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December 19, 2005
Contact: Doug Dunbar

Secretary of State Announces Decision on Citizen Initiative;
Petition Effort Falls Short of Required Signatures

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced on Monday that the Citizen Initiative effort to place “An Act to Preserve Maine’s Drinking Water Supply” on the November, 2006 ballot has fallen short of the required 50,519 signatures.

Following an extensive review of the petitions submitted on September 23rd, more than 7,100 of the 56,287 submitted signatures were determined to be invalid. The petitions contained 49,100 valid signatures. A complete breakdown of the reasons for invalidating signatures accompanies this release.

“After a careful evaluation of all petitions and signatures, the requirement for placing this initiative on next year’s General Election ballot has not been met. I want to thank the municipal election officials who checked signatures at the local level, as well as the staff in Maine’s Elections Division who conducted an exhaustive review of all petitions,” Secretary of State Dunlap commented.

Secretary Dunlap noted that interested parties have five business days to challenge this decision by taking legal action. He also explained that the Elections Division will now begin the review of petitions submitted on October 21, 2005 to place “An Act to Create a Taxpayer Bill of Rights” on the November, 2006 General Election ballot.

Additional information about the Citizen Initiative process, as well as details about the two initiatives mentioned in this release, is available online at or by calling (207) 624-7650 or e-mailing




 “An Act To Preserve Maine’s Drinking Water Supply”


On September 23, 2005, petitions containing 56,287 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to 21-A MRSA, Section 903-Aš and the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 on behalf of the initiated legislation entitled, “An Act To Preserve Maine’s Drinking Water Supply”.

2. Following a review of the petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:

  A. 4,420 are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality.

  B. 1,332 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted.

  C. 601 signatures are invalid because the circulator’s oath was not complete.

  D. 192 signatures are invalid because the petitioner’s signature was withdrawn from the petition (i.e. the petitioner’s signature was crossed out prior to certification by the registrar).

  E. 188 signatures are invalid because the petitioner dated his or her signature after the date of the circulator’s oath before the notary.

  F. 182 signatures are invalid because the petition was not on the approved form.

  G. 91 signatures are invalid because the petitioner failed to provide a signature.

  H. 71 signatures are invalid because the circulator was not registered to vote in the State of Maine.

  I. 45 signatures are invalid because of material alterations to the petition.

  J. 44 signatures are invalid because the registered voter’s signature was made by another.

  K. 11 signatures are invalid because the notary was related to the circulator.

  L. 10 signatures are invalid because the certification of the registrar was not completed.

3. For the reasons set forth above, I find that 7,187 signatures are invalid. Petitioners have therefore submitted 49,100 valid signatures. The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 50,519. As petitioners have failed to submit a sufficient number of valid signatures, I find the petition to be invalid.

Dated: December 19, 2005

Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State

¹Additional petitions containing 252 signatures, 203 of which were certified by municipal officials as belonging to registered voters, were submitted to this office after the September 23, 2005, deadline, but were not considered in the review by the Secretary of State.