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PEOPLE'S VETO TO RESTORE RANKED CHOICE VOTING

PLEASE READ – IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING SIGNATURE COLLECTION

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIGNATURE COLLECTION

**You must read this document in its entirety before collecting signatures as it contains information to ensure that you comply with Maine laws, so that the petitions you circulate will not be thrown out by town clerks or the Secretary of State’s Office. Thank you!**

Before you start collecting signatures: Read the cover letter and FAQ to familiarize yourself with the People’s Veto campaign to restore the Ranked Choice Voting law.

When you are collecting petition signatures

  • Ask voters if they would be willing to sign the petition for the Ranked Choice Voting People’s Veto. The bill language is printed on the petition for their consideration.

  • Let signers know this is the official petition. Their signature will help us place a People’s Veto on the June 2018 statewide ballot, and freeze the law in place so we can use ranked choice voting starting with the June 2018 primary election.

  • Make sure each signer legibly writes their name, date, physical address, and signature on the petition. The physical address provided must be where the signer is currently registered to vote.

    Important points

  • You are the sole person allowed to witness signatures on your petitions. You must be present when people sign.

  • Keep your petitions with you at all times. Do not leave them unattended. If you’re tabeling and need to step to the restroom or go to your car, take your petitions with you. This is one of the most common reasons cited for invalidating petitions.

  • You must be a registered Maine voter both to collect signatures and to sign the petition.

  • Signers must be given a chance to read the petition document before signing. The bill langugage for the People’s Veto is printed on the petition.

  • Please use a new, different petition sheet for voters from different towns. For example, a voter registered in Bangor should be on a petition with other Bangor voters. A voter from Calais should not be on a Bangor petition. Just start a new petition for every new town.

Communications

Please send us regular emails to let us know how it’s going and how many signatures you have collected. If you’re collecting signatures on an ongoing basis through December 15th, please email us weekly with an update, including the total number of signatures you have collected so far. Send updates to petition@rcvmaine.com. 

After collecting signatures

  • Once you complete your signature collection, please take your petitions to a local bank or a notary public to be notarized. You must sign your petitions in the presence of the notary, not before. Don’t forget to take your driver’s license or photo ID with you.

  • After your petitions are notarized, if you collected your signatures in a city or town close to you, please drop them off with at the office of the town clerk to be validated. Please thank them for their work on this. Ask when they expect they will be ready.

  • Please email or call us when you make it to this step. Let us know the number of petition forms you delivered to your local clerk(s) and the total number of signatures that are on these forms.

  • For larger cities and towns, we will get in touch with the clerk, and can retrieve the petitions once they have been validated. For smaller towns, it would be helpful if you could pick them up and mail them to the PO Box listed below.

  • If you have petitions from out-of-town, please have them notarized too, and then return them to us. We will mail them to the appropriate municipality for validation.

  • Finally, please mail back to the campaign: (1) your certificate of registration as a petition circulator, (2) any notarized and validated petitions you have picked up from your town or city clerk, and (3) any notarized, but not yet validated petitions, that you would like us to submit to clerks for you. If you would like, please also include a copy of your postage receipt, and we will reimburse you for regular first-class mail. Please mail to: 

Committee for Ranked Choice Voting
P.O. Box 928
Gorham, ME 04038

Please call or email us if you have any questions or issues as you dive into this. And we’d love it if you would email updates to our team here: petition@rcvmaine.com

  • Finn Melanson, Field Director: 207-420-0469, finn@rcvmaine.com
  • Adam Pontius, Coalition Coordinator: 207-751-0866, adam@rcvmaine.com
  • Dick Woodbury, Campaign Chair: 207-847-9300, dick@rcvmaine.com 

Thank you for joining us to circulate People’s Veto petitions to restore Ranked Choice Voting!

It is critically important that you please review all of the materials in this packet carefully and thoroughly to avoid any errors that could result in the petition sheets circulated by you along with the signatures on them being invalidated by either town clerks or the Secretary of State’s Office.

On October 23rd, the Maine Legislature voted to thwart the will of the people by delaying and repealing the historic, voter-approved Ranked Choice Voting law, even though it was passed with the second largest vote of any citizen initiative in the state’s history.

Fortunately, Maine’s Constitution gives our citizens the right to reverse decisions of the Legislature through the power of the People's Veto.

That is why on October 27th, we launched a People's Veto referendum to restore the groundbreaking election reform we passed in November 2016.

To be successful, we must collect 61,123 valid signatures in the next 90 days. This action will allow us to freeze the Ranked Choice Voting law in place and we’ll get to use the ranked choice voting system in the June 2018 primaries for state and federal elections. Voters will also have the chance to reaffirm their support for RCV on the June 2018 ballot by voting “yes” for the People’s Veto.

We are proud of and confident in the people power of this campaign. Thousands of Maine citizens like you have volunteered countless hours over many years to give voters the freedom to vote for the candidate they like best without worrying that they will help to elect the candidate they like least.

Dick Woodbury, Chair

FAQ

Constitutionality

Our People’s Veto campaign seeks to restore Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting law for the 7 elections that do not conflict with the plurality provision in Maine’s Constitution, including U.S. Senate primary and general, U.S. House primary and general, Gubernatorial primary, State Representative primary, and State Senate primary. There are no state constitutional concerns when it comes to any of these elections. Federal courts have all ruled that RCV meets all U.S. Constitutional tests.

People’s Veto

This People’s Veto initiative will give us, Maine citizens, the opportunity to reaffirm our support for Ranked Choice Voting on the June 2018 ballot. Even before we vote on it in June, the submission of our People’s Veto petitions will freeze the Ranked Choice Voting law, so that we’ll get to use the new system starting with the June 2018 primaries for state and federal elections.

Cost, Timing, & Technology

In 2010, North Carolina (population 6.2 million) had 86 days to implement RCV for a statewide election and had no additional appropriation from the North Carolina State Legislature. Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting law was approved by voters in November 2016. By the time RCV is used in the June 2018 election, Maine’s Secretary of State will have had 18 months to implement the new law.

Minneapolis uses the same vote tabulators as Maine to conduct their RCV elections. 90% of ballots in Maine are scanned using the same exact tabulators as Minneapolis. Maine already has the technology in place that it needs to implement RCV smoothly and successfully starting with the June 2018 election.

Unncessary Delay & Kneejerk Repeal

Opponents of RCV, who lost at the ballot box in November 2016, failed in their initial attempt to repeal RCV in June 2017. But during the October 2017 special session, their delay and repeal proposal was approved with majority support in both chambers of the Maine Legislature. This is the action we are going to reverse with our People’s Veto campaign. Their bad law delays implementation until the 2022 elections and includes a trigger that repeals ranked choice voting in its entirety unless 2/3rds votes in both chambers send a Constitutional Amendment to the people. (Recall that this same Legislature killed a bill to send us a Constitutional Amendment!) The October 23rd vote by a majority of Maine lawmakers directly undermined the expressed choice of the Maine people and we must not let it stand.

What We Need to Do Together

To submit 61,123 valid signatures, we need to collect about 2000 total signatures every single day between now and our target date of December 15. Even with many hands, this is no small task. Whether your daily goal is 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, or more, per day, stepping up to your part really matters right now.

The People’s Veto for Ranked Choice Voting restores election reform for the 7 primary and federal elections for which there are no constitutional concerns and will compel our government to implement the law and give us more voice and more choice in our democracy starting with the June 2018 election.

If you share our frustration, but also our optimism for Maine’s future, please collect as many signatures as you can by December 15, 2017.