LD 42
Session - 129th Maine Legislature
LR 185
Item 1
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Provide for Nonpartisan Elections for the Office of District Attorney

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §331, sub-§3, ¶B,  as enacted by PL 1985, c. 161, §6, is amended to read:

B. A person may file as a candidate for any federal, state or county office , other than district attorney, either by primary election or nomination petition but not by both, except for a candidate for membership in a county charter commission under section 351, subsection 3.

Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §333,  as enacted by PL 1985, c. 161, §6, is amended to read:

§ 333. Qualification for county office

A candidate for any county office other than district attorney must be a resident of and a voter in the electoral division he the candidate seeks to represent on the date established for filing primary petitions in the year he the candidate seeks election. He The candidate must maintain a voting residence in that electoral division during his the term of office.

Sec. 3. 21-A MRSA §353,  as amended by PL 2009, c. 253, §19, is further amended to read:

§ 353. Qualification of candidate for nomination by petition

A person who seeks nomination by petition qualifies by filing a nomination petition and consent as provided in sections 354 and 355. If Except for a candidate for district attorney, if enrolled, the person must also withdraw enrollment in a party on or before March 1st to be eligible to file a petition as a candidate in that election year, as provided in section 145. The registrar in the candidate's municipality of residence must certify to that fact on a form designed by the Secretary of State. A candidate for district attorney seeking nomination by petition may continue to be enrolled in a party but may not include that designation on the nomination petition.

Sec. 4. 30-A MRSA §251, sub-§1,  as enacted by PL 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 and Pt. C, §106 and amended by PL 1989, c. 6; c. 9, §2 and c. 104, Pt. C, §§8 and 10, is further amended to read:

1. Election.  The district attorneys shall must be elected on a nonpartisan ballot on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November in every 4th year, by the voters of the respective prosecutorial districts. The votes shall must be received, sorted, counted and declared in the same manner as votes for Representatives. The names of the persons voted for, the number of votes for each and the whole number of ballots received shall must be recorded by the clerk of each municipality within the prosecutorial district. The clerk shall send true copies of these names and totals, sealed and attested as returns of votes for Senators, to the Secretary of State.

Sec. 5. 30-A MRSA §252, sub-§2,  as amended by PL 1995, c. 245, §5, is further amended to read:

2. Vacancies caused by other reasons.  When no person is elected or a vacancy happens in the office of district attorney, other than as provided in subsection 1, the Governor shall appoint without regard to political affiliation a competent attorney, a resident of the prosecutorial district affected, to serve as a substitute district attorney until the first day of January following the next biennial election. At that election, a person shall must be elected to the office of district attorney to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. When the office of district attorney becomes vacant after the first day of October in the 2nd year after the election of a district attorney under section 251, a new election shall may not be held to fill the vacancy, but the substitute district attorney shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A In the case of a vacancy in the term of a district attorney who was nominated by primary election before the general election, the district attorney appointed by the Governor must be enrolled in the same political party as the district attorney whose term is vacant. In making the appointment, the Governor shall choose from any recommendations submitted by the county committee or committees of the political party from which the appointment is to be made.


This bill requires that a district attorney be elected on a nonpartisan ballot and that a vacancy in the office must be filled without regard to political affiliation. A candidate for district attorney must qualify by filing a nomination petition, although the candidate is not required to unenroll from a party. A candidate for district attorney may not include party affiliation on the nomination petition.

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