Understand that this statute does not create any new right of petition: it merely requires that petitions subject to it be allowed to circulate freely within a municipality: voters cannot be required to come in and sign them at city or town hall, for example.
The remainder of this chapter focuses principally on the first two kinds of petitions listed above.
Who May Circulate Petition
It appears that any registered voter of the state may circulate a petition for a local initiative. Section 2504 of Title 30-A provides that "A petition related to any local initiative...may be circulated as provided in Title 21-A, Section 903-A" (emphasis added). Section 903-A states that any registered voter may circulate a petition. Thus, it appears that, although a petition circulator must be a registered voter, the voter need not be registered to vote in the particular municipality in which the petition is circulated.
Note that other statutes may clearly impose a more specific requirement in specific contexts. For example, the statutes on charter commissions for adoption and revision of charters can be initiated either on order of the municipal officers or by local petition, but the petition must have a committee of locally registered voters. See Section 2102(3). Accordingly, statutes specific to the subject matter of a petition should always be consulted
Who May Sign Petition
Under all statutes concerning municipal petitions, only the signatures of voters registered to vote in the municipality in which the petition arises will count towards any applicable statutory requirement that a certain number or percent of signatures be obtained.
[Overview of 30-A M.R.S.A. Sections 2522,2528, and 2521(4)]
The remainder of this chapter is addressed principally to the general power of petition for a town meeting or election warrant article. The statute governing open town meeting warrant article petitions is Section 2522, while Section 2528 governs secret ballot referendum petitions. The third pertinent statute, Section 2521(4), is discussed further below.
The principal petition statutes. Let's compare the two principal petition statutes.
Section 2522: "On the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the town at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than
Petition to have all Town Officials voted on by Australian ballot also: To notify all tax papers of upcoming events.
We the voters of the Town of Freedom wish to place the articles below on the June 2006 Election as referendum questions:
This is a petition to collect signatures to have the jobs of Tax Collector, Excise Tax Collector, Town Clerk, Treasurer and Road Commissioner be voted on BY the people of the Town of Freedom not appointed by (3) people of the Town of Freedom. If we the people do not put a stop to this, a special Town meeting will be coming, to do away with Australian ballot and vote from the floor for Selectman. In addition, to notify the people, by mail, of all up coming events
Article 1: To see if the voters will vote to continue having the Tax Collector, Excise Tax Collector, Town Clerk and Treasurer be elected by Australian ballot, in March 2007.
Article 2: To see if the voters of the Town of Freedom will vote to have the position Road Commissioner be elected by Australian ballot starting March 2007, not appointed by the Board of Selectmen. (This was always an elected position until our rights was taken away in 2004.)
Article 3: To see if the voters of the Town of Freedom will vote not to have Article one (1) and Article two (2) above come up for vote again until at least March 2010.
Article 4: To see if the Town will vote to have the Town Clerk send out notices by mail on all public hearings, Special and regular Town Meetings, and list the highlights. Naming a few below:
!. Ordinances: 2. Monies needing to be, voted on. 3. Building new salt shed. 4, Door to door, recycle day. 5. Change in monthly recycle day. 6. Change in meeting time of any Town functions such as planning board or Selectors meeting.