February 17, 2010
Contact: Matthew Dunlap

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Verifies Enough Signatures to Place Oxford County Casino Legislation before the Maine Legislature

AUGUSTA , MAINE —Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced Wednesday afternoon that enough valid signatures have been submitted to place “An Act To Allow a Casino in Oxford County ” before Maine lawmakers during the Second Regular Session of the 124 th Legislature. If the Legislature does not approve the measure, it will be sent out to the voters for final consideration at a statewide election later this year.

The number of valid signatures required for the action was 55,087 (10% of the votes cast for Governor in the gubernatorial election of 2006). Secretary of State Dunlap announced that 79,731 signatures filed by the proponents have been accepted, while 17,813 were ruled invalid. Dunlap also noted that due to constitutional time constraints and the large number of signatures submitted, a complete review to identify duplicates was not undertaken.

The Secretary of State will draft a ballot question if the Legislature rejects the bill.

"This determination follows a careful review of petitions containing nearly 100,000 signatures," Dunlap said. "The staff in Maine 's Elections Division and local election officials deserve enormous credit for completing a thorough review of a very energetic effort. The verification and certification process is laborious and precise work, with the right of a citizen to legitimately petition their government hanging in the balance," Dunlap commented. "The policy will now be debated by the Legislature and the public," Dunlap said. "I am very pleased with the extraordinary efforts to ensure the legitimacy of this instrument of petition."

As a result of today's decision, the legislation will be transmitted to the Legislature for consideration. A five day period of challenges to this ruling is also underway. Article IV, Part Third, Sections 18, 19, 20, and 22 of the Maine Constitution and Title 21-A, Chapter 11 address the procedures relative to initiative legislation. Additional information about the Citizen Initiative process.