People's Veto

Maine’s Marriage Opponents Already on the Case

That didn’t take long. Maine Gov. John Baldacci just signed the same-sex marriage bill, and the push to give citizens the final say is already underway. Seacost: “Unlike New Hampshire, Maine has a mechanism to overturn a law called the ‘people’s veto.’ Opponents must gather signatures of registered voters equal to 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. If verified, the veto measure is put on the next statewide ballot, with voters either upholding or repealing the law. The secretary of state received an application for a people’s veto on Thursday, [Julie Flynn, deputy secretary of state for the Bureau of Corporation, Elections and Commissions] said. The office has 10 business days to write a legal ballot question and return it to the applicant. The coalition of opponents, including the Catholic diocese of Portland and the Maine Jeremiah Project, must collect 55,087 valid signatures, but in practice need to get more than that in case signatures are disqualified. For all practical purposes, said Flynn, opponents need to collect those signatures by mid-August to get on the November ballot, because they must be certified by town or city clerks first, then by the secretary of state — all by Sept. 4. That leaves 60 days before the Nov. 4 election, time enough for ballots to be printed and to allow for absentee voting.”