Amend the bill by striking out all of sections 11 to 16 and inserting the following:
‘Sec. 11. 21-A MRSA §682, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2005, c. 568, §14, is further amended to read:
Sec. 12. 21-A MRSA §682, sub-§2-B is enacted to read:
Amend the bill by striking out all of sections 19 and 20 and inserting the following:
‘Sec. 19. 21-A MRSA §903-E is enacted to read:
Sec. 20. 21-A MRSA §905-A, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 234, §6, is amended to read:
No later than 10 business days after the Legislature adjourns sine die, the Secretary of State shall give public notice of a proposed ballot question for any initiative that will be submitted to the voters at the next statewide election or special election by posting all proposed ballot questions on the Secretary of State's publicly accessible website. The Secretary of State may also publish notice for one day in newspapers having general circulation in the State. After giving public notice of a proposed ballot question in accordance with this section , except as otherwise provided in this section, the Secretary of State shall provide a 30-day public comment period for the purpose of receiving comments on the content and form of proposed questions to be placed on the ballot for any pending initiatives. No later than 10 days after receiving public comments in accordance with this section and after review of those comments, the Secretary of State shall write the ballot question for any pending initiative. If the Secretary of State determines that the date upon which the Legislature adjourns sine die and the requirements of this section are likely to interfere with the timely printing of ballots as required by this Title, the public comment period may be reduced to a period of not less than 21 days.’
Amend the bill by inserting after section 21 the following:
‘Sec. 22. 28-A MRSA §121, sub-§1, as amended by PL 1993, c. 608, §2, is further amended to read:
Amend the bill by inserting after section 22 the following:
‘Sec. 23. 30-A MRSA §2528, sub-§4, ¶D, as amended by PL 1993, c. 608, §6, is further amended to read:
D. A nomination paper or a certificate of political caucus nomination that complies with this section is valid unless a written objection to it is made to the municipal officers by the 43rd 58th day prior to election day.
(1) If an objection is made, the clerk shall immediately notify the candidate affected by it.
(2) The municipal officers shall determine objections arising in the case of nominations. Their decision is final.
Sec. 24. 30-A MRSA §2528, sub-§6-A, ¶¶A and B, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 608, §8, are amended to read:
A. A candidate may withdraw from an elective race by notifying the municipal clerk in writing of the candidate's intent to withdraw and the reason for withdrawal at least 45 60 days before the election. This notice must be signed by the candidate and must be notarized.
B. Within the 45-day 60-day period before an election, the municipal clerk may allow a candidate to withdraw from an elective race. A candidate who requests to withdraw within the 45-day 60-day period before an election shall notify the municipal clerk in writing of the candidate's intent to withdraw and the reason for withdrawal. This notice must be signed by the candidate and must be notarized.’
Amend the bill by relettering or renumbering any nonconsecutive Part letter or section number to read consecutively.
This amendment, which is the minority report of the committee, removes the provision in the bill that repeals the laws governing political activities at the voting place and instead amends those laws. The amendment limits to one person the number of people who may attend a voting place on behalf of a candidate to communicate with voters in the manner permitted under existing law. It provides that a person collecting signatures must do so outside of the voting place unless there is a separate room on the premises of the voting place that is not accessible from the area where voting occurs. It limits the number of signature collectors on any one measure, issue or candidate to 2 and states that no more that 2 persons who oppose that measure, issue or candidate for which signatures are being collected may be afforded access to the area. It limits the total number of measures, issues or candidates for which signatures may be collected to 5.
The amendment removes a provision in the bill that permits the deposit of absentee ballots into a secured drop box accessible only by the municipal election clerk. It also removes a section in the bill that makes changes to the laws governing when a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths is prohibited from administering an oath on a petition for a direct initiative of legislation or people’s veto referendum and replaces it with a new section. The new section provides that a notary public or other person authorized by law to administer oaths is not authorized to administer an oath for a direct initiative of legislation or people’s veto referendum petition if that person has provided services to initiate the measure or promote that direct initiative of legislation or people’s veto referendum. Finally, the amendment makes changes to the deadlines governing submission of municipal official candidate nomination papers, municipal candidate withdrawals and petitions for local option votes on the sale of liquor. These deadline changes make those provisions consistent with other deadlines enacted for similar submissions under Public Law 2017, chapter 248.
The fiscal note on the amendment identifies a requirement that municipal election clerks provide informational materials to petition circulators describing the laws governing the solicitation of signatures at the voting place. This requirement does not necessarily require the development of new materials, as a copy of relevant statutory sections governing solicitation of signatures at the voting place sufficiently satisfies the requirement. A municipality may choose to provide informational materials of the municipality's own creation but that is an optional method of compliance. Thus, the members of the committee on this report find that the provisions identified as a potential mandate do not necessitate additional expenditures from local revenue.
FISCAL NOTE REQUIRED