.3%  Allen
 34.1%  Connelly
   7.6%  Greiner

Congress 2nd District
76.5%  Baldacci
23.5%  Reisman

Question 1
69.2% Yes
30.8% No

Question 2
77.7%  Yes
22.3%  No




October 28, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
Student Mock Election to be Held October 29, 1998
Over 300 Schools Participating

AUGUSTA-- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that over 300 Maine schools will be participating in the Maine Mock Election that will be held on Thursday, October 29, 1998.  This event is part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, a nonpartisan democracy education project which provides students in all 50 states an opportunity to cast ballots on October 29, 1998.

"We have had a tremendous response from the schools across Maine," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This program is important because it allows students to get in the habit of voting, being involved in their community and following the issues that affect our state and nation."

"We are teaching students important lessons about democracy and the electoral process, but we must also teach by example," continued Gwadosky.   "We must remember these lessons and put them into practice ourselves."

Schools from across Maine will be reporting their mock election results to Mock Election Headquarters at the Bangor Auditorium from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Over 175 students from 13 schools will man the headquarters taking in statewide results from the 300 voting schools.  The program simulates election night activities for students and is run by students.  Students may participate in a number of events including a press conference, phone bank for receiving election results, tote board with election results, and a variety of presentations.  For the mock election vote, schools have been provided with a modified ballot that includes the candidates for Governor, Congress and the referendum questions.  However, the emphasis of the Mock Election is education, not just election results.

Several guests have been invited to address the students during the afternoon and evening festivities.  All candidates for Governor, Congress and the Legislature have been invited to attend.  A tentative list of attendees and schedule of events is attached.  Members of the media are welcome to attend.

The Maine Mock Election, part of the Fostering Youth Involvement program, is coordinated by Secretary Gwadosky with the assistance of a steering committee of educators and democracy advocates.  A list of committee members is attached.  The type of activities conducted at each school prior to the election is left to the creativity and judgment of the local organizers.

For additional information regarding the Mock Election Night Activities or the participating schools, please contact the Office of the Secretary of State at 626-8406.



 


October 26, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Challenges Maine Voters
to Lead Nation in Turnout

Scarborough--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky unveiled two new programs today that were developed as part of a promote the vote effort sponsored by his office.  Maine voters are being asked to "Bring a Buddy to Vote" on November 3, 1998, and many voters will be leaving the polls election day displaying an "I Voted Today!" sticker declaring their participation in the electoral process.  Secretary Gwadosky further challenged voters to "fool" the pollsters and continue Maine's tradition of outstanding voter turnout.

"The political analysts are predicting a low voter turnout nationwide this November," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "However, I believe the voters of Maine understand the importance of having a voice in government."

"Maine citizens have a strong record of voter turnout," said Gwadosky.  "They have a tradition of participating at town meeting and know that government begins with them.  We are merely providing them with a little encouragement and a reminder that voting is an important civic duty and a right to be valued."

Voters are being encouraged to Bring a Buddy to Vote.  This program asks Maine citizens to bring their spouse, neighbor, co-worker, or best friend with them when they go to cast a ballot on November 3, and seeks to draw a connection between the act of voting and its impact on the community.

"I Voted Today!" stickers is a pilot program designed to energize the electorate.  Over 100,000 stickers will be made available across the state at polling places that have agreed to be part of this pilot program.  A variety of sites have been selected based upon size and geographic location.  The stickers will be provided to voters at the time they cast their ballot.  It is hoped that the voter will then return to work, home, school or neighborhood and inspire and remind other people to take part in our democratic process.

Secretary Gwadosky was joined by several members of the committee to Promote the Vote.  The members described the individual efforts being undertaken by their organization to promote the vote.  Some of these efforts included producing posters and buttons to be displayed for employees and customers, providing sample ballots to employees, and encouraging voter registration and absentee voting.

The committee to Promote the Vote was established by Secretary Gwadosky to develop programs that would encourage voters to participate in the November general election.  In September, the Committee was instrumental in the statewide Citizenship Day voter registration drive that resulted in over 1000 completed registration cards on September 17, 1998.  Over 170 businesses, schools and organizations across Maine participated in this event.
 

Promote the Vote Steering Committee Members

Municipalities participating "I Voted Today!" sticker pilot program.

Auburn  Augusta  Bangor  Belfast  Biddeford  Brewer  Brunswick  Bucksport  Camden  Cape Elizabeth   Caribou  China  Dover-Foxcroft  East Millinocket  Eastport  Ellsworth  Fairfield  Farmington  Fort Kent  Fryeburg  Jay  Kittery  Lebanon  Lewiston  Lincoln Lubec Madawaska Madison Mexico Millinocket Old Town Old Orchard Beach Orono Portland Rumford Saco Sanford Skowhegan South Portland St. George Topsham Van Buren Waterboro Waterville Westbrook Whitefield Windham Winslow Wiscasset Yarmouth




October 22, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
MEDIA ADVISORY
Press Conference
Monday, October 26, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.
Shop 'N Save
205 US Route 1
Scarborough, ME

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will hold a press conference on Monday, October 26, 1998 at 10:00 a.m. at the Shop 'N Save located at 205 US Route 1, Scarborough.  Secretary Gwadosky will be joined by members of the Promote the Vote Committee and representatives of businesses and organizations that have been involved in the promote the vote activities this Fall.

At the press conference, Secretary Gwadosky will introduce two new programs "Bring a Buddy to Vote" and "I Voted Today!" stickers at  the polls.  The Bring a Buddy to Vote theme will encourage people to bring their spouse, neighbor, coworker, etc. to the polls with them on November 3.  The I Voted Today! stickers will be made available across the state at selected polling places as part of a pilot program.  A variety of sites have been selected based upon size and geographic location.

Secretary Gwadosky and the Promote the Vote Committee are encouraging participation in these programs to ensure that Maine is a leader in the nation for voter turnout this election.  Maine has a long tradition of strong voter turnout and the people of Maine will be challenged to prove the "experts" wrong and continue this trend.

Members of the Promote the Vote Committee will also have an opportunity to share the activities their business or organization has developed for their own employees and/or customers.




 

October 20, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Absentee Ballots Available at Municipal Clerk's Office for November 3 Election

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, the chief election official of the state, is reminding voters that absentee ballots are currently available from their municipal clerks for the November 3, 1998 general election.

"The people of Maine have a long standing tradition of participating in civic affairs by attending  town meetings and voting on election day," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "Absentee ballots allow Maine citizens to cast a ballot even if they are unable to go to the polls on election day.  Our democracy works best when people participate in the process.  That participation may be on election day or before election day with the availability of absentee ballots."

People who believe that they will be unable to vote at the polls on election day may obtain and cast an absentee ballot.  No specific reason need be given.  Voters should contact their local municipal clerk and complete an application  to request an absentee ballot.  Absentee ballots are available now and through election day.  Those people wanting to vote absentee, but who are not currently registered in their municipality, may also contact their municipal clerk to register absentee when requesting an absentee ballot.

Maine law allows a voter to request an absentee ballot from the municipal clerk in person, in writing by mail or fax, or by telephone.   Additionally, immediate family members may obtain an absentee ballot on the voter's behalf by making a request in writing.  Ballots that are obtained in this manner do not require witnesses, unless the voter received assistance when casting the ballot

Anyone who wants to make a request by mail should do so as soon as possible to ensure the timely receipt and return of the absentee ballot.  Completed absentee ballots must be received by the clerk before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, 1998.

Anyone wanting more information on absentee ballots may contact their municipal clerk or the Division of Elections at 287-4186 or visit the Secretary of State's web site at  www.state.me.us/sos/cec/elec/votereg.htm.  The web site also provides information on the referenda question.
 
 



October 6, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

License Plate Reservation Forms Available at Municipal Offices
Preparations for Chickadee License Plate Continue
Augusta--If you are fond of your license plate number and cannot bear to part with it when the new chickadee plates are distributed beginning July, 1999,  Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky says there is still time to reserve your number.

"Many people are excited about the new license plate design and want to be sure that they can keep their current license plate number," stated Gwadosky.  "We want everyone to know that the forms to retain their current number are available at their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office or at their municipal office."

A reservation system has been established by BMV to allow Maine motorists who want to retain their current plate number when the new license plate design is distributed.  To date over, 54,000 people have reserved their current plate numbers.

Anyone who wants to reserve their current plate number may pick up a form at any motor vehicle branch office and municipal offices that process motor vehicle registrations.  A brochure on the process is also available at these locations.  A $15.00 fee is required and a copy of your current registration  must be included with the reservation form.  The statutory fee is intended to cover the cost of producing and  handling the plate out of sequence.  In the case of vanity plate holders, the $15.00 reservation fee will be credited towards the next renewal of their plates.

Anyone who does not wish to reserve their current plate number will be issued a chickadee plate bearing the next available number at no additional charge.  It is estimated that over 90% of motor vehicle registrants will opt to receive a chickadee plate with the next available number and will incur no additional charge for the new plates.  Approximately 10% will likely take advantage of this reservation opportunity and select to retain their current number.  When the new general plate issue is completed, over 900,000 pairs of license plates will have been replaced with the chickadee design.

The license plate replacement was approved by the Legislature during the 1997 session.  A task force was established by the Legislature to consider designs for the new general issue license plate.  This task force, which included legislators, BMVrepresentatives and law enforcement officials, considered a number of designs and recommended the chickadee design, that was approved by the Legislature.

The following license plates will not be replaced by the chickadee design:  conservation plates (loon), University of Maine System (UMS), veteran, purple heart, trailer, prisoner of war, apportioned, and motorcycle/moped.

Anyone with questions regarding the reservation program or the new chickadee design plate should contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 287-9002 or visit our home page at www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm
 




September 30, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
New Driver Licensing Road Test More Challenging
Failure Rate of Applicants has Increased Since Implementation

Augusta--Anyone wanting a drivers' license in Maine faces a more challenging and skills based driving test since the implementation of new test requirements last month.  The preliminary results of the new road test requirements were announced by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky at a news conference today.  Secretary Gwadosky announced that the initial data indicates that  there has been a dramatic increase statewide in the failure rate since the August 31, 1998 start up date.  Historically, the disqualification rate for applicants taking the road test was 32%.   Of the 1295 statewide applicants who have taken the new driving test since August 31, 50% failed to receive their drivers' license.

"Our motivation is not to put fewer drivers on Maine roads, but to place more experienced drivers behind the wheel," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "We anticipate that the disqualification rate will drop, once applicants have had the benefit of the new driver education curriculum and the mandatory 35 hours of practice time," continued Gwadosky.

Before August 31, all road tests were given using a specific route which was often well known by the license applicant.  The new road test allows the driver examiner to use more varied routes, thereby eliminating memorization of a specific route by the applicant.  This new test, combined with the new driver education requirements, will help to ensure that drivers have the necessary skills and knowledge to drive on Maine's roads.  This is one of many programs being pursued by Secretary Gwadosky to combat sobering statistics involving young drivers.  Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people 15 to 24 years old.  Inexperience is generally a major factor in these crashes.

"We provide road tests at 30 locations throughout the state.  The examiners are rotated throughout the various locations," said Gwadosky.  "Regardless of where in Maine a road test is given, the examiner has been given additional time and discretion to test the applicant's skills in realistic driving conditions."

The new road test, designed to be longer, more challenging and relevant, was one of several recommendations from a study conducted by the Task Force on Young Drivers established by Secretary Gwadosky last year.  These recommendations were the most comprehensive improvements in driver licensing and training of individuals 15 to 24 years old in the last 50 years.  The recommendations included changes in the licensing requirements, in the driver education program and in the driving examination. 




September 28, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
MEDIA ADVISORY
Secretary Gwadosky to Hold Press Conference
to Discuss the Results of Maine's New Driver Licensing Road Test
Wednesday, September 30, 1998 at 10:00 a.m.
Office of the Secretary of State
Nash School Building
Corner of Capital and Sewall Streets, Augusta

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will hold a press conference Wednesday, September 30, 1998 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the recent changes in the road test examination process and provide details regarding the effectiveness of the new road test since its implementation last month.  The initial data indicates that there has been a dramatic increase statewide in the failure rate since the August 31, 1998 start up date.  Ron Lewberg and Deirdre Lyons, two driver license examiners, will join Secretary Gwadosky and provide comparisons between the prior and current road test requirements.

