You have a statutory Initiative & Referendum process. Citizens can pass laws they write or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Unfortunately, voters do not yet enjoy any process for passing a constitutional amendment by Initiative.

Coalition for an Open & Accessible Initiative Process:

Maine Heritage Policy Center

Maine Leads

Maine Taxpayers United


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: C

Click here to view Maine’s individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.

Citizen State Coordinator

For more information about how to get involved in protecting and expanding Maine’s initiative process, contact the Citizens in Charge Foundation Maine Citizen State Coordinator:

Mary Adams

Phone (207) 924-3835

Email Mary


State Balloting Process

How you can change Maine’s government through ballot initiatives


In 1908, Maine became the first state east of the Mississippi to adopt a
constitutional provision for statewide initiative and referendum. It could
not have happened without the work of the state’s foremost I&R
advocate, Roland T. Patten of Skowhegan… Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Date initiative language can be submitted: Anytime

Signatures tied to vote of which office: Governor

Next Gubernatorial election: 2010

Votes cast for governor in last election: 550,870 (2006)

Net number of signatures required: 10% of votes cast for Governor for a
statute (55,087). If proponents have enough signatures, the measure is
sent to the Legislature. If the Legislature does not approve the measure, it
is placed on the next statewide election.

Distribution requirement: None

Circulation period: One year from date the Secretary of State grants

Do circulators have to be residents and/or registered voters: Yes

Date when signatures are due for certification: No later than late January
to be on the November general election ballot.

Signature verification process: Full certification

Single-subject restriction: Yes (advisory only)

Legislative tampering: By common practice, the legislature can both
repeal and amend initiatives.

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.