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Maine's Statutory Provisions for the Citizen Initiative and People's Veto
Last updated: September 2020

Introduction

Constitutional provisions for citizen initiated legislation and the people’s veto were implemented in Maine in 1908. In 1931, the Legislature enacted statutes governing the process of filing and circulating petitions for these mechanisms (PL 1931, c. 181). Today, statutes related to ballot questions are found in the Maine Revised Statutes Title 21, Chapter 11. The chart below provides a statutory history of this chapter.




Browse by Session Law :  



Year LD Amendments Session Law MRS Sections
Affected
Legislative Record
Debate & Remarks
Other Documents & News Clips Full LD
History
1931 LD 523

AN ACT to Regulate the Preparation and Distribution of Petitions for the People's Veto and Direct Initiative as Authorized by Article Thirty-One of the Constitution
N/A PL 1931, c. 181 Codified as:
RS 1944, c. 7, 1-5
No debate. N/A N/A
1931 LD 524

AN ACT to Regulate Expenditures in Connection with Matters of Legislation submitted to the People under the Provisions of Article Thirty-One of the Constitution Providing for the Initiative and Referendum

OTP-ND:
LD 949
N/A PL 1931, c. 203 Codified as:
RS 1944, c. 7, 6
No debate. N/A N/A
1953 LD 926

AN ACT Amending the Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

#166
#551
PL 1953, c. 365, 20, 21 Amended:
RS 1944, c. 7, 1, 2
No debate. N/A N/A
1961 LD 1460

AN ACT Revising the Election Laws

OTP-ND:
LD 1614
N/A PL 1961, c. 360, 1 Enacted:
RS 1954, c. 3-A, §66
RS 1954, c. 3-A, §§164-166

Repealed:
RS 1954, c. 8
House, May 23, 1961
p. 2408

Senate, June 1, 1961
p. 2703
N/A N/A
1961 LD 1694

AN ACT to Clarify the Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

S-310
PL 1961, c. 408, 11 Amended:
RS 1954, c. 3-A, §166
No debate. N/A N/A
1965 LD 1310

AN ACT to Correct Errors and Inconsistencies in the Public Laws

Enacted with amendments:

CA "A" (LD 1589)
H-412
S-288
PL 1965, c. 425, 13-B Amended:
21 MRS §702(4)
House, June 1, 1965
p. 2906-2908

House, June 4, 1965
p. 3100-3103
N/A N/A
1965 LD 1648

AN ACT Relating to the Laws Governing Elections and Voting Machines
N/A PL 1965, c. 451, 10 Amended:
21 MRS §1351(4)
No debate. N/A N/A
1967 LD 620

AN ACT to Revise the Election Laws

OTP-ND:
LD 1539
Enacted with amendments:

H-100
H-173
PL 1967, c. 225, 13 Amended:
21 MRS §702(2)(D)
House, April 14, 1967
p. 1203-1205
N/A N/A
1969 LD 1148

AN ACT Relating to Residence of Write-in Candidates on Ballots
N/A PL 1969, c. 194, 2 Amended:
21 MRS §702(2)(F)
House, April 18, 1969
p. 1319-1321
N/A N/A
1971 LD 151

AN ACT Clarifying and Revising Certain Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

S-9
PL 1971, c. 65, 18, 24 Amended:
21 MRS §702(2)(C)
21 MRS 1353
No debate. N/A N/A
1971 LD 838

AN ACT Relating to Statement Setting Forth the Total Necessary to Retire All Outstanding Bonds on Ballots for Bond Issues
N/A PL 1971, c. 147 Amended:
21 MRS §702(5-A)
No debate. N/A N/A
1971 LD 1707

AN ACT Relating to Form of Ballots in General Elections
N/A 1971 IB Amended:
21 MRS §702(2)(C)

Repealed and Replaced:
21 MRS §702(1)
21 MRS §702(2)(A), (B)

Repealed:
21 MRS §702(2)(D)
Senate, April 30, 1971
p. 2085-2091

House, May 3, 1971
p. 2099-2108

Senate, May 25, 1971
p. 3156-3162

House, May 26, 1971
p. 3173-3175

House, January 28, 1972
p. 67

House, February 1, 1972
p. 92-98

Senate, February 1, 1972
p. 105

Senate, February 2, 1972
p. 117-122

Senate, February 2,  1972
p. 128

Senate, February 3, 1972
p. 141-142

House, February 4, 1972
p. 149-150

Senate, February 4, 1972
p. 152

House, February 7, 1972
p. 169

Senate, February 7, 1972
p. 171-173

Senate, February 10, 1972
p. 235-236

House, February 17, 1972
p. 330-331

Senate, February 17, 1972
p. 332
Court Opinion:  Kelly v. Curtis, 287 A. 2d 426 (1972)