Before August 31, all road tests were given using specific routes, many times well known by the license applicant.  The new road test allows the driver examiner to use more varied routes, there by eliminating any prior knowledge by the applicant.  This new test, combined with the new driver education requirements, will help to ensure that drivers have the necessary skills and knowledge to drive on Maine's roads.  This is one of many programs being pursued by Secretary Gwadosky to combat sobering statistics involving young drivers.  One such statistic indicates that the leading cause of death for those 15 to 24 years old is motor vehicle crashes.  Inexperience is generally a major factor in these crashes.

The new road test, designed to be longer, more challenging and relevant, was one of several recommendations from a study conducted by the Task Force on Young Drivers established by Secretary Gwadosky last year.  These recommendations were the most comprehensive improvements in driver licensing and training of individuals 15 to 24 years old in the last 50 years.  The recommendations included changes in the licensing requirements, in the driver education program and in the driving examination.

The Legislature adopted the Task Force's recommendations to improve and strengthen the laws applying to young drivers.   Other recommendations, like the new road test, have been implemented by Gwadosky's department, through the administrative process.



For Immediate Release
September 17, 1998
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Statewide Voter Registration Drive Kick-Off Event
to Promote the Vote for November 3

South Portland--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky enlisted the help of Maine high schools, businesses and service organizations for a statewide voter registration drive today--Citizenship Day.  The kickoff event is an attempt to increase voter registration and to encourage citizens to exercise their right to vote on November 3, 1998.  The drive seeks to register 1000 new voters for the November General Election.  Over 170 businesses and organizations, high schools and adult education centers took part in this statewide event.  A complete listing of all the participants is attached.

"Voting is a fundamental right for all citizens of this country," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "By starting our voter registration efforts on Citizenship Day, we are trying to emphasize the importance of this right to the citizens of Maine and how it effects their everyday lives."

A Promote the Vote Steering Committee planned today's events, and  will be planning other activities for the fall to encourage voter participation.  Businesses and organizations will be asked to participate in other activities throughout October to increase people's awareness of the importance of casting a ballot on November 3, 1998.  Any business or organizations that would like to conduct a voter registration drive at their location during the next 4 weeks should contact Domna Giatas, at the Office of the Secretary of State (626-8406).

"Maine has had a long history of high voter turnout--leading the nation in 1992 and 1996," said Gwadosky.  "The turnout for the June primary was below average, and it is my hope and the goal of the Promote the Vote Committee, to improve the turnout figures for November.  Maine people should remember that if they cannot register today, they can register at their municipal office through election day," continued Gwadosky.

Secretary Gwadosky visited South Portland High School, accompanied by City clerk Linda Cohen, where he discussed the importance of voting with Stephen Matoian's civics class.  Students also conducted a voter registration drive.  Secretary Gwadosky then stopped by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Maine in South Portland, to observe the registration process at that location.

Secretary Gwadosky then joined the League of Women Voters at City Hall for the presentation and unveiling of a new instructional video "It's Time to Vote" that was produced in conjunction with the Office of the
Secretary of State and funded in part by Hannaford Bros. Co.
 



For Immediate Release
September 14, 1998
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

***MEDIA ADVISORY***
Statewide Voter Registration Drive Scheduled for
Citizenship Day, September 17, 1998
1000 New Registrations Sought

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky is enlisting the help of Maine high schools, businesses and service organizations for a statewide voter registration drive on Citizenship Day, September 17, 1998.  This will be a kickoff event to increase voter registration and to encourage citizens to exercise their right to vote on November 3, 1998.  This drive is seeking to register 1000 new voters for the November General Election.  Over 70 businesses and organizations, and more than 50 high schools and adult education centers will be taking part in this statewide event.  A complete listing of all the participants is attached.

A Promote the Vote Steering Committee has helped plan the events for September 17, and  will be planning other activities for the fall to encourage voter participation.  Businesses and organizations will be asked to participate in other activities throughout October to increase people's awareness of the importance of casting a ballot on November 3, 1998.  Any business or organizations that would like to conduct a voter registration drive at their location should contact Domna Giatas, at the Office of the Secretary of State (626-8406).

Secretary Gwadosky will be visiting South Portland High School at 9:00 a.m. and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Maine in South Portland at 10:30 a.m., to observe the registration process and to highlight the efforts of the many organizations throughout the state.  For additional information on the Blue Cross drive, please contact Jadine O'Brien at 822-7084.  Information on the drive being conducted by South Portland High School is available from Stephen Matoian at 767-3266.

Secretary Gwadosky will then join the Portland Area League of Women Voters at Portland City Hall at 12:00 p.m.  The League will be conducting a voter registration drive in the morning and then formally presenting a new instructional video "It's Time to Vote" that was produced in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary of State and funded in part by Hannaford Bros. Co.  A presentation is scheduled for noon at Portland City Hall.  For additional information regarding the League event, please call Judy Reynolds at 286-3266.

Promote the Vote Steering Committee Members

  Hon. Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State
  Hon. Harry True, State Representative
  Gretchen Jones, Maine Credit Union League
  Richard Tyler, Maine Principals' Association
  Judy Knapp, Hannaford Bros. Co.
  Kathy Montejo, Maine Town and City Clerks Association
  Sally Bryant, League of Women Voters
  Sarah Walton, League of Women Voters
  David Alan, Central Maine Power
  Jadine O'Brien, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine
  Terry McCabe, Maine School Board Association
  Dick Davies, Public Policy Associates, Inc.
  Rusty Robertson, Bath Iron Works
  Domna Giatas, Office of the Secretary of State

Participating members as of August 24, 1998

Participating Organizations, Businesses and Schools

"AMERICAN ASSOC OF UNIV WOMEN OF ME"
"AMERICAN LEGION"
"ASHLAND COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL"
"AUGUSTA AREA NEWCOMERS"
"AUGUSTA MOTOR VEHICLE BRANCH"
"AUGUSTA, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"AUGUSTA, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"BANGOR MOTOR VEHICLE"
"BANGOR, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"BANSCO FEDERAL CREDIT UNION"
"BIDDEFORD ADULT & COMMUNITY ED"
"BIW FIVE COUNTY CREDIT UNION"
"BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MAINE"
"BRUNSWICK, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"C.N. BROWN CO"
"CALAIS MOTOR VEHICLE"
"CAPITAL AREA FCU"
"CARIBOU MOTOR VEHICLE"
"CENTRAL MAINE POWER GROUP, INC"
"CENTRAL MAINE TECHNICAL COLLEGE"
"CHARLESTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY"
"CIANBRO CORPORATION"
"COLE-HAAN"
"COMTEL COMMUNITY SERV COMMUNICATION"
"CONTROL DEVICES, INC"
"CORY MEDICAL CENTER"
"CUMBERLAND COUNTY TEACHERS FCU"
"EASTERN FINE PAPER & UPIU LOCAL 403"
"EASTERN MAINE MEDICAL CENTER FCU"
"ELLSWORTH MOTOR VEHICLE"
"ELLSWORTH, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"FARMINGTON MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"FORT KENT FCU"
"FRANKLIN COUNTY ADULT BASIC ED."
"FREEPORT COMMUNITY EDU"
"G.H. BASS & CO"
"GOODALL LIBRARY LITERACY VOLUNTEERS"
"GUY GANNETT COMM EMPLOYEES FCU"
"HANNAFORD BROS. CO."
"HOULTON, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"KENNEBUNK MOTOR VEHICLE"
"LA VALLEE FCU"
"LEARNING CENTER REG 9"
"LEE AUTO MALL"
"LEWISTON BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLE"
"LEWISTON, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"LISBON ADULT ED"
"LOUISIANA - PACIFIC CORP"
"MAINE ASSOC. OF REALTORS"
"MAINE CREDIT UNION LEAGUE"
"MAINE EDUCATION CREDIT UNION"
"MARGARET CHASE SMITH LIBRARY"
"MARSHWOOD ADULT EDUCATION"
"MASSABESIC ADULT & COMMUNITY ED"
"MEXICO MOTOR VEHICLE"
"MILLINOCKET, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"MSAD #11 ADULT ED"
"MSAD #24 ADULT COMMUNITY EDU"
"MSAD #27, FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER"
"MSAD #29 & #70 ADULT EDUCATION"
"MSAD #33 ADULT & COMM ED."
"MSAD #40, ADULT EDU"
"MSAD #44, ADULT EDUCATION"
"MSAD #49 ADULT & COMM. EDUCATION"
"MSAD #60, NOBLE ADULT & COMM. EDU."
"MSAD #75 ADULT EDU."
"NORTHERN PENOBSCOT TECH (JMG)"
"NORTHRN PENOBSCOT TECH. (JMG)"
"OXFORD FEDERAL CREDIT UNION"
"PENOBSCOT JOB CORPS. CENTER"
"PEOPLES HERITAGE BANK"
"PORTLAND MOTOR VEHICLE"
"PORTLAND PRESS HERALD/ME SUNDAY TEL"
"PORTLAND WATER"
"PORTLAND WEST"
"PRESQUE ISLE, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"RAINBOW F.C.U."
"ROCKLAND MOTOR VEHICLE"
"SABATTUS REGIONAL CREDIT UNION"
"SACO DEFENSE INC"
"SACO VALLEY CREDIT UNIO"
"SACO, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"SEABOARD FCU"
"SKOWHEGAN COMMUNITY FCU"
"SKOWHEGAN, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"SO. PORTLAND, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"SOMERSET COUNTY BASIC SKILL PROGRAM"
"SOUTH PORTLAND BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLE"
"SPRINGVALE MOTOR VEHICLE"
"ST AGATHA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION"
"ST ANDREWS HOSPITAL & HEALTHCARE"
"ST. FRANCIS DE SALES FCU"
"ST. JOHN'S FEDERAL CREDIT UNION"
"STE. CROIX REGIONAL FCU"
"THE LEARNING CENTER"
"THOMASTON, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"TOPSHAM MOTOR VEHICLE"
"UNION #51 ADULT EDUCATION"
"UNIV OF ME AT FORT KENT YOUNG DEMOCRATS"
"UNIVERSITY CREDIT UNION"
"WALDO COMM. DEVELOPMENT FCU"
"WALDO COUNTY COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL ACTION"
"WATERVILLE ADULT ED"
"WATERVILLE, MAINE CENTER FOR WOMEN WORK & COMMUNITY"
"WAUSAU-MOSINEE PAPER CORP-OTIS MILL"
"WESTBROOK ADULT EDUCATION"
"WESTBROOK COMMUNITY HOSPITAL"
"WLBZ 2"
"ASHLAND COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL"
"MORSE HIGH SCHOOL"
"BELFAST AREA HIGH SCHOOL"
"TELSTAR HIGH SCHOOL"
"BRUNSWICK  HIGH SCHOOL"
"ELLSWORTH HIGH SCHOOL"
"LAWRENCE HIGH SCHOOL"
"GARDINER AREA HIGH SCHOOL"
"HERMON HIGH SCHOOL"
"SACOPEE VALLEY JR-SR H S"
"HODGDON HIGH SCHOOL"
"PENOBSCOT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL"
"FOREST HILLS CONSOLIDATED SCH"
"JONESPORT-BEALS HIGH SCHOOL"
"LEE ACADEMY"
"ST DOMINIC REG H S"
"MATTANAWCOOK ACADEMY"
"LIVERMORE FALLS HIGH SCHOOL"
"STEARNS HIGH SCHOOL"
"MONMOUTH ACADEMY"
"OLD TOWN HIGH SCHOOL"
"PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL"
"CHEVERUS HIGH SCHOOL"
"CATHERINE MCAULEY HIGH SCHOOL"
"RANGELEY LAKES REGIONAL SCHOOL"
"MOUNTAIN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL"
"SCARBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL"
"BERWICK ACADEMY"
"SOUTH PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL"
"GR PORTLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL"
"KATAHDIN HIGH SCHOOL"
"BONNY EAGLE HIGH SCHOOL"
"MT ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL"
"VAN BUREN DIST SECONDARY SCH"
"WESTBROOK HIGH SCHOOL"
"MT VIEW HIGH SCHOOL"
"WALDO REGIONAL TECH--REG 7"


September 14, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Unveils New Maine Kid's Page on Internet
Site Intended to Help Children Learn About Maine
Benton Elementary School, 62 Old Benton Neck Road in Benton, (207) 453-4240

BENTON -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky held a press conference today at the Benton Elementary School to unveil a new web site about Maine created especially for kids.  Secretary Gwadosky and Principal Suanne Giorgetti met with several members of  Phyllis Walder's 5th and 6th grade class to preview the site.  Students explored the various features on line during the press conference.

"We created this site to make information about the State easily accessible to our youngest Maine citizens, as well as children throughout the world," said Secretary Gwadosky.

A highlight of the Internet site is an illustrated story on how Maine laws are formed that was created by Secretary Gwadosky.  Other features include a "tree" of Maine facts; a primer on State government; a reading list of children's books about Maine; a composite of famous Maine people; a coloring book of State symbols; places to visit in Maine; a detailed history of the State; and much more.  Children can also solve a Maine word jumble to join the Chickadee Club.  Membership will provide them with a personal letter from the Secretary of State and a special membership pin.

"It is my hope that the site will compliment school curriculums by consolidating a variety of information about Maine, as well as providing on line links to more detailed information and other educational tools" said Secretary Gwadosky. "The site is also a fun place to visit with pictures to color and word games to solve, that also allows children to learn more about Maine."

The web site is offered as part of the Maine Secretary of State's Fostering Youth Involvement (FYI) program to promote civic awareness and participation among young people.

Look for the web site off the Secretary of State's home page at www.state.me.us/sos/kids.  The site will also be available off the Maine State Government home page at www.state.me.us/.



August 3, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky
to Honor Bar Harbor Band
or 100 Years of Incorporation

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be honoring the Bar Harbor Band for 100 years of incorporation.  The nonprofit organization was incorporated in the state of Maine on September 27, 1898.  Secretary Gwadosky will be presenting a special citation to Donald Wood, conductor and Donald Hobbs, clerk of the corporation.  The presentation will be made Monday, August 3, 1998 at 7:30 p.m., before the Band's concert.

The Bar Harbor Band is one of eleven corporations celebrating their centennial anniversary this year.  In addition to the Bar Harbor Band, 7 nonprofit corporations--South Sangerville Grange No. 35; Monticello Grange No. 338, Patrons of Husbandry; Seal Harbor Library Association; West Eden Village Improvement Society; Houlton Grange No. 16, Patrons of Husbandry; Portland Country Club; and Trustees of the Charity Fund of Hiram Lodge; and 3 businesses--Campbell Bosworth Machinery Company, Great Northern Nekoosa Corporation, and C. M. Bowker Co. are celebrating their 100 year landmark.

"I enjoy this opportunity to recognize these Maine businesses and nonprofit organizations for their longevity," said Secretary Gwadosky.  "It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to keep an organization or business active for 100 years."

The Bar Harbor Band holds 15 concerts each summer on the Village Green.  The band has approximately 35 regular members and draws from local high schools, year round and summer residents and business people.




July 31, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400
National Association of Secretaries of State Elects
Gwadosky as Regional Vice President
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky was elected Eastern Regional Vice President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) during its summer meeting and conference this month in Salt Lake City, Utah.  As regional vice president, he will represent the 11 easternmost states along with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Gwadosky will also sit on the NASS Executive Committee which provides leadership and is responsible for ensuring the organization's activities are completed.

The NASS members are always seeking ways to improve voter participation in their states.  The secretaries often share ideas, programs and information that will encourage citizens to register and to vote.  Additionally, they also seek to establish programs that will increase students' awareness of the democratic process.  At the July meeting, the NASS members decided to initiate a nationwide study that will address the low voter participation by America's young people.  This project, which will last three to five years, will measure the perceptions that 18 - 25 year olds have of the democratic process.  Using the results of this analysis, NASS will attempt to reverse the current trend through proper education and programs.

NASS was established in 1904 to assist Secretaries of State in the public administration of their duties.  Over the years, these responsibilities of the office have evolved to include a variety of fields, however, the organization continues to provide these elected officials with information and education to efficiently serve the public.  Many of the common areas shared by secretaries of state are election oversight, corporate filing, Uniform Commercial Code filing and campaign finance and ethics administration.
 



July 29, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

First phase begins in process to issue new license plates
Chickadee License Plate Available July 1, 1999

Warren--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that the first phase for implementation of the new chickadee license plate adopted by the 118th Legislature has begun through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). All license plates with the lobster design will be replaced beginning July 1, 1999.

The license plate replacement was approved by the Legislature during the 1997 session.  A task force was established by the Legislature to consider designs for the new general issue license plate.  This task force, which included legislators, BMVrepresentatives and law enforcement officials, considered a number of designs and recommended the chickadee design, that was approved by the Legislature.

A reservation system has been established by BMV to allow Maine motorists who want to retain their current plate number when the new license plate design is distributed.  To date over, 30,000 people have reserved their current plate number.   When the new general plate issue is completed, over 900,000 pairs of license plates will have been replaced with the chickadee design.  "Replacing this number of license plates is a tremendous undertaking, and we are determined to make this transition as convenient as possible for Maine citizens," stated Secretary Gwadosky.

Anyone who does not wish to reserve their current plate number will be issued a chickadee plate bearing the next available number at no additional charge.  It is estimated that over 90% of motor vehicle registrants will opt to receive a chickadee plate with the next available number and will incur no additional charge for the new plates.  Approximately 9% will likely take advantage of this reservation opportunity and select to retain their current number.

Anyone who wants to reserve their current plate number may pick up a form at any motor vehicle branch office and municipal offices that process motor vehicle registrations.  A brochure on the process is also available at these locations.  A $15.00 fee is required and a copy of your current registration  must be included with the reservation form.  The statutory fee is intended to cover the cost of handling the plate out of sequence.  In the case of vanity plate holders, the $15.00 reservation fee will be credited towards the next renewal of their plates.

The following license plates will not be replaced by the chickadee design:  conservation plates (loon), University of Maine System (UMS), veteran, purple heart, trailer, prisoner of war, apportioned, and motorcycle/moped.

The lobster license plate was issued in 1987.  Prior to that date, Maine had a white plate with black lettering from 1974 to 1987 and a yellow plate with black lettering from 1968 to 1974.

Any questions regarding the reservation program or the new chickadee design plate should contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 287-9002 or visit our home page at www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm



July 9, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky sets order of ballot questions
Drawing determines placement of questions on November 3 ballot

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky conducted a public drawing today to determine the order of the two bond issues scheduled to appear on the November 3, 1998 referendum ballot. Secretary Gwadosky held the lottery at 11:00 a.m. in his office in Augusta. The drawing process for ballot position is required by Maine law.

The two bond issues will appear on the November 3, 1998, ballot as follows:

Question 1 (P.L. 718)
Do you favor a $20,000,000 bond issue to improve the Maine economy by supporting innovative research and development by businesses and nonprofit and educational institutions in the fields of biotechnology, computers and other information technology, aquaculture and marine technology, forestry and agriculture and advanced materials?

Question 2 (P. & S. 92)
Do you favor a $7,000,000 bond issue for the following purposes:

  1. $3,350,000 to construct water pollution control facilities, providing the state match for $10,000,000 in federal funds;
  2. $1,000,000 to protect the public health and safety and the environment by providing funds for the cleanup of tire stockpiles;
  3. $1,150,000 to investigate, abate, clean up and mitigate threats to the public health and the environment from hazardous substance discharges; and
  4. $1,500,000 to construct drinking water system improvements that address public health threats, providing the state match for $7,100,000 in federal funds?

June 26, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

First Recount Completed - Candidate Fails to Qualify as a Write-in

AUGUSTA - A recount resulting from the June Primary Election was held today to determine if Daniel Fowler of Old Orchard Beach, a write-in candidate for the Republican Primary in York County Commissioner District 3, received sufficient votes to qualify as his party's candidate.  Although Mr. Fowler picked up three votes for a total of 82, he failed to qualify.  A person attempting to qualify as a write-in candidate for the office of county commissioner must receive a minimum of 100 votes.

The second and final recount is scheduled for Monday, June 29, 1998.  Richard R. Farnsworth of Portland, a candidate for the Democratic Primary in House of Representatives District 32, is requesting a recount in the race he apparently lost to John F. McDonough, also of Portland.

The Maine State Police have already collected the ballots needed from each community involved in the recounts.  The ballots are stored in special security containers and are kept in a secure State Police facility.  The recount will be conducted at the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding, but the number of observers is limited by the size of the recount site.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff in the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine if the initial tabulation in the election is correct.  The candidates may revise the election results based on the recount and by their mutual agreement.  A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the recount, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes and passes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.  If the recount produces enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome of the election, the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine shall review the disputed ballots and will determine the outcome of the election.  In a recount for a write-in candidate with no opponent, all ballots counted for the candidate are considered disputed.

Daily updates regarding the progress of the recounts will be available to the media at 5 p.m. or shortly thereafter on each day of recounts.

To get information about the recounts or to receive the daily updates, please contact Rebecca Wyke or Domna Giatas at 626-8406.
 
 

Date Race Candidates Initial Result Recount Result
Friday, June 26 
8:30 a.m.
York County Commissioner 
District #3
Daniel Fowler - R 79 82* 
*Difference of 18 votes, from 100 votes needed to qualify.
Monday, June 29 
8:30 a.m.
House of Representatives 
District #32
Richard R. Farnsworth - D 
John F. McDonough - D
324 
336
pending 
pending 
Apparent difference of 12 votes, or 1.8% of all votes cast.



June 25, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Recounts Resulting From the June 9 Primary Election to Begin Friday

AUGUSTA - Two recounts resulting from the June Primary Election will begin on Friday, June 26, 1998 and are scheduled to conclude the following week.

Daniel Fowler of Old Orchard Beach a write-in candidate for the Republican Primary in York County Commissioner District 3, has requested a recount to determine if he received sufficient votes to qualify as his party's candidate.  A person attempting to qualify as a write-in candidate for the office of county commissioner must receive a minimum of 100 votes.

Richard R. Farnsworth of Portland, a candidate for the Democratic Primary in House of Representatives District 32, is requesting a recount in the race he apparently lost to John F. McDonough, also of Portland.

The Maine State Police have already collected the ballots needed from each community involved in the recounts.  The ballots are stored in special security containers and are kept in a secure State Police facility.  The recount will be conducted at the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory in Augusta.  Recounts are a public proceeding, but the number of observers is limited by the size of the recount site.

In a recount, the candidates and the staff in the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine if the initial tabulation in the election is correct.  The candidates may revise the election results based on the recount and by their mutual agreement.  A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the recount, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election.  If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes and passes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.  If the recount produces enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome of the election, the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine shall review the disputed ballots and will determine the outcome of the election.  In a recount for a write-in candidate with no opponent, all ballots counted for the candidate are considered disputed.

Daily updates regarding the progress of the recounts will be available to the media at 5 p.m. or shortly thereafter on each day of recounts.

To get information about the recounts or to receive the daily updates, please contact Rebecca Wyke or Domna Giatas at 626-8406.

June Primary Election
Recount Schedule
Date Race Candidates Initial Result Recount Result
Friday, June 26 
8:30 a.m.
York County Commissioner 
District #3
Daniel Fowler - R 79 pending 
Apparent difference of 21 votes, from 100 votes needed to qualify.
Monday, June 29 
8:30 a.m.
House of Representatives 
District #32
Richard R. Farnsworth - D 
John F. McDonough - D
324 
336
pending 
pending 
Apparent difference of 12 votes, or 1.8% of all votes cast.

 



June 15, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Suspends Two Motor Carriers

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky has issued suspensions for two motor carriers who conduct business in Maine.  Secretary Gwadosky's suspensions of Vance Worster & Son and Lloyd Jandreau & Sons were made pursuant to recommendations received from the Motor Carrier Review Board.  Vance Worster & Son has been suspended for 45 days and Lloyd Jandreau & Sons for 14 days.  The suspensions prohibit the carriers from operating commercial vehicles in Maine.  The suspensions will become effective June 22, 1998.  Each of the motor carriers will also be required to submit a safety plan prior to their reinstatement.  Either motor carrier may request an administrative hearing on the suspension before July 2, 1998.

