FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Work: 626-8404/Cell: 441-7638
Clean Election Act Petition Validated
AUGUSTA ? A citizen initiative petition seeking to amend the Maine Clean Election Act has been found valid, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced Tuesday.
On Jan. 21, 3,156 petitions containing 85,999 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State in support of the proposed legislation, ?An Act To Strengthen the Maine Clean Election Act, Improve Disclosure and Make Other Changes to the Campaign Finance Laws.?
The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions reviewed the submitted signatures and found that 6,460 of those signatures are invalid and 79,539 signatures are valid. The number of signatures required is 61,123, (10 percent of the votes cast for governor in the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election), so the petition exceeds the required number by 18,416 signatures. The complete determination, which lists the various categories and numbers of valid and invalid signatures, is attached.
?The staff in our Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions has done a tremendous job in reviewing these petitions,? said Dunlap. ?The process for certifying an effort like this requires a great deal of scrutiny, and we are confident that this initiative has met the strict standards as set forth in the Maine Constitution.?
A 10-day challenge period now follows, when the CEC?s findings can be disputed by any Maine voter. If not challenged, the initiated bill will then go before the Legislature. The Legislature may either approve the legislation exactly as written or may disapprove the legislation. If the Legislature fails to enact this legislation, a ballot question will be drafted and that question will be put before the voters statewide in November 2015.?
Among other provisions, the bill proposes to allow supplemental funding for Clean Elections candidates, increase penalties for campaign finance violations and increase the Clean Elections Act fund from $2 million to $3 million. The complete text of the bill can be found online.?
STATE OF MAINE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Determination of the Validity of a Petition for Initiated Legislation Entitled:
?An Act To Strengthen the Maine Clean Election Act, Improve Disclosure and Make Other Changes to the Campaign Finance Laws?
- On January 21, 2015, 3,156 petitions containing 85,999 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 on behalf of the above-entitled initiated legislation. 
- Following a review of these 3,156 petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
A. 3,814 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted. (DUP)
B. 936 signatures are invalid because the circulator?s oath was not complete or not administered properly. (OATH)
C. 837 signatures are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality. (REG)
D. 256 signatures are invalid because the notary was related to the circulator. (OWN)
E. 190 signatures are invalid because the circulator oath?s was not completed prior to submitting the petition to the registrar for certification. (PRIOR)
F. 144 signatures are invalid because the voter?s signature was withdrawn from the petition. (WD)
G. 92 signatures are invalid because the voter dated his or her signature after the date of the circulator?s oath before the notary or the voter?s signature was not dated and it could not be determined that the voter signed the petition before the circulator took the oath. (DATE)
H. 53 signatures are invalid because the circulators collected signatures prior to becoming registered to vote in the State of Maine. (CIRC)
I. 52 signatures are invalid because the petitioner failed to provide a signature. (SIG)
J. 46 signatures are invalid because the certification of the registrar was not completed. (CERT)
K. 20 signatures are invalid because of material alterations to the petition. (ALT)
L. 12 signatures are invalid because the registered voter?s signature was made by another. (ANO)
M. 8 signatures are invalid because the petition was not on the approved form. (FORM)?
- For the reasons set forth above, on the 3,156 petition forms fully reviewed by the Secretary of State, I find that 6,460 signatures are invalid and 79,539 signatures are valid.? The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 61,123.? Because the number of valid signatures exceeds the required number by 18,416 signatures, I find the petition to be valid.
Dated:? February 17, 2015
Secretary of State
 An additional 68 petitions that were submitted contained only signatures that were certified as invalid by municipal registrars.? The Secretary of State did not complete a full review of signatures included on these 68 petition forms and these signatures were not included in the final tally of signatures that culminated in this Determination of Validity.