IVN News

Explosive 24 Hours: Maine Voters Rise Up Against State Lawmakers

GORHAM, MAINE — With less than 24 hours to deploy thousands of petitions and collect signatures for Election Day, more than 400 volunteers from the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) joined together to get well over half the valid signatures required to qualify for the ballot to stop the Legislature’s bill to delay and repeal the new election system.

The Committee received the approved petition from Secretary of State Matt Dunlap at 4:30 PM the night before Election Day, making the speed of petition deployment and signature collection a record-breaking event. The signatures were collected by an all-volunteer force in every single one of the 16 counties in Maine.

The energy from the tens of thousands of people who collected and signed on Election Day was incredible. Maine voters are determined to have Ranked Choice Voting in place.
Kyle Bailey, RCV Maine campaign manager

To qualify for the ballot, the People’s Veto campaign must collect 61,123 individual signatures from registered Maine voters in ninety days. The People’s Veto has been used just 30 times in the last 100 years and never before in the case of a voter-approved initiative being overturned by the Legislature.

“The energy from the tens of thousands of people who collected and signed on Election Day was incredible. Maine voters are determined to have Ranked Choice Voting in place, beginning with the June 2018 primaries,” said Kyle Bailey, campaign manager. “Maine people understand that to stop the Legislature from overturning referendum after referendum, we need an election system that puts more power in the hands of voters by giving us more choice and more voice in elections.”

The plan going forward is for each volunteer to collect one signature per day for 30 days to collectively get to the final goal. All are welcome to collect and sign. Supporters will be sprawling out at farmers’ markets, tree lightings, holiday parades, post offices, and family gatherings to reach registered Maine voters.

“We have been blown away by the response,” said Dick Woodbury, Campaign Chair. “People from every corner of Maine are reaching out to request petitions and find a place to sign. There’s a resolute feeling in the air as volunteers coordinate through social media and petition parties to reach as many people as possible. We are all in this together.”

The People’s Veto restores Ranked Choice Voting for primary and federal elections, starting with the June 2018 primary. To request a petition to circulate, or to find out where to sign one, go to www.RCVMaine.com or email Finn Melanson at [email protected].