"Given the records of these carriers, some action was necessary to make them reconsider their safety procedures, and take the steps needed to correct the habitual violations," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "The suspension period provides carriers with an opportunity ensure their drivers and vehicles operate within the safety requirements of Maine law."

Both carriers had a history of over weight violations, among other violations that resulted in their review by the Board and the subsequent recommendation for suspension.

The Motor Carrier Review Board gives special consideration to hours of service, gross vehicle weight, log book and vehicle defect violations.  The Board is comprised of representatives from large and small motor carriers, the forest products industry, the insurance industry and a citizen representative who is a member of 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.


June 8, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Encourages Citizens to "Cast a Ballot"
Bond Questions Open to All Registered Voters

Augusta-- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky is encouraging all registered voters to go to the polls tomorrow, June 9, 1998 and cast a ballot in the primary and referenda election.  While the June election is usually reserved for the selection of candidates by the major parties, this year there will also be a referendum ballot with 3 bond issues.  Any registered voter may participate and cast a referendum ballot.  Anyone enrolled in a political party may also vote for primary candidates.  Over 500 candidates will appear on over 1800 different ballots across the state.

"We all lead busy lives, however, we all need to take the time to go to the polls and cast a ballot on June 9th," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "June elections have traditionally been a day for selecting party candidates, but this year three bond issues will be decided and anyone who is registered to vote, regardless of party affiliation, may cast a referendum ballot."

"It is easy for us to take our right to vote for granted--to decide that voting on bond questions is somehow less important than casting a ballot for governor or president," continued Gwadosky.  "However, participation in the electoral process is crucial no matter the issue or elective office."

The bond questions on Tuesday's referendum ballot are as follows:

Question 1
Do you favor a $36,985,000 bond issue for improvements to municipal and state roads, airports, state ferry vessels and terminals, transit facilities and equipment and rail and marine facilities that makes the State eligible for over $60,000,000 in matching federal, local and private funds?

Question 2
Do you favor a $6,000,000 bond issue to construct water pollution control facilities, to close and clean up municipal solid waste landfills and to mitigate storm water pollution through a comprehensive watershed protection program?

Question 3
Do you favor a $5,000,000 bond issue for capital expenses for vocational high schools?

Additional information regarding the bond questions is available over the Secretary of State's web site at www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm.  The Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election is available on the Division of Elections portion of the web site.

Anyone who needs to register to vote may do so on election day by contacting your local municipal clerk or registrar.  While all polling places close at 8:00 p.m., check with your municipal officials regarding opening times, as these vary from municipality to municipality.



May 15, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Court Upholds Gwadosky on Medical Marijuana Petition

AUGUSTA - Superior Court Justice Margaret J. Kravchuk today upheld Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky's decision to invalidate the effort to place a medical marijuana initiative before voters this year.  At issue were Maine's constitutional requirements that a petition circulator be a resident of the State and a registered voter.

"The Maine Constitution clearly intended to ensure that the direct initiative process was reserved for Maine residents," wrote Justice Kravchuk in her decision.

Justice Kravchuk further stated, "This Court cannot imagine how a democratic government could fashion a more narrowly tailored nor less intrusive requirement for determining residency.  It ensures that, in the absence of fraud, all parties, . . . know at the start of the process that the circulators have met the residency requirement."

The court order affirmed the overall decision of the Secretary of State to invalidate the petition.  The order also remanded 1,033 (of the 22,507 signatures invalidated) to the Secretary of State for further investigation.  The effect of the Secretary's decision will not be altered by the remand.

"I am pleased with the Court's decision.  I believe that the citizen initiative process was added to the Maine Constitution to allow the people of Maine another avenue to the legislative process," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "Today's decision has confirmed this belief."

Supporters of a medical marijuana initiative waged a brief but expensive campaign to place a question before Maine voters in 1998.  Over $125,000 was raised and spent on the campaign.  Nearly all of the money came from a California based organization called "Americans for Medical Rights."  Over $100,000 of that money was paid to a firm called "Progressive Campaigns," also out of California.

The majority of the signatures found invalid were excluded by local officials because the signatures did not belong to a registered voter or were duplicates.  A number of signatures were excluded because the circulator was not a registered Maine voter and/or not a Maine resident, as required by the Maine Constitution.

Supporters of the medical marijuana initiative have until January 21, 1999 to file additional signatures to qualify for the 1999 ballot.  The total number of signatures needed for approval will change after the 1998 gubernatorial election, as initiators must submit signatures equivalent to 10% of the vote cast in the last gubernatorial election.  No signature older than 1 year may be counted.  The petition was approved for circulation on October 24, 1997.

"Once again the Attorney General's Office has done a tremendous job in protecting the interests of the citizens of Maine," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We are fortunate to have such dedicated public servants."



 

May 13, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Winners of Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest
to View Original Maine Constitution

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced the winning students of a Maine Constitution Poster and Essay Contest.  In an effort to promote an awareness of Maine history and the importance of democracy and voting, Secretary Gwadosky sponsored a Maine Constitution Poster and Essay Contest this Spring.  Invitations to participate were mailed to all Maine schools. Students could participate in one of four categories based upon grade level.  Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 could draw a poster on the symbols of Maine (chickadee, pine tree, state seal, etc.).  Grades 4 and 5 were asked to draw a poster pertaining to Maine History.  Students in grades 6 to 8 could submit an essay on the Maine Constitution, while grades 9 to 12 were given the topic "the Importance of Voting and Democracy."  Over 500 posters were submitted by Maine schools and the essay portion of the contest received over 100 entries.

"We received some excellent entries in all the categories," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "There were many fine posters and essays and it was difficult to select the winners."

The winners in each of the categories are as follows:

Posters
Grades K-3 Maine Symbols  Will Bardaglio  Wayne Elementary School
Grades 4-5 Maine History  Dustin Jalbert  Dr. Levesque School, Frenchville

Essays
Grades 6-8 Maine Constitution Scott Keenan  Greater Portland Christian School
Grades 9-12 Voting and Democracy Brooke Alley  Skowhegan Area High School

The winners of the contest receive a $100 savings bond and have been invited by Secretary Gwadosky to visit Augusta and the Capital Complex and to view the original Maine Constitution with the members of their class.

The winners and their classmates have visits to Augusta scheduled for the following dates:

  May 8, 1998  Skowhegan Area High School
  May 15, 1998  Dr. Levesque School
  May 18, 1998  Wayne Elementary School
  May 22, 1998  Greater Portland Christian School

The contest judges included Secretary Gwadosky, State Senator Beverly Daggett (Kennebec County), State Representatives Carol Kontos (Windham) and Harry True (Fryeburg), Glenn Adams from the Associated Press, Nancy Kelleher, Deputy Secretary of State for Corporation, Elections and Commissions and Sylvia Sherman, Director of Archive Services.

The winning posters and essays may be viewed at the Maine State Archives in Augusta, or over the Internet on the Secretary of State's home page (www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm).  Additionally, the poster entries from the various schools have been distributed to the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch offices for display through the month of May.

"The essays we reviewed were well thought out and well written and the posters showed much effort and imagination," said Gwadosky.  "We have had tremendous support from Maine schools for these youth projects."



 

May 1, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Internet Access to Candidate Financial Reports
New Web Site to Host Campaign Finance Reports Filed by Candidates for Governor

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky and the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices today announced a new web site that will offer access to campaign finance reports filed by candidates for the office of Governor.  The new site is hosted by the Secretary of State as a public service for the 1998 Gubernatorial Election.

"For the first time voters will have easy access to information on how campaigns are financed," said Secretary Gwadosky.  "This information is a valuable tool to assist voters in evaluating their choice for Governor."

Campaign finance reports have always been open for public review, however, web site availability will improve citizens' ability to access these documents.

"The Commission is very enthusiastic about sharing this information with citizens electronically," said Peter Webster, Chair of the Commission.  "The Commission is working towards implementing the provisions of the Maine Clean Election Act for the year 2000 elections, but this is a great first step."

Under the Maine Clean Election Act, the State Ethics Commission plans to develop electronic campaign filing and monitoring capabilities by the year 2000 election campaigns for all state and county offices over which the Commission has jurisdiction.

The web site contains a listing of the gubernatorial candidates that have filed reports.  A copy of the report can be accessed by "clicking" on the candidate's name.  The reports can be viewed on the screen or printed.  Each report contains detailed information about campaign contributions and spending.  The site also contains the 1998 campaign finance report filing schedule as well as blank report forms that candidates can print as needed.

The web site can be accessed from the Secretary of State's home page at:  www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm



 

April 13, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Young Driver's Legislation Signed Into Law Today
Task Force Joins Secretary Gwadosky for Ceremony

Augusta--The legislation proposed by the Task Force on Young Drivers was signed into law today by Governor Angus S. King, Jr.   Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky established the Task Force to consider changes in the licensing and testing procedures, as well as driver education requirements.

"This day marks the beginning of a new era in driver education and driver licensing.  We must all do our part to encourage and instruct our young people to be safe and knowledgeable drivers," stated Secretary Gwadosky.  "I am very proud of the work done by the Task Force.  The members were dedicated to this issue, and to proposing fair, yet effective changes in the law," continued Gwadosky.  "These are the most sweeping changes in the driver education requirements in the past 50 years."

On hand for the signing ceremony in the Governor's Office were several members of the Task Force and various Legislators who sponsored the legislation.  The new laws will become effective in August, 1998.

In addition to the legislation, the Task Force also proposed several changes in the road test procedures and educational requirements for driver education instructors.   These changes were adopted by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles through the rule making process.  Some provisions affecting the driver education instructors are currently in effect.  Other provisions, such as the increase in driving time that must be provided in driver education courses, will become effective July 1, 1998.

A complete copy of the Task Force Report and the recommendations are available from the Office of the Secretary of State, or on the home page www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm



April 10, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

**MEDIA ADVISORY**












Governor to Sign Young Driver's Legislation
Ceremony Scheduled for Monday, April 13, 1998

Augusta--Governor Angus S. King, Jr. will sign the young driver's legislation on Monday, April 13, 1998 at 11:30 a.m. in his office at the State House.  Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and the members of the Task Force on Young Driver's will be present for the ceremony.

Sponsors of the legislation were Senator Robert Murray* (Penobscot), Representative Jeffery Joyner* (Hollis), Senator Jane Amero (Cumberland), Senator William O'Gara (Cumberland), Representative Joseph Driscoll (Calais), Representative Carol Kontos* (Windham), Representative David Lindahl* (Northport), Representative Michael McAlevey* (Waterboro), Representative Edward Povich* (Ellsworth) and Representative Michael Saxl (Portland).

Members of the Task Force included Secretary Gwadosky and the legislators identified with an asterisk (*) above and the following individuals:

Dr. Fred Ackley, Clinical Psychologist (Monmouth), Judy Plummer, Vice President Acadia Insurance Company (Wilton), Col. Malcolm Dow, Chief of Maine State Police (Augusta), Richard Perkins, Director of Maine Bureau of Highway Safety (Augusta), Ted Potter, Deputy Secretary of State (Gardiner), William Dowling, Assistant Deputy Secretary of State (Augusta), and Robert O'Connell, Director Driver Licensing and Control (Augusta).

Generally, the law includes the following provisions:

 The age requirement for taking drivers education in order to apply for a driver's license   will be increased to include 17 year olds.  Current law does not require 17 year olds to   take driver education.

 Drivers with a permit must drive with a licensed driver 20 years old or older,    an increase from the current law which allowed 18 year olds to supervise permittees.

 Drivers with a permit will be required to log a minimum of 35 hours of driving time   before being allowed to obtain a provisional driver's license.  This requirement is in   addition to any driving time obtained through driver education classes.  The 35 hours   must include at least 5 hours of night driving.

 The provisional license period for drivers under 21 years old will be extended from 1 year  to 2 years with respect to moving violations.

 The number of passengers who can ride with a driver under 21 years old will be limited   to the number of seat belts in the vehicle.

