BUCKFIELD -- Today, State Treasurer Terry Hayes, Maine’s independent, Clean Elections candidate for Governor issued the following statement in opposition to a key provision in LD 1726, which would prohibit Maine citizens from collecting signatures for candidates, Citizen’s Initiatives, and People’s Vetoes at the polls on Election Day:
LD 1726, proposed by Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, will make it more difficult for Maine people to place issues on the ballot for consideration by their fellow Mainers. This proposed legislation silences the voices of Maine people. The Governor and the Legislature have ignored the will of the people by overturning all four of the most recent voter-approved ballot initiatives. LD 1726 is a systemic change that mutes voter input.
As Maine’s next Governor, I will stand up for the will of the people and I will protect the right of Maine people to petition their government. This bill would make it more challenging for Maine voters to participate in our democratic process, while making little difference to the big money special interest groups that are often funded by out-of-state resources that can afford to hire paid canvassers.
Maine people have a constitutional right to direct democracy that should not be taken away or diminished by statute. Collecting signatures and signing a petition at the polls is one of the most democratic actions voters can take. Who benefits from making it illegal?
Nothing about prohibiting the collection of voter signatures at the polls will fix what’s wrong in Augusta. We need more citizen engagement, not less.
Contact: Kaitlin LaCasse, 207-730-2779 or Kaitlin@HayesForMaine.com