Maine voters won the right to pass laws by referendum in 1911, but used the proc
Maine voters won the right to pass laws by referendum in 1911, but used the process only seven times by 1970. Use of the citizen initiative has increased substantially over the past 20 years, with 24 referenda on state ballots from 1976 through present, nine citizen initiatives since 1990, and 11 petitions in the process for a spot on the 1997 ballot. Campaigns are increasingly run by national groups with an agenda, big money is spent to influence voters, and signatures are gathered by professionals who are paid per name. Some observers say it is too easy to get an initiative on the ballot in Maine, while others fear that tightening the process would deny access to all but the best-funded professionals. Details; related article on Question 2 on this month's ballot; list of referenda since 1973.
Conaway, Laura, "Maine voters won the right to pass laws by referendum in 1911, but used the proc" (1996). Maine News Index – Casco Bay Weekly. 1498.
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