 The license suspension periods will be increased for moving violations occurring during   the provisional license period.

 Anyone operating a motor vehicle under the influence with any passengers under 21   years old will be subject to additional suspension penalties.

 The penalties will be increased for drivers under 21 years old involved in second or   multiple OUI offenses.
 

The complete copy of the Task Force Report is available on the Secretary of State's home page at www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm


April 8, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan Gwadosky
626-8400

Court Upholds Gwadosky On Second Tax Cap Effort

AUGUSTA - Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills today upheld Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky's decision to reject a second attempt to qualify a statewide property tax cap initiative for the ballot.  The court ruling stated that none of the signatures were improperly invalidated.

"I'm very pleased with the Court's ruling.  I was confident that our decision to invalidate the petition would be upheld," stated Gwadosky.  "The integrity of the petition process is important to our democracy and must be protected."

In decisions issued January 16 and March 4, 1998, Secretary Gwadosky ruled that the petitioners fell short of their goal by 6,369 signatures.  Thousands of signatures were invalidated because they were tainted by fraud.

"The Attorney General's Office was invaluable in the investigation and preparation of this case for trial," said Gwadosky.  "Their work on this case was exceptional."

   Summary of Signatures Determined Valid/Invalid

Excerpts from Justice Mill's decision:

"This case marks the second time that Ms. Palesky has been involved in an effort regarding the proposed legislation in which signatures were invalidated based on alterations by the petitioners."

"The end of enacting this proposed tax legislation does not justify any means to that end."

"The invalidation of the signatures on the petitions of these seven circulators did not result from any conspiracy in the government or from technicalities, as the petitioners argue, but from deliberate disregard of the requirements of Maine's constitution and laws."

For additional information, see press releases dated January 16, 1998 and March 4, 1998


April 7, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  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 three questions scheduled to be on the June 9, 1998 ballot.  Secretary Gwadosky held the lottery at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 7, 1998 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 Tuesday to determine the order of the questions within each of the previously listed categories.

The questions will appear on the June 9, 1998 ballot in the following order:

Bond Issues

Question 1 (L.D. 1812, awaiting Governor's signature)
Do you favor a $36,985,000 bond issue for improvements to municipal and state roads, airports, state ferry vessels and terminals, transit facilities and equipment and rail and marine facilities that makes the State eligible for over $60,000,000 in matching federal, local and private funds?

Question 2 (PL 561)
Do you favor a $6,000,000 bond issue to construct water pollution control facilities, to close and clean up municipal solid waste landfills and to mitigate storm water pollution through a comprehensive watershed protection program?

Question 3 (P&S 57)
Do you favor a $5,000,000 bond issue for capital expenses for vocational high schools?
 




April 6, 1998
For Immediate Release
Call: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400
* MEDIA ADVISORY *

Gwadosky to Hold Ballot Drawing Tuesday
Results will Set Order of Questions on June 9 Ballot

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that he will conduct a public drawing on Tuesday, April 7, 1998 to determine the order of the 3 questions scheduled to be on the June 9, 1998 ballot.

Secretary Gwadosky will conduct the drawing at  9:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 7, 1998 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's drawing on Tuesday will determine the order of the questions within each of the previously mentioned categories.

The questions that will appear on the June 9, 1998 ballot are below, and placed in no particular order.

STATE OF MAINE
Referendum Election, June 9, 1998
LISTING OF REFERENDUM QUESTIONS

Bond Issues

Question____ (P&S 57)
Do you favor a $5,000,000 bond issue for capital expenses for vocational high schools?

Question_____ (PL 561)
Do you favor a $6,000,000 bond issue to construct water pollution control facilities, to close and clean up municipal solid waste landfills and to mitigate storm water pollution through a comprehensive watershed protection program?

Question_____(L.D. 1812, awaiting Governor's signature)
Do you favor a $36,985,000 bond issue for improvements to municipal and state roads, airports, state ferry vessels and terminals, transit facilities and equipment and rail and marine facilities that makes the State eligible for over $60,000,000 in matching federal, local and private funds?


March 31, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky Rules Medical Marijuana Petitions Invalid, For Now
Petitions Came Up Short, but Still Have Time to Qualify for the 1999 Ballot

AUGUSTA - Today, Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky announced that an effort to gather enough signatures to place a medical marijuana initiative before voters has failed to qualify for the 1998 ballot.  The effort fell 5,308 signatures short.  However, the organizers still have time to gather more signatures and qualify for the 1999 ballot.

"The petitioners ran a well organized and well financed campaign," said Secretary Gwadosky.  "However, their efforts fell short for this year's ballot."

Supporters of a medical marijuana initiative waged a brief but expensive campaign to place a question before Maine voters in 1998.  Over $125,000 was raised and spent on the campaign.  Nearly all of the money came from a California based organization called "Americans for Medical Rights."  Over $100,000 of that money was paid to a firm called "Progressive Campaigns," also out of California.

The majority of the signatures found invalid were excluded by local officials because the signatures did not belong to a registered voter or were duplicates.  Other signatures were excluded because of defects found in the petitions.  A number of signatures were excluded because the circulator was not a registered Maine voter and/or not a Maine resident, as required by the Maine Constitution, despite making an oath to that effect on the petition.  Some signatures were excluded because they were found to be forgeries.  An investigation into the forged signatures and other irregularities found in these petitions is ongoing.

"When the people of Maine voted to put the right to petition the government in their Constitution, they intended the process to be carried out by Maine citizens," said Gwadosky.  "That the circulator must be a  resident of Maine and a registered voter, and must take an oath to that effect, goes to the integrity of the petitioning process.  It ensures that legislation initiated through this process is put forth by Maine citizens and not out-of-state interests."

   Summary of Signatures Determined Valid/Invalid

"We are concerned about the irregularities found in this petition.  We are continuing to examine the petitions and will work with the Attorney General's Office on the investigation," said Gwadosky.  "The citizens of Maine deserve to have confidence in the petitioning process."

Supporters of the medical marijuana initiative have until January 21, 1999 to file additional signatures to qualify for the 1999 ballot.  The total number of signatures needed for approval will change after the 1998 gubernatorial election, as initiators must submit signatures equivalent to 10% of the vote cast in the last gubernatorial election.  No signature older than 1 year may be counted.  The petition was approved for circulation on October 24, 1997.

STATE OF MAINE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

DETERMINATION OF THE VALIDITY
OF A PETITION FOR INITIATED LEGISLATION ENTITLED:

"An Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana"

1. On February 24, 1998, petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State, pursuant to the Superior Court's order in Clark et al v. Secretary of State, Civil Action Docket No. AP-98-11, and were added to the petitions already on file for a combined total of 68,330 signatures, pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 on behalf of the initiated legislation entitled, "An Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana."

2. Following a review of the petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:

3. For the reasons set forth above, I find that 22,507 signatures are invalid.  The exact number of valid signatures cannot be confirmed at this time.  The investigation of a number of reported irregularities is ongoing, including the residency of certain circulators and the possibility that other signatures on petitions were forged.  The number of signatures required to determine the petition valid is 51,131.  Because the number of signatures deemed invalid to date is 5,308 less than the required minimum, I find the petition to be invalid.
 

Dated:  March 31, 1998

Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State
 



March 30, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Press Conference Scheduled for March 31, 1998
Gwadosky to Rule on Validity of Medical Marijuana Petition

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will hold a press conference on Tuesday,  March 31, 1998 at 11:00 a.m. to announce the result of the petition drive conducted by a group seeking to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.  The press conference will be held at the Office of the Secretary of State located in the Nash School Building on the corner of Sewell and Capitol Streets.

If successful, the following question would be put before voters this year:

"Do you want to allow patients with specific illnesses to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for treatment, as long as such use is approved by a doctor?"

On February 2, 1998, a group known as Mainers for Medical Rights filed a petition with the Office of the Secretary of State in an effort to place an initiative question on the November 1998 ballot to allow for the medical use of marijuana.  To be successful, the group needs to collect 51,131 signatures.  Gwadosky will issue his ruling on the group's efforts tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.



March 18, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Domna Giatas
207-626-8406

March 20th Proclaimed Transportation Safety Day

Augusta -- In conjunction with the Maine Transportation Safety Coalition's (MTSC) conference on transportation safety, Governor Angus S. King, Jr. proclaimed March 20, 1998 Transportation Safety Day. The conference, "Speed, Sobriety and Sensibility on Maine's Roadways, Trails and Waterways," will be held at the Augusta Civic Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The proclamation from the Govemor's Office recognizes the importance of transportation safety. It further encourages Maine citizen's to practice transportation safety not only on Maine's roads, but also on the trails and waterways. Additionally, the proclamation recognizes the importance of local organizations working together to improve transportation safety in their communities.

The conference will feature seminar topics including, Recreational Safety, Road Rage, and Accident Reconstruction. The conference will also offer Safety Demonstration seminars including:

Bicycle Safety
Child Safety Seat Checkup
Pedestrian Safety
Roll-Over
Seatbelt Challenge
Skid Car
Tractor-trailer Visibility
Buckle Bear Project
Electric Car
Railroad Safety
School Bus Display
Seatbelt Convincer
State Police Camaro
Vehicle Airbag Demo
During the conference the MTSC will honor a Maine community with its first Community Transportation Safety Award. This Award was established by the MTSC to recognize a Maine organization, municipality or group that has worked with members of a community to resolve or improve a transportation safety problem.

Individuals interested in attending the conference may register at the door. The registration fee is $35. For additional information on the Conference or the MTSC, please contact Domna Giatas at 626-8406. 


March 16,1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Domna Giatas
207-626-8406

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

Maine Transportation Safety Coalition to Hold Safety Conference on March 20, 1998

AUGUSTA -- The Maine Transportation Safety Coalition (MTSC) will hold its second safety conference on Friday, March 20, 1998 at the Augusta Civic Center from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference theme is Speed, Sobriety and Safety on Maine's Roadways, Trails and Waterways. Maine's two U.S. Congressmen, John Baldacci and Tom Allen, are scheduled to deliver the keynote addresses at the conference. Opening remarks will also be provided by Maine DOT Commissioner John Melrose, Maine DHS Commissioner Kevin Concannon, Col. Malcom Dow of the Maine State Police, Maj. Daniel Tourtelotte of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky.

The conference is designed to provide the latest information to transportation safety advocates and also provide the tools to those individuals or groups seeking to improve transportation safety in their municipalities or communities. Seminar topics include, Road Rage -- Driving Defensively and Avoiding Dangerous Situations; Accident Reconstruction Team; Parental Involvement in Teenage Driving; and How to Develop an Advocacy Group in Your Community. Anyone interested in attending the conference may register at the door on March 20,1998. The registration fee on the date of the conference is $35. For additional information regarding the conference, please contact Domna Giatas at 626-8406.

The MTSC is an independent, nonprofit organization of transportation safety advocates. The coalition consists of state, local and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, and a variety of transportation safety groups. The mission of the MTSC is to reduce the number and severity of transportation-related crashes by forming partnerships with communities, organizations, agencies and individuals to address these problems. The March 20, 1998 conference is one of many ways the MTSC is working to ensure the safe transportation of Maine citizens. 


March 10, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Kennebunk Motor Vehicle Branch Office Grand Opening Wednesday, March 11, 1998

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will officially open the new motor vehicle branch office in Kennebunk on Wednesday, March 11, 1998, with a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The new location of the Kennebunk Branch Office is Plaza One, 63 Portland Road (Route 1), North Kennebunk, only 1/4 of a mile from its previous location of 41 Shoppers Village Plaza, Route 1, Kennebunk. The new location is handicapped accessible, and provides for additional lobby space and workstations. With the additional space in the lobby, we will be able to provide chairs for our customers and install a numbered waiting (Q-matic) system, There are also several amenities that the smaller, older location could not offer, including a hearing room and public rest rooms.

In addition to Secretary Gwadosky, Greg Hanscom, Deputy Secretary of State for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will attend the opening and Boy Scout Troop #304 of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport will take part in the event. Alfred St. Amand, Jr. is the branch manager. The Kennebunk Office is one of 13 motor vehicle branch offices across the state. The Kennebunk Office is a full service branch processing driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and state identification cards; providing driver examinations; and conducting administrative hearings. 