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
N/A
1973 LD 556

AN ACT to Revise the Election Laws

OTP-ND:
LD 1535

OTP-ND:
LD 1916
Enacted with amendments:

H-377
H-381
S-139
PL 1973, c. 414, 32, 33, 34 Amended:
21 MRS §702(2)(F)

Repealed and replaced:
21 MRS §702(1)
21 MRS §702(2)(A)
Senate, March 28, 1973
p. 1228-1229

House, March 29, 1973
p. 1248-1249

House, April 2, 1973
p. 1287

House, April 3, 1973
p. 1329-1330

House, April 5, 1973
p. 1425-1427

House, April 9, 1973
p. 1487

House, April 11, 1973
p. 1567-1568

House, April 12, 1973
p. 1649

House, April 19, 1973
p. 1833-1834

House, May 15, 1973
p. 2780

House, May 15, 1973
p. 2805

House, May 16, 1973
p. 2876-2881

Senate, May 17, 1973
p. 2978-2979

House, May 18, 1973
p. 2984
N/A N/A
1973 LD 591

AN ACT Relating to Content of Ballots
Enacted with amendment:

H-80
PL 1973, c. 160, 4-7 Enacted:
21 MRS §702(2)(I)

Amended:

21 MRS §702(2)(B), (C), (H)
House, March 12, 1973
p. 798-799
N/A N/A
1973 LD 2530

AN ACT Relating to Elections to the House of Representatives
N/A PL 1973, c. 720, 4 Amended:
21 MRS §702(6)
House, February 14, 1974
p. 707

Senate, February 15, 1974
p. 777

House, February 26, 1974
p. 929-935

House, February 27, 1974
p. 975

House, February 27, 1974
p. 992-995
N/A N/A
1975 LD 2200

AN ACT to Clarify the Election Laws

OTP-ND:
LD 2344
Enacted with amendments:

H-1230
H-1270
PL 1975, c. 761, 30 Repealed and replaced:
21 MRS §702(2)(I)
House, April 7, 1976
p. 1010-1013

House, April 12, 1976
p. 1072-1073

House, April 12, 1976
p. 1080-1081

House, April 12, 1976
p. 1088
Report:  Report of the Joint Standing Committee on Election Laws, 107 Legislature: Review of the Election Laws, H.P. 1646 (Jan. 1977) N/A
1975 LD 2203

AN ACT Relating to the Initiative and Referendum Processes
Enacted with amendments:

H-954
H-992
S-426
PL 1975, c. 682, 2, 3 Enacted:
21 MRS §1354
21 MRS §1355

Amended:
21 MRS §1351
Senate, March 11, 1976
p. 438-439

Senate, March 12, 1976
p. 451-452

House, March 17, 1976
p. 492-493

House, March 18, 1976
p. 521

Senate, March 23, 1976
p. 618
Report:  Report of the Judiciary Committee on the Initiative and Referendum Process (Dec. 1974) N/A
1975 LD 2233

An Act Relating to the Form of Ballots
N/A PL 1975, c. 730, 1 Amended:
21 MRS §702(5)
House, March 30, 1976
p. 798

House, March 30, 1976
p. 810

House, March 31, 1976
p. 846-847
Report:  Report of the Joint Standing Committee on Election Laws, 107 Legislature: Review of the Election Laws, H.P. 1646 (Jan. 1977) N/A
1977 LD 1201

AN ACT to Clarify Election Related Laws

OTP-ND:
LD 1887
Enacted with amendments:

H-742
H-794
PL 1977, c. 496, 31 Amended:
21 MRS §1351(1), (2)
Senate, June 23, 1977
p. 1984-1985

House, June 30, 1977
p. 2201-2202
N/A N/A
1979 LD 842

AN ACT to Amend the Form of Election Ballots to Omit the Secretary of State's Name under Certain Conditions
Enacted with amendment:

S-133
PL 1979, c. 263, 2 Amended:
21 MRS §702(3)
No debate. N/A N/A
1983 LD 241

An Act to Clarify the Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

H-282
PL 1983, c. 425, 9 Amended:
21 MRS §702(2)(C)
No debate. N/A Yes
1983 LD 1059

An Act Concerning Explanations for Referenda Questions which Appear on a Ballot

OTP-ND:
LD 1663
N/A PL 1983, c. 410 Enacted:
21 MRS §702-A
21 MRS §1351(5)
No debate. N/A Yes
1983 LD 1552

An Act to Make Corrections of Errors and Inconsistencies in the Laws of Maine

OTP-ND:
LD 1760
N/A PL 1983, c. 480, 25-28 Amended:
21 MRS §702(1)
21 MRS §702(2)(A)
21 MRS §702(2)(F)
21 MRS §702(2)(I)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1985 LD 576

