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Maine: Ballot Initiative Reform Legislation Receives Another Opportunity

Friday, July 21, 2017

Maine: Ballot Initiative Reform Legislation Receives Another Opportunity

Yesterday, the Maine Senate came up one vote short of passing Legislative Document 31.  Yesterday’s Senate consideration was the final passage vote, and needed two-thirds of the Maine Senate to pass and appear on the Ballot this November. After failing to pass the Senate, the Maine House of Representatives “insisted on final passage” and LD 31 will have another vote in the Maine Senate on August 2, the final day of session. 

LD 31 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.

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.

Please stay tuned to your email inbox and www.nraila.org for further updates and actions on LD 31.

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.