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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar
207-626-8404

Secretary of State Dunlap Verifies Enough Signatures to Place
An Act to Create the Taxpayer Bill of Rights on Ballot

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Matt hew Dunlap announced on Tuesday that enough valid signatures have been submitted to place an Act to Create the Taxpayer Bill of Rights on the ballot in 2006. Unless the Legislature approves the measure or sends it to the voters at a special election, it will appear on the November 7, 2006 General Election ballot.

The number of valid signatures required for this action was 50,519 (10% of the votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election of 2002). Secretary of State Dunlap announced that 51,611 signatures have been accepted, while 6,540 were rejected.

The question reads: “ Do you want to limit increases in state and local government spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth and to require voter approval for all tax and fee increases?”

“This determination follows a careful review of petitions containing over 58,000 signatures. The staff members in Maine’s Elections Division, as well as officials on the local level, deserve much credit for their thoroughness and dedication to this process. They worked diligently to review each petition and to verify a tremendous amount of important information,” Secretary Dunlap commented.

As a result of today’s decision, the legislation will be transmitted to the Legislature for consideration. A five day period of challenges to this ruling is also underway. Article IV, Part Third, Sections 18, 19, 20, and 22 of the Maine Constitution and Title 21-A, Chapter 11 address the procedures relative to initiative legislation. Additional information about the Citizen Initiative Process is available online at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/initpak.htm.

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

DETERMINATION OF THE VALIDITY
OF A PETITION FOR INITIATED LEGISLATION ENTITLED:

“An Act to Create the Taxpayer Bill of Rights”

1. On October 21, 2005, petitions containing 54,127 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 on behalf of the initiated legislation entitled, “An Act to Create the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.”

2. On the next business day, October 24, 2005, additional petitions containing 4,024 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State. These petitions were ready to be filed but were inadvertently omitted by petitioners from the materials filed on Friday, October 21, 2005. Because these petitions were not circulated after the one year statutory filing deadline set forth in Title 21-A MRSA §903-A, and because no signatures on these petitions were older than one year in conformance with the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, subsection 2, the petitions were accepted for filing.

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

  A. 2,941 are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality.

  B. 1,599 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted.

  C. 1,326 signatures are invalid because the circulator’s oath was not complete.

  D. 254 signatures are invalid because the petition was not on the approved form.

  E. 187 signatures are invalid because the voter’s signature was withdrawn from the petition.

  F. 110 signatures are invalid because the certification of the registrar was not completed.

  G. 87 signatures are invalid because the voter dated his or her signature after the date of the circulator’s oath before the notary.

  H. 24 signatures are invalid because the voter failed to provide a signature.

  I. 12 signatures are invalid because the voter’s signature was made by another.

4. For the reasons set forth above, I find that 6,540 signatures are invalid. Petitioners have therefore submitted 51,611 valid signatures. The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 50,519. As petitioners have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures, I find the petition to be valid.

Dated: February 21, 2006

_______________________________
Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State