FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2016
Contact: Kristen Muszynski
office: 626-8404/cell: 441-7638
Citizens? initiative for minimum wage increase found valid with 75,275 signatures
AUGUSTA ? The citizens? initiative petition effort to increase the minimum wage has been found valid, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed today.
The petitions for ?An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage? had been in circulation since June 2, 2015. On Jan. 14, 2016, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions received 13,212 petitions with 86,438 total 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 75,275 valid signatures, while 11,163 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 increase the minimum wage 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 bill proposes raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2017 and by $1 per hour each year after that until it is $12 per hour in 2020. The minimum wage then increases at the same rate as the cost of living. The minimum wage for workers who receive tips increases to $5.00 per hour in 2017 and then by $1.00 per hour each year until it matches the minimum wage for all other workers, which occurs no sooner than 2024. 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 Raise the Minimum Wage?
1. On January 14, 2016, 13,212 petitions containing 86,438 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 13,212 petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
A) 8,352 signatures are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality. (REG)
B) 809 signatures are invalid because the voter?s signature was crossed out on the petition form. (WD)
C) 534 signatures are invalid because the circulator?s status as a registered voter in the State of Maine could not be confirmed (MUNI).
D) 380 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)
E) 365 signatures are invalid because the circulator?s oath was not complete or not administered properly. (OATH)
F) 162 signatures are invalid because of material alterations to the petition. (ALT)
G) 147 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted. (DUP) (2)
H) 139 signatures are invalid because the petitioner failed to provide a signature. (SIG)
I) 68 signatures are invalid because the circulator oath?s was not completed prior to submitting the petition to the registrar for certification. (PRIOR)
J) 51 signatures are invalid because the certification of the registrar was not completed. (CERT)
K) 46 signatures are invalid because the registered voter?s signature was made by another. (ANO)
L) 44 signatures are invalid because the notary was related to the circulator. (OWN)
M) 36 signatures are invalid because the circulators collected signatures prior to becoming registered to vote in the State of Maine. (CIRC)
N) 30 signatures are invalid because the petition was not on the approved form. (FORM)
3. For the reasons set forth above, on the 13,212 petition forms fully reviewed by the Secretary of State, I find that 11,163 signatures are invalid and 75,275 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 14,152 signatures, I find the petition to be valid.
Dated:? February 16, 2016
Secretary of State
1) An additional 1,945 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 1,945 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.