An Act to Recodify the Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

S-52
PL 1985, c. 161, 5, 6 Enacted:
21-A MRS §§901-906

Repealed:
21 MRS §702
21 MRS §702-A
21 MRS §§1351-1355
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1987 LD 289

AN ACT Relating to Questions Put to the Electorate at Referendum
Enacted with amendment:

S-39
PL 1987, c. 119 Repealed and Replaced:
21-A MRS §906(6)

Amended:
21-A MRS §905
Senate, February 19, 1987
p. 186

Senate, April 30, 1987
p. 665-670
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
1987 LD 407

AN ACT to Amend Certain Election Laws

OTP-ND:
LD 1569
N/A PL 1987, c. 188, 16 Amended:
21-A MRS §906
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1989 LD 697

An Act to Require Municipalities to Permit the Circulation of Petitions on Local Issues
Enacted with amendment:

S-40
PL 1989, c. 92, 1 Enacted:
21-A MRS §903-A
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
1991 LD 2019

An Act to Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

H-1187
S-617
S-770
PL 1991, c. 862, 8 Amended:
21-A MRS §901(4)
House, March 12, 1992
p. H-394
Report:  Special Commission to Review the Electoral Process, Report to the Secretary of State (Mar. 23, 1993)

Attorney General Opinion:  Op. Me. Att'y Gen. 80-83

Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
1993 LD 1477

An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Special Commission on Electoral Practices
Enacted with amendment:

H-707
PL 1993, c. 473, 41 Amended:
21-A MRS §906(1)
Senate, June 9, 1993
p. S-1092-S-1100

Senate, June 9, 1993
p. S-1103-S-1104

House, June 14, 1993
p. H-1270-H-1284

House, June 29, 1993
p. H-1395

House, June 29, 1993
p. H-1410-H-1411

Senate, June 29, 1993
p. S-1166-S-1168
Report:  Special Commission to Review the Electoral Process, Report to the Secretary of State (Mar. 23, 1993)

Attorney General Opinion:  Op. Me. Att'y Gen. 80-83

Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
1993 LD 1488

An Act to Clarify the Process for a Direct Initiative of Legislation and to Simplify Questions Presented to the Voters at a Referendum
Enacted with amendment:

H-497
PL 1993, c. 352, 1-4 Enacted:
21-A MRS §906(6-A)

Amended:

21-A MRS §901

Repealed and Replaced:
21-A MRS §905(1)
21-A MRS §906(6)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1993 LD 1609

An Act to Clarify Maine Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

H-947
S-557
S-612
PL 1993, c. 695, 33-35 Enacted:
21-A MRS §903-A(1), (2)

Amended:

21-A MRS §901
Senate, March 31, 1994
p. S-1843
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1993 LD 1931

An Act to Promote Integrity in the Citizens Petition Process
Enacted with amendments:

H-881
S-542
PL 1993, c. 599 Enacted:
21-A MRS §904-A
21-A MRS §904-B
House, March 23, 1994
p. H-1734-H-1738

House, March 24, 1994
p. H-1791-H-1793

Senate, March 28, 1994
p. S-1709-S-1711
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
1995 LD 1461

An Act to Update and Clarify the Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

H-501
H-524
PL 1995, c. 459 Amended:
21-A MRS §906(1)
Senate, June 21, 1995
p. S-1267-S-1270
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1997 LD 440

An Act to Require Responsibility of the Employers of Persons who Collect Signatures
N/A PL 1997, c. 61 Amended:
21-A MRS §904-A
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1997 LD 1917

An Act to Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

S-451
PL 1997, c. 581, 2-10 Amended:
21-A MRS §901(1)
21-A MRS §901(3-A)
21-A MRS §901(4)
21-A MRS §902
21-A MRS §906(1-A)
21-A MRS §906(3)
21-A MRS §906(7)

Repealed:
21-A MRS §906(1)
21-A MRS §906(5)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
1997 LD 2082

An Act to Improve the Integrity of the Citizen Initiative Process
Enacted with amendment:

H-938
PL 1997, c. 637 Amended:
21-A MRS §903-A(1), (2)
House, March 19, 1998
p. H-1760-H-1762
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2001 LD 1042

An Act to Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

H-527
PL 2001, c. 310, 68 Amended:
21-A MRS §906(1-A)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2001 LD 2023

An Act to Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

H-776
S-422
PL 2001, c. 516, 19 Repealed:
21-A MRS §904-A
Senate, February 13, 2002
p. S-1475-S-1476
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

Court Opinion:  On Our Terms '97 PAC, et al. v. Secretary of State of State of Maine, 101 F. Supp. 2d 19 (D. Me. 1999)
Yes
2005 LD 929

An Act To Create Freedom of Citizen Information Regarding Ballot Questions and Political Action Committees
Enacted with amendments:

