Here is the latest update for the three anti-initiative and referendum bills currently working their way through the Maine Legal and Veterans Affairs (LVA) Committee.

LD 1690, “An Act To Prevent Predatory Signature Gathering and Ensure a Clean Citizen Initiative and People’s Veto Process” was voted on in Committee Work Session (2/25) as Ought Not to Pass; however it has not been reported out of committee yet.

Ballot Box

As I anticipated, yesterday’s work session in the Maine Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee discussion centered on Senator Seth Berry’s bill, the amended version of LD 1690 (LD 1690-A), that contains provisions meant to curtail the ballot initiative and People’s Veto referendum rights of Mainers. LD 1730, with similar provisions, was also slated to be discussed but was not.

Maine State CapitolToday, long time ballot initiative rights activist””and Citizens in Charge Foundation Maine Citizen State Coordinator””Mary Adams informed the Maine Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee of the harm posed to the citizen initiative process by a series of bills.

Last month, Ohio state representative Jennifer Garrison announced a plan for what she inappropriately refers to as a “Ballot Integrity Act”. The proposal would require people who help initiative and referendum campaigns collect signatures, and the companies they work for, to go through an onerous and potentially expensive registration process before they could work on a petition campaign.The law would also allow voters’ signatures to be thrown out because of mistakes made by campaign workers.

At a time when Californians’ ballot initiative & referendum rights have been under sustained attack, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed three bills that he believes would harm grassroots petitioning efforts.