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Maine: Work Session Scheduled for Ballot Initiative Reform Legislation

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maine: Work Session Scheduled for Ballot Initiative Reform Legislation

On Friday, May 5, the Legislative Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs has scheduled a work session for Legislative Document 31.  LD 31, sponsored by state Representative Eleanor Espling (R-65), addresses problems and concerns with the state’s current “Citizen Initiative” process.  This bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Maine to require that the signatures on a petition consist of voters from each of the State's two congressional districts, and the number of signatures from each congressional district be not less than 10% of the total vote for governor cast in that congressional district in the previous gubernatorial election.  Please continue to contact members of the committee and urge them to vote in favor of this important legislation!  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact committee members!

For more than a decade, Maine’s ballot initiative process has transitioned into a gross disproportional representation of the citizens across the state.  Almost without exception, an overwhelming majority of the signatures collected to qualify an initiative have been collected from the First Congressional District.  This type of system is easy to manipulate and often represents the position of one certain geographic area of the state to the detriment of another.

This past election cycle, gun owners witnessed this dilemma firsthand with the qualifying process for Question 3.  Question 3 was a ballot initiative backed by anti-gun billionaire, and former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, which failed by a thin margin.  Under the current initiative qualifying process, a majority of the required petition signatures were collected from urban areas in Southern Maine, putting gun owners at a great disadvantage.  LD 31 would correct this problem and restore the integrity of the initiative qualifying system, making it difficult for out-of-state gun control advocates like Bloomberg to push their misguided agendas and buy their way onto the ballot.

 

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Maine Ballot Initiatives
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.