§905. Review of initiative and referendum petitions
1. Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall review all petitions filed in the Department of the Secretary of State for a people's veto referendum under the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 17, or for a direct initiative under the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18.
The Secretary of State shall determine the validity of the petition and issue a written decision stating the reasons for the decision within 30 days from the date of filing of a written petition in the Department of the Secretary of State under the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 17 or 18.
The Secretary of State may invalidate a petition if the Secretary of State is unable to verify the notarization of that petition.
[ 2017, c. 277, §6 (AMD) .]
2. Superior Court. Any voter named in the application under section 901, or any person who has validly signed the petitions, if these petitions are determined to be invalid, or any other voter, if these petitions are determined to be valid, may appeal the decision of the Secretary of State by commencing an action in the Superior Court. This action must be conducted in accordance with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80C, except as modified by this section. In reviewing the decision of the Secretary of State, the court shall determine whether the description of the subject matter is understandable to a reasonable voter reading the question for the first time and will not mislead a reasonable voter who understands the proposed legislation into voting contrary to that voter's wishes. This action must be commenced within 10 days of the date of the decision of the Secretary of State. Upon timely application, anyone may intervene in this action when the applicant claims an interest relating to the subject matter of the petitions, unless the applicant's interest is adequately represented by existing parties. The court shall issue its written decision containing its findings of fact and stating the reasons for its decision within 40 days of the date of the decision of the Secretary of State.
[ 2009, c. 611, §6 (AMD) .]
3. Supreme Judicial Court. Any aggrieved party may appeal the decision of the Superior Court, on questions of law, by filing a notice of appeal within 3 days of that decision. The appellant must file the required number of copies of the record with the clerk within 3 days after filing notice of appeal. After a notice of appeal is filed, the parties have 10 days to file briefs with the clerk of courts. As soon as the record and briefs have been filed, the court shall immediately consider the case. The standard of review shall be the same as for the Superior Court. The court shall issue its decision within 30 days of the date of the decision of the Superior Court.
[ 1987, c. 119, §1 (AMD) .]
1985, c. 161, §6 (NEW). 1987, c. 119, §1 (AMD). 1993, c. 352, §2 (AMD). 2009, c. 611, §5, 6 (AMD). 2017, c. 277, §6 (AMD).