Intent and Content
Prepared by the Office of the Attorney General
This proposal would authorize an amendment to the Constitution of Maine to change certain time frames in the direct initiative and people's veto referendum process.
Direct initiative: The amendment would increase, from 5 days to 10 days, the time period for officials of cities, towns and plantations to complete their review of petitions for a direct initiative in order to certify which signatures are those of registered voters within their city, town or plantation. It also clarifies for these purposes that "day" and "days" means any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Direct initiative petitions would have to be submitted to municipal offices for review by 5:00 p.m. on the 12th day (instead of the 10th day, under current law) before the deadline for filing with the Secretary of State's office.
There is a corresponding extension of the deadline for filing a direct initiative petition with the Secretary of State's office. Under current law, that deadline is the 50th day after the Legislature convenes in a first regular session (the first year of the biennium) and the 25th day after the Legislature convenes in a second regular session (the second year of the biennium). This proposal would extend those deadlines by ten days to the 60th and 35th days, respectively. Petitioners would thus have approximately the same amount of time in which to circulate petitions and collect signatures under this proposal as under current law.
People's veto: The only change to the time frames for a people's veto petition is that such petitions would have to be submitted to municipal offices by 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd day (instead of the 5th day) before the deadline for filing with the Secretary of State's office. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are again excluded. The existing deadline in the Constitution for filing a people's veto petition with the Secretary of State's office would remain unchanged.
A "YES" vote favors adoption of this constitutional amendment.
A "NO" vote opposes adoption of this constitutional amendment.
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time that local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions?