Maine Voters Block Politicians From Denying Them Better Elections

AUGUSTA, ME – Fighting sub-zero temperatures and an almost impossible 88-day timeline, Maine people are turning in more than 80,000 signatures today to keep Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) alive.

In November of 2016, RCV was approved by the second largest referendum vote in Maine’s history. But last October, the Legislature voted to kill the new voting system by delaying and repealing the voter-approved law and overturning the results of a democratically held election. Those actions triggered the launch of a People’s Veto campaign — an incredible grassroots effort to gather at least 61,123 valid signatures in the dead of winter to restore the will of the people.

Kyle Bailey, the Committee’s campaign manager said:

“This effort is nothing short of a miracle. It demonstrates just how hungry Maine people are for more voice and more choice in our democracy. These signatures were collected by volunteers who stood outside of post offices and town dumps in feet of snow facing below freezing temperatures. With submission of these signatures, Maine people are sending a clear message to the politicians in Augusta that it’s the people who are in charge, not the politicians.”

Nicole Grohoski, who collected signatures in Hancock, Waldo and Knox County said:

“This has been an extraordinary effort from citizens all over the state — we had nearly two thousand volunteers out there collecting signatures and driving them all over Maine to be counted. People got involved because they are tired of being dismissed by Augusta politicians who think they know better than the Mainers they represent. When the majority of Mainers speak, our politicians should listen.”

Upon submission of these signatures, the People’s Veto takes immediate effect, and RCV implementation must begin. RCV will be used in the June 2018 election for all state and federal primary races. Voters will also have the opportunity to reaffirm their support for RCV on this June’s ballot by voting “Yes” for the People’s Veto to insist on more voice and more choice in our democracy.

Campaign Chair Dick Woodbury said, “This is the first time in history that a People’s Veto has been invoked in order to preserve a citizen-initiated law. I could not be more proud of Maine people for taking this on, and for affirming that We the People own our democracy.”