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July 20, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar

Secretary of State Dunlap Declares Vacancy
in Piscataquis County Judge of Probate Office

Vacancy to be Filled at Special County-wide Election on November 7th

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced on Thursday that the Judge of Probate vacancy in Piscataquis County created by the resignation of Judge Douglas M. Smith of Dover-Foxcroft will be filled at a special county-wide election to be held in conjunction with the General Election on November 7, 2006.

In a proclamation issued this week, Secretary Dunlap explained that Article VI, Section 6, of the Maine Constitution provides that, in the event of a vacancy in the office of Judge of Probate caused by the resignation of the incumbent, a new Judge of Probate must be chosen at the next biennial election, to serve for the remainder of the term, which in this instance is until December 31, 2008.

Dunlap further indicated that Title 21-A of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Sections 361, 362-A and 363 provide that if a vacancy occurs by the resignation of an incumbent, the vacancy must be declared and the appropriate qualified political committees notified of the deadline to meet to nominate a qualified candidate to fill the vacancy.

As required, the Democratic, Green Independent and Republican political party committees for Piscataquis County have been notified. Instructions have been given about the Constitutional and statutory requirements for filling the vacancy. Interested political party committees for Piscataquis County must file a Certificate of Nomination of their candidate for this office with the Secretary of State on or before 5 p.m., on Friday, August 18, 2006.

Dunlap noted that candidates who are not enrolled in one of Maine’s officially recognized political parties (Democratic, Green Independent, Republican) may qualify for placement on the special election ballot by submitting a minimum of 300 signatures and a maximum of 400 signatures of registered voters in Piscataquis County. Any registered voter, regardless of enrollment status, may sign the petitions. Candidates may obtain nomination petitions from the Elections Division in the Department of the Secretary of State.

Each petition must be verified by its circulator. All signatures must be certified by the applicable registrar of voters prior to filing with the Secretary of State. The candidate must sign a “Candidate’s Consent” before a notary public. The petitions must be submitted to the Elections Division for review on or before 5 p.m., August 18, 2006. If properly completed with the required number of signatures, the petitions will be accepted and filed by the Secretary of State. Each candidate will be notified by the Secretary of State of the acceptance of the petitions.

Additional information is available by calling the Elections Division at (207) 624-7650 or by sending a message to