H-412
H-503
PL 2005, c. 356 Enacted:
21-A MRS §901-A
No debate. Report:  Final Report of the Study Commission to Study Alternative Voting Procedures, the Citizen Initiative Process and Minor Party Ballot Access (Jan. 2006)

Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2006 LD 2029

An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Study Alternative Voting Procedures, the Citizen Initiative Process and Minor Party Ballot Access
Enacted with amendment:

S-526
PL 2005, c. 575, 1 Enacted:
21-A MRS §903-A(3)
Senate, April 11, 2006
p. S-1884
Report:  Report on the Feasibility of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV): Prepared for the 122nd Maine Legislature Pursuant to the Public Laws of 2003, Chapter 117 (Jan. 15, 2005)

Report:  Final Report of the Study Commission to Study Alternative Voting Procedures, the Citizen Initiative Process and Minor Party Ballot Access (Jan. 2006)

Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2007 LD 176

An Act To Provide Notice to the General Public about Proposed Initiative Questions
Enacted with amendment:

S-114
PL 2007, c. 234 Enacted:
21-A MRS §905-A

Amended:
21-A MRS 901(3-A)
21-A MRS 901(4)
21-A MRS 901(5)
21-A MRS 901-A(2)
21-A MRS 903-A
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2007 LD 1761

An Act To Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

H-489
S-389
PL 2007, c. 455, 53 Repealed and Replaced:
21-A MRS §904
Senate, June 21, 2007
p. S-1245-S-1246
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2009 LD 235

An Act To Modify the Citizen Initiative Process
Enacted with amendment:

H-435
PL 2009, c. 341 Amended:
21-A MRS §901(5)
21-A MRS §901-A
House, March 29, 2010
p. H-1291
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2009 LD 1169

An Act To Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendment:

H-311
PL 2009, c. 253,
§§57-59
Amended:
21-A MRS §901
21-A MRS §901(3-A)

Repealed:
21-A MRS §906(2)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2010 LD 1730

An Act To Strengthen the Ballot Initiative Process
Enacted with amendments:

S-443
S-481
S-487
PL 2009, c. 611 Enacted:
21-A MRS §902-A
21-A MRS §903-C

Amended:
21-A MRS §901-A(2)
21-A MRS §902
21-A MRS §905(1)
21-A MRS §905(2)
Senate, March 22, 2010
p. S-1533-S-1539

Senate, March 26, 2010
p. S-1650-S-1651

Senate, March 26, 2010
p. S-1655

House, March 30, 2010
p. H-1314-H-1315
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2011 LD 1528

An Act To Amend the Election Laws and Other Related Laws
Enacted with amendment:

H-474
PL 2011, c. 342, 31 Amended:
21-A MRS §902
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2013 LD 1615

An Act To Amend the Election Laws
Enacted with amendments:

H-620
H-662
PL 2013, c. 457, 5 Repealed:
21-A MRS §906(3)
House, March 6, 2014
p. H-1530
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2015 LD 176

An Act To Amend the Law Governing the Gathering of Signatures for Direct Initiatives and People's Veto Referenda
Enacted with amendment:

H-98
PL 2015, c. 99 Amended:
21-A MRS §903-A
21-A MRS §903-C(1)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2017 LD 1323

An Act To Amend the Direct Initiative Signature Gathering Process
Enacted with amendment:

H-405
PL 2017, c. 277, 4-6 Enacted:
21-A MRS §903-D

Amended:
21-A MRS §902
21-A MRS §905(1)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2019 LD 1209

An Act To Require Legislative Hearings on Citizen-initiated Legislation
Enacted with amendment:

H-204
PL 2019, c. 152 Enacted:
21-A MRS 907
Senate, May 14, 2019
p. S-640-S-641
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2019 LD 534

An Act To Make Ballot Questions Easier To Read and Understand for Maine Voters
Enacted with amendment:

H-277
PL 2019, c. 414 Enacted:
21-A MRS 906(8)

Amended:

21-A MRS 906(6)(B), (C)
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes
2019 LD 499

An Act To Prohibit Payment per Signature on Petitions for Direct Initiatives and People's Veto Referendums
Enacted with amendment:

S-232
PL 2019, c. 456 Enacted:
21-A MRS 903-A(4), (5)
21-A MRS 904(6)

Amended:
21-A MRS 903-C(1)(D)
21-A MRS 904(4)
21-A MRS 904(5)
House, June 10, 2019
p. H-870
Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.

News Clips:  Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2019 LD 1904

An Act To Amend Certain Laws Governing Elections
Enacted with amendments:

H-776
S-408
PL 2019, c. 636, 19 Amended:
21-A MRS 901
No debate. Committee File:  Please contact a Reference Librarian. Yes