Maine Governor signs new bill involving paid petition circulators
By Kyle Maichle
Governor Baldacci gave his signature for a law that will go into effect in July of 2010 that will require all petition circulators to be registered with the Maine Secretary of State. Also, the law calls for circulators to initial and number each petition along with increasing penalties for circulators who violate the law. Volunteer circulators are not affected under the new law.
The bill on its way to passage engaged in a very partisan debate with Democrats supporting the bill and Republicans against the measure. Also, critics of the bill feel that the increased restrictions on petition circulators would hinder the initiative process. Governor Baldacci said that the new laws: "strikes a careful balance between the interests of those who want more safeguards against fraud and those who don't want too many restrictions on the ballot initiative process".