"Pursuant to Article IV, Part Third, Section 17 of the Maine Constitution, citizens who disagree with an action of the Legislature in non-emergency legislation have until 90 days after the adjournment of the Legislature to submit a petition signed by registered Maine voters to require that the law be placed before the voters for an up or down vote," said a statement on the Secretary's site. The so-called “People's Veto” effort needed to gather 55,087 signatures of registered Maine voters by September 11th in order to place a stay on the effectiveness of the law and force a vote. In late July the organizers of the effort submitted petition forms containing nearly 100,000 signatures."
The statement goes on to state, "...the Secretary of State's determination finds that 60,391 of the submitted signatures are valid; this surpasses the required number of 55,087 by 5,304 signatures."
Governor John Baldacci, a supporter of marriage equality, signed the order officially setting November 3rd as the date for the statewide referendum.
The NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign, which is fighting to keep marriage equality legal in the state, issued a response from campaign manager Jesse Connolly.
There's no surprise here. Everyone knew marriage equality would be challenged by a referendum and that's why our allies began having conversations with Mainers three years ago. We now have nearly 80,000 Mainers who have pledged their support for equality.Get involved! Protect marriage equality in Maine! This is ground zero for the marriage equality struggle. A loss following Proposition 8 could set the movement back years while a win could be a historic. A win will be the first voter approved marriage equality law in history!
This was a quarter-of-a-million dollar signature effort by a Michigan firm, and it highlights the stark differences in our campaigns. Their's is a cynical, pay-for-every signature approach that doesn't reflect the homegrown values of our state.
By contrast, we have put our trust in the common sense and fair mindedness of our friends, neighbors and co-workers. And that's why we believe voters will reject Question 1 because here in Maine, we believe everyone should be allowed to live their lives and be treated equally under the law.
Be a part of history.
No matter where you live, there are opportunities to get involved.
Go to the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality website - donate and volunteer!