September 8, 2011
Contact: Caitlin E. Chamberlain
(207) 441-0501?

Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. Validates Signatures for People's Veto Effort of PL 2011, Chapter 399

AUGUSTA, MAINE —Secretary of State Charlie Summers announced today that the effort to reject a bill enacted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in June has gathered enough signatures of registered Maine voters to effect a stay on the sections of the law relating to voter registration until voters make the final decision at the polls on November 8, 2011. 

The bill, LD 1376: “An Act To Preserve the Integrity of the Voter Registration and Election Process”, as approved is Chapter 399 of the 2011 Public Laws of Maine. The sections of the law affected by the people’s veto moves the voter registration deadline back two business days to 5:00 PM on the Thursday prior to Election Day.  Changes to the law pertaining to absentee voting also enacted by this bill will become effective on September 28, 2011.  

Pursuant to Article IV, Part Third, Section 17 of the Maine Constitution, citizens who disagree with an action of the Legislature in non-emergency legislation have until 90 days after the adjournment of the Legislature to submit a petition signed by registered Maine voters to require that the law be placed before the voters for an up or down vote. The organizers of the people’s veto effort needed to gather 57,277 signatures of registered Maine voters by August 9th in order to place a stay on the effectiveness of the law and force a vote on November 8, 2011. On August 8 and 9, 2011, 17,064 petitions containing 82,609 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State.

Officials at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions today prepared the Determination of Validity that enumerates the certification effort supervised by the Secretary of State. The Determination finds that 70,308 of the submitted signatures are valid; this surpasses the required number of 57,277 by 13,031 signatures.

Because Maine law requires that People's Veto referenda appear first on the ballot prepared by the Secretary of State for a statewide election, this question will appear first on the fall ballot. The two citizen initiative questions will come next, followed by the Constitutional resolution.

The order of the questions on the November 8, 2011 ballot will be as follows:

Question 1: Do you want to reject the section of Chapter 399 of the Public Law of 2011 that requires new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election?

Question 2: Do you want to allow a slot machine facility at a harness racing track in Biddeford or another community within 25 miles of Scarborough Downs, subject to local approval, and at a harness racing track in Washington County, with part of the profits from these facilities going to support specific state and local programs?

Question 3: Do you want to allow a casino with table games and slot machines in Lewiston, with part of the profits going to support specific state and local programs?

Question 4: Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to change the years of redistricting the Maine Legislature, congressional districts and county commissioner districts after 2013 from 2023 and every 10th year thereafter to 2021 and every 10th year thereafter?