CCD urges safeguards to protect Maine candidates
CCD submits comments to Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee on Legal and Veteran Affairs, urging adoption of safeguards to protect candidates’ rights in proposed legislation regulating circulation of minor party and independent candidates’ nomination petitions. The proposed legislation would require petition circulators to swear that they “personally witnessed” the signing of each signature on a petition – an unnecessarily strict standard that invites unfounded but irrefutable allegations of fraud in the petitions.
Update: On June 4, 2009, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed Bill LD 1169 into law, incorporating a reform proposed by CCD Director John Branson, which clarifies that a single improperly “witnessed” signature on a nomination petition does not justify invalidation of the entire petition sheet. If this provision had been clear during the 2008 general election, independent senatorial candidate Herbert J. Hoffman would not have been removed from the ballot