March 5, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Legislation for Young Drivers Receives Unanimous Endorsement by Transportation Committee

Augusta -- The Maine Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Transportation unanimously endorsed the bill on young drivers yesterday, moving the bill one step closer to passage. The legislation, L.D. 2109, "An Act to Reduce Motor Vehicle Fatalities and Injuries Among Young Drivers," was drafted by the Task Force on Young Drivers, a committee established last summer by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky. At the work session held yesterday afternoon, the Transportation Committee discussed the bill in its entirety and then voted unanimously to send the bill to the Senate with an ought to pass recommendation. The bill will need to pass both the House and the Senate, and then be signed by the Governor to become law.

"The Transportation Committee has made a bold statement by its vote on Wednesday," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This move by the Committee will undoubtedly save lives and reduce the injuries to hundreds of Maine's young people every year."

The bill provides for the following additions, or changes, to current law:

The full Task Force report is currently available on the Secretary of State's home page at www.state.me.us/sos/youngdrv.htm

March 4, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Gwadosky Amends Certification
Tax Cap Petitions Still Fall Short

Augusta -- As allowed by the Kennebec County Superior Court, Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky has re-examined the tax cap petitions submitted by Carol Palesky and has issued an amended decision today on the validity of the petition drive. The amended decision finds that the petition drive has fallen short of the 51,131 signatures required to place the question on the ballot. Specifically, Secretary Gwadosky's amended certification has invalidated an additional 5067 signatures. The re-examination was allowed by the Court because new evidence of improper notarizations was discovered during Palesky's sentencing hearing.

"I continue to be dismayed with the wholesale disregard for the citizen petition process," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "Carol Palesky continues to consider herself above the law," continued Gwadosky. "While it is important to be dedicated to a cause, there is a fine line between dedication and zealousness at any cost. Carol Palesky has crossed that line."

Today's ruling amends the January 16, 1998 certification issued by Secretary Gwadosky. An additional 5067 signatures have been invalidated for improper notarization. Seven petition circulators told the Secretary of State in affidavits that they did not take an oath before a notary swearing that they had circulated the petition in accordance with Maine law. The circulator's oath before a notary is required to ensure the circulator maintained control of the petitions while gathering signatures. The 7 petitioners provided affidavits that clearly state that they did not sign their petitions before a notary public or take the required oath. Additionally, all 7 petition circulators state in their affidavits that they have never met Donna Hamilton, the person who claims to have notarized the petitions. Donna Hamilton is the daughter of Carol Palesky.

The Maine Taxpayers Action Network has made two attempts to place a citizen initiative referendum question on the ballot that would limit property taxes to 1% of the assessed property value. The January 29, 1996 attempt failed for lack of sufficient signatures and charges of fraud in the petition process resulted in the prosecution and conviction of tax cap activist Carol Palesky on August 26, 1997 for aggravated forgery. Palesky was sentenced on February 3, 1998 to 9 months in jail and 4 years probation. Part of her probation prohibits her handling petitions. Palesky is currently appealing this conviction and sentence.

The second attempt by the Maine Taxpayers Action Network came in October 14, 1997. Secretary Gwadosky, on January 16, 1998, certified that this second set of petitions did not have sufficient signatures to place the matter on the ballot. Indications of fraud were again found in this second set of petition signatures and referred to the Attorney General's Office. Palesky and other tax cap activists filed suit to appeal the decision of the Secretary of State. During this appeal, and the sentencing on the criminal conviction, notary improprieties were found by the Attorney General's Office. Based upon this new evidence, Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills remanded the matter to Secretary Gwadosky for further investigation and an amended certification of the petitions based upon the results of the investigation. The results of the investigation and the Secretary's amended certification is attached. Further appeal by the tax cap activists is expected on this amended certification. 


OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
AMENDED
DETERMINATION OF THE VALIDITY
OF A PETITION FOR INITIATED LEGISLATION ENTITLED:
"An Act to Impose Limits on Real and Personal Property Taxes"
  1. Pursuant to the Superior Court's order of February 17, 1998, in Maine Taxpayer Action Network, et al. v. Dan A. Gwadosky, Secretary of State, Docket No. AP-98-07, remanding this matter to the Secretary of State for the purpose of considering new evidence, I have received and reviewed evidence that resulted from an investigation by the Attorney General's Office of certain petitions, including: the signed affidavits of seven petition circulators and one investigator, a transcript of the sentencing hearing held in the matter of State v. Palesky, Docket No. CR-95-579, State's Exhibit F presented at that hearing, and the notary public commission application form filed with this office by Donna Hamilton. In response, petitioners also have submitted additional evidence for review including: a letter and affidavit from Donna Hamilton, and copies of receipts or canceled checks made out to the same seven circulators.

  2.  

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    The affidavits of the seven circulators indicate that they did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of Donna Hamilton, the notary public whose name appears on their petitions, nor did they take that oath before any other person authorized to administer oaths. A comparison of State's Exhibit F presented at the sentencing hearing in the matter of State v. Palesky, Docket No. CR-95-579, with Donna Hamilton's notary application and with the petitions signed by these seven circulators further indicates that the signature "Donna Hamilton" that appears on these petitions may not have been written by her. This is corroborated by the affidavit of one of the circulators.

    The Donna Hamilton affidavit states that she witnessed the oaths and notarized hundreds of petitions for the circulators in question as well as other circulators, after obtaining valid identification. These notarizations were purportedly done in public places, and Ms. Hamilton asserts that she never personally introduced herself to the circulators.

    The affidavits of the seven circulators contradict Ms. Hamilton's affidavit. Two circulators, Eric Beaucage and Troy Leighton, state that they did not have their signatures notarized in anyone's presence. Two other circulators, Paula and Laurent Robitalle, state that Carol Palesky came to their home, and showed them where to sign the petitions. No one notarized their signatures. The other three circulators, Naomi Brewer, Michael Roberts and Kathryn Williams, state that they delivered their circulated petitions to Carol East or Carol Palesky at public places, but that Donna Hamilton was not there and did not notarize their petitions. In fact, Naomi Brewer states that she signed her petitions in front of Carol East, and that Carol East signed below in the notary space. (All the Naomi Brewer petitions have the name Donna Hamilton signed on them.) Michael Roberts states that Ms. Palesky was alone when he delivered the petitions, and that no one notarized his signature. Kathryn Williams states that Carol Palesky first told her that she was not a notary, then stated that she had received her notary papers from the State and could notarize Ms. Williams' petitions. Carol Palesky did not notarize Ms. Williams' petitions when she delivered them. All of the circulators state that they did not meet or did not know Donna Hamilton, and that she did not notarize their petitions.

    Unlike the affidavits for the seven circulators, we were unable to verify that Donna Hamilton's affidavit was sworn to in the presence of a notary or attorney. The notary or attorney signature was illegible on the affidavit. We attempted to contact Donna Hamilton, but were only able to speak with Carol Palesky. Carol Palesky could not tell us where the affidavit was notarized, and could only tell us that the affidavit was sworn to before an attorney named "S. Roberts". Ms. Palesky could not give us a full name or location for this purported attorney. We found two attorneys named S. Roberts, admitted to the Maine Bar, one named Scott Roberts of Idexx Laboratories in Westbrook, Maine, and one named Sanford Roberts, of Roberts & Cohen, P.A. in New Hampshire. We contacted both attorneys and they each stated that they did not notarize an affidavit for Donna Hamilton. We also checked the list of valid Notaries Public, and found two named S. Roberts, one named Sethany and one named Synthia. Again, we contacted both persons, and each confirmed that they did not notarize an affidavit for Donna Hamilton.

    Although we have reviewed the canceled checks purportedly signed by Donna Hamilton at the time the circulators submitted their petitions, there is no evidence to indicate the checks were written in the presence of the circulators or even at the time the checks were given to the payees.

    Based on this new evidence and a review of the petitions of these seven circulators, I find the following number of signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
    a. 214 additional signatures are invalid because the circulator who collected them, Eric J. Beaucage, did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of the notary public whose name appears on the petitions, nor any other person authorized to administer oaths. 49 signatures collected by Eric Beaucage that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    b. 423 additional signatures are invalid because the circulator who collected them, Naomi B. Brewer, did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of the notary public whose name appears on the petitions, nor any other person authorized to administer oaths. 81 signatures collected by Naomi B. Brewer that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    c. 401 additional signatures are invalid because the circulator who collected them, Troy Leighton, did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of the notary public whose name appears on the petitions, nor any other person authorized to administer oaths. 216 signatures collected by Troy Leighton that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    d. 2,425 additional signatures are invalid because the circulator who collected them, Michael D. Roberts, did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of the notary public whose name appears on the petitions, nor any other person authorized to administer oaths. 1,618 signatures collected by Michael Roberts that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    e. 329 additional signatures are invalid because the circulator who collected them, Laurent Robitalle, did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of the notary public whose name appears on the petitions, nor any other person authorized to administer oaths. 43 signatures collected by Laurent Robitalle that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    f. 465 additional signatures are invalid because the circulator who collected them, Paula Robitalle, did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of the notary public whose name appears on the petitions, nor any other person authorized to administer oaths. 155 signatures collected by Paula Robitalle that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    g. 1,924 signatures out of the 2,349 signatures described in ¶ 2(C) of my original determination of January 16, 1998, were deemed invalid because the signature of the circulator, Kathryn Williams, on the petitions containing those names was incomplete and did not appear to be her signature. The additional evidence presented to me on remand indicates that Ms. Williams did, in fact, sign her name in those abbreviated forms, however, and I no longer find those signatures to be invalid for that reason. Instead, I find that all of these signatures, plus an additional 810 signatures previously deemed valid that were collected by Kathryn Williams on petitions purportedly signed by Donna Hamilton as notary public are invalid because Ms. Williams did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of Donna Hamilton or any other person authorized to administer oaths. 121 signatures collected by Ms. Williams that were previously found invalid for the specific reasons stated in my decision of January 16, 1998, are also invalid for this additional reason.
    For the above reasons, paragraph 2(C) of the decision issued on January 16, 1998 is hereby amended as follows:
    C. 2,349 7,416 signatures are invalid because the circulator's verification was incomplete, or the circulator did not take the oath required by Me. Const. Art. IV, pt. 3, §20 in the presence of a notary public or any other person authorized to administer oaths.

  3. All of the findings listed in ¶¶ 1, 2(A), 2(B), and 2(D) - (L) of the determination of validity issued on January 16, 1998, remain the same and are attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.
  4. For the reasons set forth herein and in my initial determination of January 16, 1998, except as modified above, I find that 20,786 signatures are invalid. Petitioners have therefore submitted 44,762 valid signatures. The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 51,131. Because the number of valid signatures is below the required number by 6,369 signatures, I find the petition to be invalid.
Dated: March 4, 1998
Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State

Determination of the Validity of a Petition for Initiated Legislation Entitled: "An Act to Impose Limits on Real and Personal Property Taxes"
(January 16, 1998) 
February 27, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Gwadosky
207-626-8406

Gwadosky Proposes Legislation to Clarify Court Decision
Secretary of State to Initiate Legislation to Provide Remedy to Petitioners

AUGUSTA - The Secretary of State will not file an appeal of Justice Donald Alexander's February 24, 1998, decision ordering the Secretary to accept and review signatures collected in the medical marijuana petition drive. The Court's decision was the result of a serious problem created by the City of Portland's refusal to process the petitions by the deadline required by the Maine Constitution.

Secretary Gwadosky has received the additional signatures delayed by the City of Portland, as well as 371 additional signatures not subject to the Court order. The Secretary is complying with the Superior Court order and has begun the process of reviewing all of the signatures. However, Gwadosky is troubled by the message the Court's decision has sent to municipalities and will be seeking a long term solution through the legislative process and a constitutional amendment, if necessary.

"This Court decision does not offer any incentive for future compliance by municipalities," said Secretary Gwadosky. "If towns know the Court will not enforce the deadlines, why should they comply?" continued Gwadosky, speaking to his promise to ask the Legislature for a remedy. "Therefore, we need to fix the law to resolve the problem."

