Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is increasing the pressure on President Trump’s election fraud commission to release documents he says have been withheld from him. Dunlap, who is a member of the president’s commission, announced Thursday that he has asked a federal court for an injunction in his request that is designed to force the commission to share records and meeting materials. If granted, the injunction would shorten the timeframe for the commission to respond to his complaint from two months to one week.
Articles about voting issues in Maine.
Maine: Campaign to restore Maine ranked-choice voting collects over half the signatures needed for a people’s veto | Portland Press Herald
Supporters of ranked-choice voting have collected more than half the signatures needed for a 2018 referendum to overturn a law that delays switching to the voting process for four years. Campaign volunteers got approximately 32,000 signatures outside the polls Tuesday, a day after receiving state approval for the petition, said Kyle Bailey, campaign manager for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting. The campaign needs 61,123 signatures from registered voters to get a people’s veto on the June 2018 ballot. The campaign has heard back from approximately 70 percent of Election Day petitioners and hundreds of other people have since requested petition packets so they can collect signatures, Bailey said Saturday.
Maine: Secretary of State, a member of Trump fraud commission, sues panel for information about its work | Portland Press Herald
Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has filed a federal lawsuit against President Trump’s voter fraud commission in an effort to obtain information and correspondence about the commission’s work. Dunlap, one of four Democrats on the 11-member Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, more than three weeks after requesting the information. Despite the fact that he is a member of the commission, Dunlap says he has been kept in the dark about what it is doing. The lawsuit alleges that the commission’s chairman, Vice President Mike Pence, and vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, are in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which prohibits the body from excluding commissioners from deliberations and information. The Executive Office of the President is also a named defendant, as the office is staffing the commission and maintaining its records. “Since the Sept. 12 meeting, I have received no correspondence from the commission other than to acknowledge receipt of my information request” of October 17, Dunlap said in a prepared statement. “Clearly, there is information about this commission being created and discussed, but I have no access to that information and it has not been provided upon request.”
Gov. Paul LePage says he will allow a bill that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting to become law without his signature. “I encourage the people who want to have a people’s veto to bring it in. The Supreme Court has already said it is unconstitutional, so let the courts decide,” he said. Supporters of ranked-choice voting have vowed to use the people’s veto provision of the Maine Constitution to force a referendum vote on legislation approved by lawmakers last month. Lawmakers delayed implementation until 2021 to give them time to address constitutional problems raised by the Maine Supreme Court. If the law is not amended by the deadline, ranked-choice voting would be repealed.
Maine: Ranked-choice voting supporters prepare for ‘people’s veto’ as delay bill takes effect | Portland Press Herald
A bill delaying Maine’s switch to a ranked-choice voting system will apparently become law without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature. LePage, a vocal opponent of the ranked-choice voting ballot initiative passed by voters last year, told Maine Public on Friday that he will neither sign nor veto the bill that delays adoption of the new system until 2021. Instead, LePage indicated he will allow the bill to take effect without his signature. The governor’s communications office did not respond to a request for comment from the Portland Press Herald on Friday evening. But LePage’s decision to hold onto the bill for the full 10 days allowed under Maine’s Constitution could hamper supporters of ranked-choice voting from gathering signatures on Election Day for a “people’s veto” to implement the process without delay. Even so, LePage seemed to welcome the prospect of a people’s veto campaign.
Concerned that Russian efforts to interfere with American elections “continue to this very day,” Sen. Susan Collins said Thursday that the nation must beef up security to fend off cyberattacks by foreign hackers. The Maine Republican said if an adversary succeeded in compromising a U.S. election, it would “undermine public confidence in free and fair elections, a bedrock of our democracy.” Collins and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, introduced legislation this week they hope can stave off foreign meddling with American election systems. Collins told colleagues on the Senate floor Thursday that foreign hackers with ties to Russia were probing voter databases during last year’s presidential election in many states and succeeded in accessing them twice.
A citizen-backed law that made Maine the first state to adopt a ranked-choice voting system will be delayed and possibly repealed following a series of contentious votes Monday in a special session of the Legislature. The Senate voted 19-10 to delay the law until December 2021 – and then repeal it if a constitutional amendment hasn’t been passed by then to address legal concerns raised by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The House held six procedural votes, then finally agreed with the Senate on a 68-63 tally. The bill now will go to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. LePage will have 10 days to sign it, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature. The Republican long has argued that ranked-choice is unconstitutional and he is unlikely to veto the delay.
Maine: After Legislature delays ranked-choice voting, push for people’s veto is on | Portland Press Herald
Maine residents could be ranking the candidates for governor and Congress when they vote in the June primaries even though the Legislature passed a bill Monday to delay a ranked-choice voting system. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Tuesday that supporters of ranked-choice voting could block the bill to delay and repeal the law if they can gather enough signatures within 90 days of the Legislature’s adjournment, expected in early November. That would force another referendum vote – a so-called “people’s veto” – on the matter, likely during the June primary elections that would be the first test of ranked-choice voting. After failed attempts earlier this year to fix the ballot question law, the Legislature passed a bill Monday delaying the shift to ranked-choice voting while adding a poison pill to kill the citizen-backed law in 2021 if the Maine Constitution is not changed.
The ranked-choice voting law enacted by voters in 2016 is in danger of full repeal following a series of votes Monday in the Legislature, but it has a stay of execution until December 2021. The law, which was deemed partially unconstitutional earlier this year by an advisory opinion of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, has been at the center of controversy in the Legislature for months. Lawmakers adjourned this year’s regular session in August with the House and Senate in disagreement and unable to pass a bill. However, the two chambers agreed in preliminary votes Monday to delay implementation of the law until December 2021, as long as the Legislature can amend the law by then to bring it into constitutional compliance. A failure to do that would lead to a full repeal of the ranked-choice voting law.
Maine: Ranked-choice voting law still needs 16 amendments for proper implementation | The Maine Wire
For those who attended or streamed the public hearing for LD 1646, “An Act to Bring Maine’s Ranked-Choice Voting Law into Constitutional Compliance,” on Monday, Oct. 16, proponents of the bill led you to believe that Maine was ready to implement ranked-choice voting. Dozens of campaign volunteers turned out to testify in favor of ranked-choice voting, however they completely overlooked several facets of the law that still conflict with existing statute and the Maine Constitution. So just how bad is Maine’s ranked-choice voting law?