Maine petitions are governed under M.R.S.A. Title 30-A Section 2504 and M.R.S.A. Title 21-A Section 903-A. Municipal petitions generally come under M.R.S.A. Title 30-A.
Creating the petition – The petition must state exactly what the request is, and the specific action wanted. Each page bearing signatures must have the above wording on it. Petitions are typically addressed 'To the Municipal Officers of the Town of Raymond' and begin with the phrase “We, the undersigned, being registered voters of the Town of Raymond, request the municipal officers to place the following article before the voters for their consideration (followed by the wording of the request). If the request is for an action other than a vote, it could say, “We, the undersigned, being registered voters of the Town of Raymond, request the municipal officers to….”
It is requested that for the signatures there should be four items included.
2. Printed name
3. Street address
4. Town of residence
Circulating a petition – Any registered Maine voter. For a simple petition no circulator’s affidavit is required but is encouraged which includes:
1. That he personally circulated the petition
2. That each signer had an opportunity to read the petition before signing
3. That the number of signatures is stated on the petition
4. That each signer signed no more than once
5. That the voters signed in the presence of the circulator
6. That to the best of the circulator’s knowledge and belief each signature is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
Signing a petition – Any registered Raymond voter. (The signature of a taxpayer who is not a registered voter cannot be counted.)
Signatures needed to be obtained – The number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the town at the last gubernatorial election. In 2010, the number is 222.
Timing of the petition before a town meeting – The completed petition must be in the hands of the Town Clerk no less than 45 days before the day of voting. If the petition is meant for a secret ballot than the petition must be in the hands of the Town Clerk no less than 60 days prior to the voting.
Refusal by the Selectmen of a petition – Municipal officers do not have to act on every petition submitted and they may refuse a petition if their refusal is reasonable. There is recourse in this event. For more information, please call the Town Clerk.