The current Court decision puts all future petitioners and the State at considerable risk. "The next time we must determine whether to accept petitions submitted after the deadline, for whatever reason, we could be subject to a lawsuit from either side of the issue," stated Gwadosky.

"Legislative clarification of the deadlines is important for the future of the initiative process. We must change the law to ensure fairness in the petition process," concluded Gwadosky. 


February 25, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Joins Call for Disclosure of Campaign Contributions

Secretaries of State from across the nation called upon the President and Congressional leaders in both parties to support full disclosure in political campaigns at their recent annual meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). In a letter addressed to the President and Congressional leadership, 19 Secretaries of State urged the federal government to take prompt action to "ensure the full and immediate disclosure of all campaign contributions and expenditures."

The letter expresses a concern that, "The growing skepticism surrounding the impact of campaign contributions on the political process threatens to drive voters away from the polls in coming years." The letter concludes by stating, "Voters deserve to know who is sponsoring candidate and issue advocacy advertising designed to influence political campaigns. This information needs to be available in an easily accessible format for review by all voters prior to Election Day."

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh (R-Kansas), chairman of the NASS Elections Committee and Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky (D-Maine), chairman of the NASS Ad Hoc Committee on Campaign Finance Reform emphasized the bipartisan support among Secretaries of State for full disclosure of campaign finance information.

"Shedding light on the political process should not be a partisan issue," stated Thornburgh. "We are pleased that Secretaries of State have embraced campaign finance disclosure on a strong bipartisan basis," added Gwadosky. 


Saturday, February 14, 1998
Hon. Bill Clinton 
President of the United States 
White House 
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 
Washington, D.C. 20515
Hon. Newt Gingrich 
Speaker of the House 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, D.C. 20515
Hon. Trent Lott 
Majority Leader 
U.S. Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20515
Hon. Richard Gephardt 
Minority Leader 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, D-C. 20515
Hon. Tom Daschle 
Minority Leader 
U.S. Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20515
We, the undersigned secretaries of state, are concerned about the state of campaign finance in our elections. The growing skepticism surrounding the impact of campaign contributions on the political process threatens to drive voters away from the polls in coming years. We cannot allow that to occur.

We encourage the federal government to take prompt action to ensure full and immediate disclosure of all campaign contributions and expenditures. Voters deserve to know who is sponsoring candidate and issue advocacy advertisements designed to influence political campaigns. This information needs to be available in an easily accessible format for review by all voters prior to election day.

Notwithstanding all other efforts to achieve substantive reforms full disclosure must be achieved without delay.



February 24, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

U.S. District Court Affirms Secretary of State's Decision
Green Party Disqualified

On February 18, 1998, U.S. District Court Judge Gene Carter affirmed the recommended decision issued by Magistrate David Cohen on December 24, 1997 upholding the decision of the Secretary of State to disqualify the Green Party. Based upon this entry of final judgment by the U.S. District Court, the Green Party will no longer be recognized as a qualified party in the state of Maine. The Secretary of State's Office is in the process of notifying registrars and municipal clerks that voters enrolled as members of the Green Party must now be designated as unenrolled voters.

"I am gratified by the Court's ruling," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "We were confident of our interpretation of the state law and the court agreed. It was important that we received this decision prior to the party candidate filing deadline of March 15th. This avoids confusion for candidates who were planning to run under the Green Party designation."

In order for any party to remain a qualified party under Maine law, the party's gubernatorial and presidential candidates must receive at least 5% of the vote cast at each general election. In the 1996 presidential election, Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader received only 2.5% of the votes cast. The Green Party opposed the Secretary of State's intention to disqualify the Green Party by filing suit in Federal District court challenging the Secretary's interpretation of the statute and the constitutionality of the Maine law. The Secretary of State's decision to disqualify the Green Party was stayed pending an outcome of this suit. The decision by Judge Carter allows the Secretary of State to proceed with disqualification as required by law.

The immediate effect of this ruling on individuals enrolled as Green Party members is that they will be designated as unenrolled voters. Any former Green Party member may continue in the unenrolled status or choose to enroll in one of the remaining qualified parties--Democratic, Republican or Reform.

Candidates formerly planning to run under the Green Party designation, may now qualify for the general election ballot under the petition method provided for by Maine law. Candidates who qualify in this manner do not participate in the primary election, but are placed directly on the general election ballot. These candidates are entitled to use a three word designation after their name on the ballot, which may include the designation "Green Party." Candidates are also free to enroll in any of the three qualified parties and file by March 15, 1998, to be included in the primary election. 


February 18, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky and Task Force Members Discuss Young Driver's Bill
Transportation Committee Holds Public Hearing

Augusta -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and members of the Task Force on Young Drivers joined together today at the State Capitol to discuss the provisions of the legislation proposed to improve the safe driving habits of Maine's young drivers. Secretary Gwadosky and several members of the Task Force met with members of the public and supporters at a press conference prior to the public hearing on L.D. 2109, "An Act to Reduce Motor Vehicle Fatalities and Injuries Among Young Drivers" before the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation. Motor vehicle crashes are the largest single cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds.

"This bill contains the most sweeping changes for drivers in this age group in the last 50 years," stated Secretary Gwadosky.

The legislation which resulted from the efforts of the Task Force include, among other provisions, requiring anyone 17 years old or younger to take driver education in order to receive a license; requiring permittees to drive a minimum of 35 hours; limiting the number of passengers to the number of seat belts in vehicles operated by anyone under 21 years; and increasing the term of a provisional license from one year to two years for a driver under 21 years old.

"If the projected demographics are correct, there will be a 25% increase in the young driver population by the year 2012. The number of injuries and deaths from car crashes will likely increase proportionately," continued Gwadosky. "Unless we act now to improve the driving habits of 15 to 24 year olds."

A copy of the Task Force report is available on the Secretary of State's home page at www.state.me.us/sos/youngdrv.htm


February 13, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Press Conference Scheduled for February 18, 1998 on Young Drivers Task Force Legislation

AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will hold a press conference on February 18, 1998 at 11:30 a.m. regarding the legislation proposed by the Young Drivers Task Force, L.D. 2109, "An Act to Reduce Motor Vehicle Fatalities and Injuries Among Young Drivers." The press conference will be held in Room 425 of the State House (committee room of the Joint Standing Committee on Legal and Veterans' Affairs.) Members of the Task Force will be available at the press conference with Secretary Gwadosky to discuss the recommendations and findings of the Task Force.

The legislation which resulted from the efforts of the Task Force include, among other provisions, requiring anyone 17 years old or younger to take driver education in order to receive a license; requiring permittees under the age of 17 to drive a minimum of 35 hours; limiting the number of passengers to the number of seat belts in vehicles operated by anyone under 21 years; and increasing the term of a provisional license from one year to two years for a driver under 21 years old.

Subsequent to the press conference, a public hearing on L.D. 2109 will be held before the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation on February 18, 1998 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 122 of the State Office Building. 


February 11, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Janet Grard
207-626-8406

Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award to be Presented to Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will present the Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award to Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the National Association of Secretaries of State Winter Conference in Washington, D.C. The presentation will be made today during the opening session of the Conference at the Washington Court Hotel.

The Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award was established at the National Association of Secretaries of State's 75th Annual Conference in 1992, as a means of honoring Margaret Chase Smith and to promote the quality of courage in public affairs.

The Award honors the courage and determination for which people risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. The award is presented to the person whose actions best demonstrate the quality of political courage so essential to a democracy. The award is designed to promote democracy and the quality of courage in people.

Past winners of this award are U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith in 1992; Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, civil rights heroine, in 1993; Elizabeth Dole, President of the American Red Cross, in 1994; Jim and Sarah Brady, gun-safety advocates, in 1995; and Daisy Bates, civil rights activist, in 1996.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver will be honored for her selfless act of leadership and public service work for children and adults with mental retardation. In 1963, Mrs. Kennedy Shriver started a summer day camp for those with mental retardation at her home in Maryland. The camp was intended to explore their capabilities in a variety of sports and physical activities.

In July of 1968, Mrs. Kennedy Shriver's idea blossomed. The first International Special Olympic Games were held in Chicago featuring 1,000 athletes representing 26 states and Canada.

Today, under the guiding eye of Mrs. Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics has grown to over 7,000 athletes from over 143 countries. The athletes compete in 21 sports in both winter and summer Olympics each year. 


February 3, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Palesky Sentenced to 9 Months in Jail and Probation

Superior Court Justice Susan Calkins sentenced Carol Palesky today to 5 years in jail with all but 9 months suspended. The sentence also included 4 years probation and, among other conditions, a requirement that Palesky not take part in any petition process during her probation. This would include any state or local ballot initiatives.

"The sentence handed down today recognizes the seriousness of the actions against our democratic process," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "The petition process is a fundamental part of our self-governance and it hurts us all when the process is abused and trivialized with actions of fraud," continued Gwadosky.

Palesky was convicted of aggravated forgery on August 26, 1997. In court today, Justice Calkins noted that Palesky showed no remorse for her actions in this matter. Justice Calkins also stated that Palesky appeared to have a feeling that the rules did not apply to her. The Court considered this offense serious and issued a sentence in keeping with the seriousness of the crime.

"The Attorney General's Office has done an outstanding job in this case," concluded Gwadosky. "I cannot say enough about their work ethic and commitment that has resulted in a successful outcome to this case." 


January 30, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Monday Final Day to File Citizen Initiative Petitions for November 3, 1998 Ballot

AUGUSTA -- Monday, February 2, 1998 is the final day for filing citizen initiative petitions with the Office of the Secretary of State for inclusion on the November 3, 1998 ballot. The state Constitution proscribes that petitions be "filed in the office of the Secretary of State by the hour of 5:00 p.m., . . .on or before the 25th day after the date of convening of the Legislature in second regular session." (Article IV, Part Third, section 18) The Legislature convened on January 7, 1998.

"While we have not had any direct contact with any of the petitioners," stated Secretary Gwadosky, "there are several groups circulating petitions that appear to be well organized and it is possible that one or two of them may file petitions with our Office." Thirteen citizen initiative petitions have been approved for circulation by the Secretary of State's Office, including legalization of marijuana for medical use, raising the age limit for cigarette purchases, and pesticide spraying.

For a citizen initiative to be placed on the ballot, petitioners must collect 51,131 signatures of registered voters. This represents 10% of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. 


January 30, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Maine's First State of the State Address Available on Internet
Maine State Archives Transcribes Historical Address by Governor William King

Augusta -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that the Secretary of State's Office, through the Maine State Archives, has devoted a portion of the Secretary of State's web pages to the first State of the State Address given by Governor William King on June 2, 1820. This new addition to the web site has been established in time for Governor Angus S. King, Jr.'s State of the State Address scheduled for February 2, 1998.

"Maine State Archivist James Henderson and his staff were instrumental in making this information available on the Internet," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The Internet is an excellent arena for making public information, both current and historical, available to the citizens of Maine.

The Maine State Archives, a Bureau of the Department of the Secretary of State, is the repository for State Government records. The Maine State Archives houses many documents of great historical value, including the original Maine Constitution and this speech given by Maine's first Governor. King's speech was hand written and touches on the many issues before the newly formed State of Maine and its recently assembled Legislature. King served as Governor from 1820-1821.

"In reading the text of King's speech I was amazed by the fact that many of the issues facing that first Legislature are still being debated today," commented Gwadosky.

The complete text of King's speech, along with information about Governor King can be found at http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/general/admin/king.htm


January 20, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Gwadosky Reminds Voters of Availability of Absentee Ballots for Special Election February 10th

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, the chief election official of the state, is reminding voters that absentee ballots are available for the special election scheduled for Tuesday, February 10, 1998. The special election is being held as a result of the People's Veto drive to repeal the anti-discrimination law passed by the Legislature in the last session.

"I want to encourage everyone to take the time to go to the polls on Tuesday, February 10th," said Gwadosky. "However, if people are unable to make it to the polls, they should contact their municipal clerk for an absentee ballot. Our democracy works best when people participate in the process. That participation may be on election day or before election day with the availability of absentee ballots."

People who believe that they will be unable to vote at the polls on election day may obtain and cast an absentee ballot. Voters should contact their local municipal clerk and complete an application to request an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are available now and through election day. Those people wanting to vote absentee, but who are not currently registered in their municipality. may also contact their municipal clerk for absentee registration when requesting an absentee ballot.

Maine law allows a voter to request an absentee ballot from the municipal clerk in person, in writing by mail or fax, or by telephone. Additionally, immediate family members may obtain an absentee ballot on the voter's behalf by making a request in writing. Ballots that are obtained in this manner do not require witnesses, unless the voter received assistance when casting the ballot .

Anyone who wants to make a request by mail should do so as soon as possible to ensure the timely receipt and return of the absentee ballot. Completed absentee ballots must be received by the clerk before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, February 10, 1998.

Anyone wanting more information on absentee ballots may contact their municipal clerk or the Division of Elections at 287-4186 or visit the Secretary of State's web site at www.state.me.us/sos/sos.htm. The web site also provides information on the People's Veto and the referendum question. 


Most Commonly Asked Questions on Absentee Voting

Who may absentee vote?

Any registered voter* who believes that he/she will be unable to vote in person at the polling place on election day may obtain and cast an absentee ballot.

An application must be completed for the absentee ballot to be mailed or delivered to a voter.

No specific reason need be given on the application when requesting an absentee ballot.

*Anyone who has not registered to vote may do so at anytime, including election day.

When can the ballot be requested?

Anytime between now and election day. Make your request early to allow enough time for the ballot to be delivered and returned prior to the close of the polls on election day.

Who do I contact about an absentee ballot?

The clerk of the municipality where the person is registered to vote. Municipal clerks currently have absentee ballot applications which they may provide to any person on request.

How can I obtain a ballot directly?

A voter can make a telephone request for his/her own ballot. A ballot will be mailed to the address provided by the voter.

A voter can make a written request by completing an absentee ballot application and mailing, faxing or delivering it in person to the municipal clerk. An individual can also obtain a ballot for an immediate family member in this same manner. A ballot will be mailed to the voter or the immediate family member making the request.

NOTE: Immediate family member includes: spouse, parent, child, sister, brother, stepparent, stepchild, stepsister, stepbrother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, guardian or former guardian.

Ballots obtained by an immediate family member do not require witnesses, unless the voter receives assistance from another person in reading or marking the ballot.

Can I absentee vote in person?

Yes. An absentee voter may go in person to vote at the clerk's office as soon as absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are now available in the municipal clerk's office.

What if there is not enough time to obtain and return an absentee ballot by mail?

A voter may make a written request for a "third person" (someone other than the voter or the voter's immediate family member) to obtain and hand-deliver an absentee ballot.

The voter must designate the specific third person who will handle and deliver the ballot, in the written request or application. Only this designated third person may handle the absentee ballot.

Ballots cast in this way must be witnessed by either 1 person who is a notary public, municipal clerk or clerk of courts; otherwise 2 witnesses are required.

When does my voted absentee ballot have to be received by the clerk?

In order to be counted, a voted absentee ballot must be received by the clerk by 8:00 p.m. on election day, February 10, 1998. Any absentee ballots received after this time will not be counted. 


January 16, 1998
For immediate release
Contact: Dan Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Gwadosky rules tax cap petitions invalid
Fraud found, but petition came up short regardless

AUGUSTA - Today, Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky announced that a three year effort to gather enough signatures to place a property tax cap initiative on the ballot has failed. This is the second time the effort has been rejected for lack of sufficient signatures.

"We conducted a careful review of each petition to insure that each valid signature would be counted on behalf of the petitioner who signed it," said Secretary Gwadosky. "There simply were not enough."

On October 14, 1994 a citizen group known as the Maine Taxpayers Action Network received approval to circulate a citizen initiative petition that sought to place a 1% cap on the statewide property tax. The group needed to collect 51,131 signatures to place the issue on the ballot. Although Maine law allows for a petition to circulate for up to three years, no signature can. be older than one year at the time the petition is filed.

An earlier attempt to file the petition on January 29, 1996, was rejected for lack of sufficient signatures. At that time thousands of signatures were thrown out because evidence of tampering was found. Thousands of dates on the petitions had been inappropriately altered to make it appear that the signatures were less than one year old. In several instances, it appeared that dead persons had supposedly signed the documents after the dates of their deaths. On other petitions the municipal registrar's statement had been altered to make it appear that more signatures were certified as belonging to registered voters than had been verified by the registrar. In all, 22,502 signatures were discounted for fraud. This first effort fell short of qualifying for the ballot by over 29,000 signatures.

A criminal investigation ensued and a leader in the Maine Taxpayers Action Network, Carol Palesky of Topsham, was subsequently convicted on August 26, 1997, of aggravated forgery for tampering with the petitions. 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 requested 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. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 20, 1998.

New petitions were filed by Palesky and her group in December of 1996, and August, September and October of 1997, in a final attempt to qualify the petition for the ballot. Again, tampering was evident and 744 signatures were disqualified for this reason. However, the effort still came up 1,302 signatures short. Under Maine law, the Secretary of State had until March 4, 1998, to rule on the petitions.

"The manner in which the tampering was conducted made the review process very difficult," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We contacted the towns for their assistance in determining what signatures were approved by the registrar. In some instances they provided photocopies they had made, in other instances they rechecked the voting list to determine which signatures were actually valid and which had been tampered with to make them appear valid."

"Even if we hadn't discounted the last batch of fraudulent signatures, there still would not have been enough signatures to validate the petition," said Gwadosky.

Supporters of the property tax cap initiative will have to file a new application with the Secretary of State if they wish to continue their effort. October 14, 1997, marked the end of the three year circulation period allowed by Maine law.

Summary of Signatures Determined Valid/Invalid
Initially submitted 65,548
Excluded by local officials 7,243
Excluded by the secretary of State 7,732
Discounted for fraud 744
Total valid signatures 49,829
Total needed for approval 51,131

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
DETERMINATION OF THE VALIDITY
OF A PETITION FOR INITIATED LEGISLATION ENTITLED:
"An Act to Impose Limits on Real and Personal Property Taxes"

1. On October 14, 1997, petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State, and added to the petitions already on file for a combined total of 65,548 signatures, pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, on behalf of the initiated legislation entitled, "An Act to Impose Limits on Real and Personal Property Taxes."

2. Following a review of all the petitions I find the following number of signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
A. 6,832 signatures are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality.
B. 4,036 signatures are invalid because the petitioner's signature was dated more than one year before the date the petition. was filed.
C. 2,349 signatures are invalid because the circulator's verification was incomplete.
D. 862 signatures are invalid because the petitioner dated his or her signature after the date of the circulators oath before the notary.
E. 744 signatures are invalid. because the registrar's certification was altered by someone other than the registrar.
F. 365 signatures- are invalid because the petition was not on the approved form.
G. 243 signatures are invalid because they are duplicate signatures already counted and were not certified by the registrar.
H. 168 signatures are invalid because the certification of the registrar was not completed.
I. 54 signatures are invalid because they do. not appear to have been made by the person they purported to be.
J. 39 signatures are invalid because the circulator's status as a registered voter could not be confirmed.
K. 16 names are invalid because the-petitioners failed to sign their names.
L. 11 signatures are invalid due to a counting error by the registrar.
3. For the reasons set forth herein, I find that 15,719 signatures are invalid. Petitioners have therefore submitted 49,829 valid signatures. The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 51,131. Because the number of valid signatures is below the required number by 1,302 signatures, I find the petition to be invalid.

Dated: January 16, 1998
Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State


Tax Cap Initiative Timeline & Signature Summary

Important explanation of citizen initiative signature shelf life

Under the Maine laws and constitution, initiators have as long as three years to collect enough valid signatures to get a question on the ballot, This means the tax cap effort expired on October 14, 1997. However, no signature legally can be counted as valid if it is more than one year old. For example, all of the signatures this effort submitted in January 1996 are stale and can't be counted.

Historical review
Tax cap petitions approved for circulation: October 14, 1994
First signatures submitted: January 29, 1996
Signatures submitted this day: 53,079
Excluded by local officials: 5,330
Excluded by state officials: 3,214
Excluded by criminal fraud investigation: 22,502
Total signatures submitted this day that were ruled valid at the time: 22,033
Total valid signatures needed: 51,131
Note - This effort would have been short by 6,596 signatures even if all of the signatures excluded as part of the criminal fraud investigation were counted.
Secretary of State rules initiative failed to submit the Constitutionally required number of valid signatures: February 16, 1996
Carol Palesky challenges initiative's failure and Secretary of State's ruling in court: February 26, 1996
Court rejects Ms. Palesky's challenge and upholds Secretary of State's ruling: March 8, 1996
Excerpts from the court ruling:
- "The available record supports a finding, beyond any doubt, that dates on thousands of signatures and many circulator and voter registrar certifications were altered after the original circulation and certification to make it appear that the petitions were submitted within 1-year of the date of the signature." (Underlining emphasis is the court's.) 
- "Plaintiff s claims and innuendoes that the alteration may be the responsibility of either the Secretary of State or agents for those opposed to the tax cap who worked within their own organization have absolutely no support in either evidence or in reason." 
With a court-approved search warrant, police enter Ms. Palesky's home and seize evidence: March 9, 1996
Ms. Palesky is indicted by a Kennebec County Grand Jury on aggravated forgery charge in connection with this signature collection effort: October 18, 1996
New batch of signatures submitted: December 17, 1996
Locally certified signatures submitted this day (if all are ruled valid): 35,387
Maximum signatures from Jan. 1996 that remained valid this day: 
(All the other Jan. 96 signatures were more than a year old)
3,777
Total signatures that could possibly have been valid this day: 39,164
Total valid signatures needed to get on the ballot: 51,131
Secretary of State informs initiators they are at least 12,000 signatures short of amount needed: December 19, 1996
Deadline for filing signatures for the 1997 ballot passes without additional signatures being submitted: January 23, 1997
Secretary of State affirms invalidity of tax-cap effort and directly informs initiators of failure: January 30, 1997
Ms. Palesky is convicted of aggravated forgery (a Class B crime) in connection with this signature collection effort: August 26, 1997
Additional signatures submitted: August 15, 1997 
through October 14, 1997
Three year petition circulation period allowed by Maine law ends: October 14, 1997
Secretary of State rules on signatures submitted December 17, 1996 through October 14, 1997: January 16, 1998
Signatures submitted 65,548
Excluded by local officials 7,243
Excluded by state officials 7,732
Discounted for fraud 744
Total valid signatures 49,829
Total valid signatures needed 51,131
This second and final effort would have been short by 558 signatures even if all of the signatures excluded because of fraud were counted.
Secretary of State directly informs initiators of petition's failure: January 16, 1998

January 7, 1998
For Immediate Release
Contact: Rebecca Wyke
(207) 626-8406

Internet Access to Government Information
State Unveils InforME Proposal and Legislation

AUGUSTA - The State is holding two days of public seminars on the proposed system for State government that would serve as an Internet gateway to provide and enhance citizen access to public information stored in electronic form. The recommendations were developed by a subcommittee of the State's Information Services Policy Board. The proposed system, known as InforME: Information Resource of Maine, would be administered by the State with the assistance of a private sector network manager chosen through a competitive bid process.

"InforME is an exciting opportunity for Maine citizens," said Secretary Gwadosky in his opening remarks at today's seminar. "Access to information held by the government is a hallmark of a democratic society. It prevents abuse by government and serves to protect the rights of citizens. The ability to access the electronic information held by the government is a convenience which the public desires and which is often necessary to provide the level of scrutiny anticipated by our Freedom of Access law."

A public seminar was held today from 10:30 a.m. to Noon at the Augusta Civic Center. Two informational meetings were also set up for legislators to receive information about the proposal.

Seminar panelists include Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky; Commissioner Janet Waldron, Department of Administrative and Financial Services; Harry Herington, an attorney and the network manager of a similar system in Georgia known as GeorgiaNet; and Dr. Harlan Onsrud, an Associate Professor at the University of Maine whose research has included legal and social issues surrounding the dissemination of valuable public information stored in electronic form.

Over 100 people representing libraries, municipalities, businesses and state agencies plan to attend the two public seminars. Members of the media are welcome.

Additional information can be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of State, or by visiting the InforME discussion forum at: www.spatial.maine.edu/harlan/informe/infmehom.htm. 


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