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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson
207-626-8404

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Verifies Enough Signatures to Place Citizen Initiative to Allow a Casino in Oxford County Before the Maine Legislature

Augusta — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today that enough valid signatures have been submitted to place “An Act to Allow a Casino in Oxford County” before Maine Lawmakers during the Second Regular Session of the 123rd Legislature. If the Legislature does not approve the measure, it will be sent to Maine’s voters as a ballot question on the November 4, 2008 Referendum Election ballot.

“After careful review of petitions containing over 77,000 signatures, Maine’s Elections Division has certified 59,504 of those signatures as valid,” Dunlap explained, continuing, “this exceeds the number of signatures required for the citizen initiative to move forward in the process.”

The question as it appeared on the circulated petitions reads “Do you want to allow a certain Maine company to have the only casino in Maine, to be located in OxfordCounty, if part of the revenue is used to fund specific state programs?” A copy of the proposed legislation can be viewed on the Secretary of State’s website here: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/pets02/leg-oxf.htm.

Dunlap said “the signature review process is a laborious effort, undertaken by both the State’s Elections Division as well as municipal elections officials, and they are to be commended for their attention to detail. The policy put forth in this citizen initiative will now be properly debated by the Legislature and the public.”  

The following is a copy of the signature verification document, which specifies the number of signatures submitted, the number of signatures determined to be invalid and the reasons for their invalidation, and the number of valid signatures finally certified.

****************** 

STATE OF MAINE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

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

“An Act to Allow a Casino in Oxford County”

  1.  On January 14, 2008, petitions containing 77,177 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 Allow a Casino in Oxford County”.¹
  2. Following a review of the petitions I find the following signatures to be invalid for the following reasons:
  A.

10,640 signatures are invalid because they were not certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality.

  B.

3,590 signatures are invalid because they are duplicates of signatures already counted.

  C.

1,322 signatures are invalid because of material alterations to the petition.

  D.

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

  E.

463 signatures are invalid because the circulator’s oath was not complete or was not administered properly.

  F.

440 signatures are invalid because the petitioner’s signature was dated more than one year prior to the date that the petition was filed in the office of the Secretary of State.

  G.

327 signatures are invalid because the voter dated his or her signature after the date of the circulator’s oath before the notary or the voter’s signature was not dated and it could not be determined that the voter signed the petition before the circulator took the oath.

  H.

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

  I.

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

  J.

61 signatures are invalid because the residency status of 3 circulators could not be confirmed.

  K.

45 signatures are invalid because the petition was submitted to the municipal registrar for determination of whether the petitioners were qualified voters after the deadline set by the Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part Third, Section 20.

  L.

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

  M.

11 signatures are invalid because the circulators collected signatures prior to becoming registered to vote in the State of Maine.

  N.

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

  1. For the reasons set forth above, I find that 17,673 signatures are invalid. Petitioners have therefore submitted 59,504 valid signatures. The number of signatures required to determine the petition to be valid is 55,087. As petitioners have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures, I find the petition to be valid.

¹ An additional 1,327 petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State on January 14, 2008. Proponents     acknowledged that some of these additional petitions were not certified by the municipal registrar of voters.    (Secretary of State staff determined there were 901 petitions with 1,097 signatures in this category.) Proponents also acknowledged that some of these additional petitions contained signatures that were all dated more than one year prior to the date that the petition was filed in the office of the Secretary of State. (Secretary of State staff determined that there were 426 petitions with 16,172 signatures in this category.) Accordingly, these petitions were not included in the review that culminated in this Determination of Validity.