Maine Repeal Mentally Ill Under Guardianship Voting Limitation, Question 5 (1997)
The Maine Repeal Mentally Ill Under Guardianship Voting Limitations Referendum, also known as Question 5, was on the November 4, 1997 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have repealed the language that barred persons under guardianship for reasons of mental illness from being able to vote. This would have amended Section 1 of Article II of the Maine Constitution.
Two years later, the state legislature referred a similar amendment, Maine Repeal of Mental Illness Voting Restrictions Amendment (2000), to the ballot. It, also, was defeated.
The Disability Rights Center of Maine filed a lawsuit in federal court in Maine on behalf of three individuals who were under guardianship because of mental illness in 2000. The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the relevant part of Section 1 of Article II of the Maine Constitution. Ultimately, the case failed to repeal or modify this constitutional language.
|Maine Question 5 (1997)|
Text of measure
The language appeared on the ballot as:
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove the language providing that all persons under guardianship for reasons of mental illness are disqualified from voting? 
The full text of the constitutional changes proposed by this measure can be read here.
Intent and content
The following description of the intent and content of this measure was provided in the Citizen's Guide to the referendum election:
This proposed constitutional amendment would delete a provision currently a part of the Maine Constitution that a person is ineligible to vote if under guardianship for reasons of mental illness. If the provision is deleted, all persons under guardianship for reasons of mental illness will be eligible to vote. 
—Maine Secretary of State 
- Maine 1997 ballot measures
- 1997 ballot measures
- List of Maine ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Maine
- Maine Secretary of State: Division of Elections, Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Tuesday, November 4, 1997 from Maine Secretary of State
- Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, Referenda Votes on Acts of the Maine Legislature 1910-
- Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, "Referenda Votes on Acts of the Maine Legislature 1910-," accessed May 2, 2014
- Laws of the State of Maine as Passed by the One Hundred and Seventeenth Legislature, "Constitutional Resolutions, Chapter 1," accessed May 2, 2014
- Maine Secretary of State: Division of Elections, "Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Tuesday, November 4, 1997," accessed May 2, 2014
- United States District Court for the District of Maine, "Doe v. Ketterrer, Docket No. 00-CV-206-B-S," October 27, 2000
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.