People of Maine, our rights are being eroded, ignored and taken away by the very people we elected to represent us, and now by the secretary of state, who is asking the Legislature to prevent us from collecting signatures on petition forms at the polls.

Legislators don’t like citizen initiatives so they did not fully enact any of the four 2016 ballot initiatives that we passed. They delayed, obstructed, and outright ignored the four laws passed by a majority.

One of those laws was ranked-choice voting. Legislators delayed enactment by unsuccessfully asking the state Supreme Judicial Court to declare ranked-choice voting unconstitutional. For ranked-choice election of state representatives, legislators were required to provide for a change of the word “plurality” to “majority” in the state constitution, but instead they voted to delay, then likely overturn ranked-choice voting in 2021.

Our constitution says we the people can veto a bad decision by the Legislature. Some believe legislators insidiously delayed their vote until winter to make it more difficult for us to gather the signatures required to veto their vote. But we Mainers are a hardy bunch, and despite a cold winter, hundreds of volunteers are out collecting the number of signatures needed to veto that bad decision by legislators.

We need to send a clear message to them and to this secretary of state — we will not ignore their efforts to deny our constitutional right to pass citizen initiatives. If you haven’t already signed a petition to veto the legislator’s vote, you still have time by contacting the Ranked Choice Committee office in Gorham, (www.rcvmaine.com/).

Jim Chiddix

Waterville

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