Peoples Veto

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For Immediate Release 
June 28, 2005
Contact: Doug Dunbar
207-626-8404

Signatures Submitted for People’s Veto of Anti-Discrimination Law
Maine Constitution Requires a Stay of Law

AUGUSTA, MAINE - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced that petitions were filed with Maine’s Division of Elections at 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday to force a People’s Veto referendum on the recently passed anti-discrimination law.  Supporters of the People’s Veto effort indicate that approximately 57,000 signatures have been submitted.  Petitions containing the valid signatures of 50,519 registered Maine voters were required by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday in order to put this issue on the ballot in November.

The Constitution of Maine (Article IV. Part Third. Section 17. Subsection 2) requires a stay of the law in question pending determination of the petitions’ validity.  Filing of signatures to force a People's Veto referendum has the effect of suspending the Act in question.  The Secretary of State has 30 days after the filing deadline to determine the validity of the petitions.

If the signature requirement is not met, the Act in question takes effect the day following that determination.  If the requirement is met, the Governor must issue a proclamation sending the measure to referendum.  In that event, the effect of the Act is stayed pending the outcome of the referendum vote.

"Our next step is to review these petitions, page by page, to determine if there are sufficient signatures to send this issue to the voters," Secretary of State Dunlap commented.  “We will work carefully, but expeditiously, to complete this process in the coming days.”