FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 6, 2020
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
AUGUSTA – An amended decision on the citizens’ initiative effort “To Reject the New England Clean Energy Connect Transmission Project” is complete and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has confirmed that the effort retains enough valid signatures to move forward.
The new decision, issued April 1, finds 66,117 valid signatures, with a total of 16,332 not valid. The amendment disqualifies 2,052 signatures previously counted as valid, due to the conduct of three notaries and one petition circulator.
The Elections Division initially completed the process of certifying the petitions on March 4, 2020, and issued a decision finding 69,714 valid signatures, while 12,735 were not valid. A minimum of 63,067 signatures from registered Maine voters is required.
In response to a legal challenge, Maine Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy remanded the matter back to the Secretary of State’s office on March 23 for the Secretary to take additional evidence, and issue an updated determination by April 1, 2020.
Petitioner Delbert Reed followed up with a motion Thursday, April 2, requesting that the court take additional evidence on certain issues. The court denied this motion on Friday, April 3. The parties are filing briefs arguing the merits of the challenge to the Secretary’s determination this week.
The Superior Court will issue a final decision on judicial review by April 13, 2020.
Visit https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/index.html to view the proposed legislation in its entirety.