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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar
207-626-8404

Secretary of State Announces Inadequate Signatures
for Placement of Citizen Initiative on Ballot in 2006

AUGUSTA , MAINE -- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced on Wednesday that the Citizen Initiative effort to authorize a tribal commercial track and slot machine operation in Washington County has fallen short of the signatures required for placement on the ballot in 2006.

More than 60,500 signatures on over 10,000 petitions were submitted by the deadline established in the Maine Constitution for 2006 consideration.  After careful review by local and state election officials, 12,985 were invalidated for the reasons outlined below.

The required number of signatures for action this year was 50,519 (10% of the total votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election).  The total number of accepted valid signatures can not be determined at this time because the Attorney General's office is investigating allegations  of irregularities in the gathering of signatures in addition to the ones that have already been invalidated.

Proponents of this Citizen Initiative may continue to gather signatures until August 4, 2006 for possible placement on the ballot in 2007.  Additionally, proponents and/or voters who signed one of the submitted petitions may challenge the Secretary of State's decision in Superior Court within five (5) business days.

“I want to thank state and local election officials who worked exceptionally hard to review and process more than 60,000 signatures on these petitions.  This was an enormous task, and it was handled with tremendous care and professionalism,” Secretary Dunlap commented.

More information about the State of Maine Citizen Initiative process is available online at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/, by calling (207) 624-7650 or e-mailing SOS.Office@maine.gov.

 

STATE OF MAINE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

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

“An Act to Authorize a Tribal Commercial Track and Slot Machines in Washington County ”

1.

On January 30, 2006 , petitions containing 60,524 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 Authorize a Tribal Commercial Track and Slot Machines in Washington County ”. 1

2.

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

  A.

8,212 signatures are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality.

  B.

2,430 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted.

  C.

575 signatures are invalid because the circulator's oath was not complete.

  D.

476 signatures are invalid because the voter's signature was withdrawn from the petition.

  E.

138 signatures are invalid because the residency status of 1 circulator could not be confirmed. (28 signatures found invalid for other reasons are also invalid for this reason.)

  F.

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

  G.

273 signatures are invalid because of material alterations to the petition.

  H.

213 signatures are invalid because the voter's signature was made by another.

  I.

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

  J.

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

  K.

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

3.

For the reasons set forth above, I find that 12,985 signatures are invalid. As the investigation of a number of reported irregularities is ongoing, including issues of forgery, the exact number of valid signatures cannot be confirmed at this time. The number of signatures required to determine the petition valid is 50,519. Because the number of signatures deemed invalid to date brings the number of possible valid signatures below the required minimum, I find the petition to be invalid.

 

Dated: March 1, 2006

_________________
Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State

_______________________________
1 An additional 133 petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State on January 31, 2006 . These petitions contained 293 signatures that were certified by municipal officials as belonging to registered voters. Because these petitions were submitted after the filing deadline specified in the Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18, they were not considered in the review by the Secretary of State.