Maine Allow Persons with Mental Illness to Vote, Question 5 (2000)
The Maine Allow Persons with Mental Illness to Vote Referendum, also known as Question 5, was on the November 7, 2000 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have allowed people under guardianship for mental illness the right to vote by repealing the current prohibition against it. This would have amended Section1 of Article II of the Maine Constitution.
In 1997, a similar attempt was made to allow persons under guardianship for mental illness to vote, but it was also 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 (2000)|
Text of measure
The language appeared on the ballot as:
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to end discrimination against persons under guardianship for mental illness for the purpose of voting? 
The following description of the intent and content of this measure was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:
This proposal would authorize an amendment to the Constitution of Maine to remove the current prohibition on voting by persons who are under guardianship for reasons of mental illness. To qualify to vote in Maine, a person needs to be at least 18 years of age, to be a citizen of the United States, and to have an established residence in this state. If ratified, this amendment would remove the only restriction to voting that goes beyond these basic qualifications.
A "YES" vote approves the constitutional amendment.
A "NO" vote disapproves the constitutional amendment. 
The full text of the constitutional changes proposed by this measure can be read here.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Maine state constitution
- Maine 2000 ballot measures
- 2000 ballot measures
- List of Maine ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Maine
- Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Tuesday, November 7, 2000 from Maine Secretary of State
- Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, Proposed Constitutional Amendments 1820-
- Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, "Proposed Constitutional Amendments 1820-," accessed May 6, 2014
- Maine Secretary of State, Division of Elections, "Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Tuesday, November 7, 2000," accessed May 6, 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.
State of Maine
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |