FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Office: 626-8404/ Cell: 441-7638
Citizens? initiative for firearms background checks found valid with 65,821 signatures
AUGUSTA ? The citizens? initiative petition effort to consider additional requirements for background checks in the sale of firearms has been found valid, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed today.
The petitions for ?An Act to Require Background Checks for Gun Sales? had been in circulation since Oct. 13, 2015. On Jan. 19, 2016, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions received 19,986 petition forms with 84,602 signatures of those who support the initiative.
Staff members at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions have completed the process of certifying all of the petitions and have found 65,821 valid signatures, while 18,781 were not valid. A minimum of 61,123 signatures from registered Maine voters is required in the citizens? initiative process, thus the petition has been deemed valid by Secretary Dunlap.
The initiative to institute additional requirements for background checks in firearm sales will now go to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution. The Legislature can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote in November 2016.
The legislation proposes requiring a background check before a firearm sale or transfer between individuals who are not licensed as firearm dealers. The parties would be required to meet at a licensed firearm dealer, who would conduct a background check on the transferee and complete the sale. Exceptions are included in the proposed legislation for transfers between family members, while the parties are hunting or sport shooting, for emergency self-defense and some other circumstances. Visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/index.html to view the proposed legislation in its entirety.
STATE OF MAINE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Determination of the Validity of a Petition for Initiated Legislation Entitled:
?An Act To Require Background Checks for Gun Sales?
1) On January 19, 2016, 19,986 petitions containing 84,602 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. 1
2) Following a review of these 19,986 petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
a) 9,029 signatures are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality. (REG)
b) 5,600 signatures are invalid because the circulator?s signature on the circulator?s oath or the signature of the notary administering the oath did not match the signature on file and it could not be determined that the signature was made by that person. (OATSIG)
c) 1,090 signatures are invalid because the status of the circulators as residents of Maine could not be confirmed. (RES)
d) 828 signatures are invalid because the circulator?s status as a registered voter in the State of Maine could not be confirmed or the circulator was not registered to vote in the municipality where the circulator claimed to be a resident. (MUNI)
e) 545 signatures are invalid because the voter?s signature was crossed out on the petition form. (WD)
f) 358 signatures are invalid because the circulator?s oath was not complete or not administered properly. (OATH)
g) 294 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) 276 signatures are invalid because the circulator collected signatures prior to becoming registered to vote in the State of Maine. (CIRC)
i) 231 signatures are invalid because of material alterations to the petition. (ALT)
j) 191 signatures are invalid because the petitioner failed to provide a signature. (SIG)
k) 125 signatures are invalid because the notary was related to the circulator. (OWN)
l) 89 signatures are invalid because the registered voter?s signature was made by another. (ANO)
m) 61 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted. (DUP) 2
n) 60 signatures are invalid because the petition was not on the approved form. (FORM)
o) 3 signatures are invalid because the certification of the registrar was not completed. (CERT)
p) 1 signature is invalid because the circulator oath?s was not completed prior to submitting the petition to the registrar for certification. (PRIOR)
3) For the reasons set forth above, on the 19,986 petition forms fully reviewed by the Secretary of State, I find that 18,781 signatures are invalid and 65,821 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 4,698 signatures, I find the petition to be valid.
Dated:? February 18, 2016
Secretary of State
1) An additional 3,558 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 3,558 petition forms and these signatures were not included in the final tally of signatures that culminated in this Determination of Validity.
2) A complete review of all petitions to identify duplicate signatures was not undertaken during this certification process due to time constraints and the large number of signatures submitted to the Secretary of State.? Duplicate signatures that were invalidated for this effort were primarily identified by municipal election officials.