Our editorial board endorses a “yes” vote on each of the lower four questions on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Questions 6, 7 and 8 will appeal to most voters’ basic sense of order; Questions 7 and 8 will bring the Maine Constitution in line with federal law. Question 5, not about legal compliance, will relieve a pivotal state office of an undue burden.

Vote ‘yes’ on Question 5

Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to change the time period for judicial review of the validity of written petitions from within 100 days from the date of filing to within 100 business days from the date of filing of a written petition in the Office of the Secretary of State, with an exception for petitions filed within 30 calendar days before or after a general election?

A “yes” on 5 would extend the deadline for review of citizen petition signatures to 100 business days from the date of filing (the deadline is currently set at 100 calendar days). A move to business days will provide about 40 additional working days to Maine state election workers.

This sensible change comes at no cost to Maine. In fact, it may save our state money by enabling election staffers to work on reviews at a reasonable pace and not be forced into overtime. Staffing is a headache everywhere, and this is a labor-intensive process (and, as every Mainer has by now noticed, increasingly popular one – for better or worse).


Vote ‘yes’ on Question 6

Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to require that all of the provisions of the Constitution be included in the official printed copies of the Constitution prepared by the Secretary of State?

Question 6 would repeal language that requires certain sections of the Constitution – sections that are still part of the Constitution and are in effect, never having been repealed – to be left out of the official printed copy.

One of these sections pertains to the state’s tribal obligations.

When tribal representatives sat down to meet with this editorial board about Question 6, they told us that they understand that this change is seen as symbolic, but that symbolism carries pronounced significance in this case.

Supporters of Question 6 believe that the restoration of the sections to the printed document goes some way toward honoring the legacy of negotiation by the tribes, making it more clear to the public that this is an important part of Maine’s collective history.


We agree with them. In 2023, with tensions over tribal-state relations inflamed and sensitivity running high on both sides of the sovereignty argument, there’s all the more reason to insist on transparency – and take care to keep the tribes to the fore of the public consciousness.

Vote ‘yes’ on Question 7

Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision requiring a circulator of a citizen’s initiative or people’s veto petition to be a resident of Maine and a registered voter in Maine, requirements that have been ruled unconstitutional in federal court?

The federal court ruling against residency or voter registration requirements for people circulating petitions speaks for itself.

Even if this editorial board found itself at odds with the court’s ruling, and we do not, it would be prudent to amend it to reflect the legal reality. Even if it is voted down, the requirement will not be enforceable – housekeeping.

As it happens, we’re with the court on this one. Placing old-fashioned limits on petitioners closes off segments of the electorate while impeding civic participation or, to borrow the court’s words, “core political speech.”


Vote ‘yes’ on Question 8 

Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision prohibiting a person under guardianship for reasons of mental illness from voting for Governor, Senators and Representatives, which the United States District Court for the District of Maine found violates the United States Constitution and federal law?

Again, a court has found that the provision Question 8 relates to is unconstitutional. People under guardianship for mental illness should be able to cast votes in our elections. Mercifully, these voters do; the state stopped enforcing the provision after the court handed down its judgment.

As in the case of Question 6, however, neglecting to remove this outdated and unfair language from our founding document sends a message that is dead wrong. It’s housekeeping, sure; it’s also a question of respect.

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