Election 2023 Referendum Question 7

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 7:27 PM EST
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AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) -QUESTION 7: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Align the Proceedings for Circulating Written Petitions for People’s Vetoes and Direct Initiatives with Federal Law. Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision requiring a circulator of a citizen’s initiative or people’s veto petition to be a resident of Maine and a registered voter in Maine, requirements that have been ruled unconstitutional in federal court? Attorney and WAGM Legal Contributor Luke Rossignol explains what the ballot question means...” it’s an interesting as well in my view but its added basic element. What happened is the Maine constitution has had citizens initiative process from the beginning and and in the constitution is the requirement like you just read that in order to circulate these petitions, you have to be citizen and registered voters and that was challenged by an out of state political action committee or PAC against the Secretary of State’s office for enforcing that, and SOS office did not prevail in federal court so a federal district court found violation of first amendment rights, political activity and in that decision by the District Court from the federal court system was challenged to the first circuit court of appeals as the appellate court, and that appellate court, upheld that decision and rules essentially that that provision illegally it violates the federal constitution and to some extent the state of Maine first amendment of its constituion and basically told SOS you cannot enforce that and so the SOS office is dealing with essentially by seeking an amendment to the constitution to remove that provision.”