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Maine Term Limits Extension, Question 5 (2007)

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Maine Question Five is a ballot question that appeared on Maine's November 6, 2007 general election ballot. The state legislature voted to place this issue before the state's voters.

The measure was an attempt to lessen term limits on Maine's state legislators. It was defeated with (33%) for the measure and(67%) against it.

Election results

Maine Question 5 (2007)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No167,13567%
Yes 82,874 33%

In 1993, the voters of Maine approved a citizen initiative that limited legislators to four consecutive, two-year terms in either the House or Senate. If the voters of Maine had approved Question Five, those terms would have been extended from eight to twelve years. (from 4 terms of two years to 6 terms of two years)

The bill to refer Question 5 to the ballot was LD 1928, and was "Passed to be Enacted" and signed by Governor John E. Baldacci on June 29, 2007.

The question on the ballot was:

"Do you favor extending term limits for Legislators from 4 to 6 terms?"

Proponents

Arguments for

The arguments of those in favor of lessening Term limits on elected officals can be summed up as follows:

  • The longer someone is in office, the better they become at performing their duties.
  • Frequent change in office-holders results in an imbalance of power

These arguments are fleshed out by Former Maine Senator Beverly Daggett here: Effects of term limits in Maine: more power to the executive branch.

Opponents

The organization No More Than 4 is opposed to extending legislative terms beyond the four years currently permitted. They are chiefly funded by U.S. Term Limits. They registered as a PAC on 7/18/07. The principals of No More Than Four include former Senate President Richard Bennett, activist Roy Lenardson and lawyer Dan Billings.

Arguments against

The arguments in favor of not decreasing the current term limitations can be summarized as follows:

  • Frequent turnover results in elected officials with fresh ideas.
  • Opportunities for corruption are lessened the shorter the term.
  • Shorter terms encourage citizens to take a larger role in the government than they might otherwise, lessening the influence of those that seek public office as a career.
  • Citizens need more control over their government.
  • Maine citizens have already made it clear that they are in favor of limiting terms.[1]

"Billings said term limits have led to more competitive elections and brought more people with diverse backgrounds to the Statehouse"[2]

See also

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