FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2011
Contact: Charles Summers
Secretary of State Summers Validates Citizen Initiative to Establish a Racino in Biddeford and a Tribal Racino in Washington County
Initiative to Move on to Legislature
AUGUSTA, MAINE — Secretary of State Charles Summers announced today that enough valid signatures have been submitted to place “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Deadline and Conditions for Municipal Approval of a Second Racino and To Allow a Tribal Racino in Washington County” before the Maine State Legislature.
?After an exhaustive review, we have determined that 75,672 signatures on the petition are valid,? Summers explained. ?I commend the organizers of this effort for their success in meeting the required threshold. I also want to thank my staff in the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions for their hard work in ensuring that the integrity of the process was preserved and the statutory deadline for the determination was met.?
Secretary Summers notified proponents of his findings this afternoon. Proponents were required to gather at least 57,277 valid signatures - 10% of the total vote for Governor cast in the last gubernatorial election preceding the filing of the petition - by January 20, 2011 as provided for in the Maine Constitution. Of the 87,655 signatures submitted, 11,993 signatures were determined to be invalid.
If the Legislature does not approve the measure without change, it will appear as a ballot question on the November 8, 2011 Referendum Election ballot, allowing Maine voters to determine its passage.
Anyone challenging the decision of the Secretary of State must file an appeal in Superior Court within five business days. Once the challenge period has passed, the Secretary of State will transmit the initiated bill to the Legislature for its consideration.
This is the second petition that the Secretary of State has certified as valid this year. On February 4, 2011, Secretary Summers announced that “An Act Regarding Establishing a Slot Machine Facility” had also met the threshold to allow the citizen initiative to be considered by Maine lawmakers.