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Special Town Meeting Petition Rules

Click here to see the Maine Law defining these rules.  See #4.

Ask selectmen if they will put the moratorium out to a referendum at a special town meeting. If they decline, then a petition can be done.

Any Maine registered voter can circulate a petition in any town.

At least 45 days must pass between the date of filing of the petition and the date of the special meeting.

It appears best to use a petition blank from the town office, though not required.

Only signatures are required, but having residents print their names as well will help the validation process.

Local petitions like this don’t require an affidavit or any special care be taken in collecting signatures. For example, a petition could be left tacked to a wall at the post office and collected later.

The minimum # of signatures required is equal to 10% of the # of voters who cast a vote for governor at the last election. It is best to get at least 20% more than this because some signatures will likely be deemed invalid.

Address the petition “To the Municipal Officers of the Town of _______”. It should state “We, the undersigned, being registered voters of the Town of _______, request the municipal officers to place the following article before the voters for their consideration”, and follow this with the text of the article. It should indicate we are requesting a referendum vote on the article (and we may request a secret ballot). The petition itself needs to state the article upon which a town meeting vote is requested and state this at the top of each signature page.

If the selectmen decline to hold a special meeting, choosing instead to wait till next town meeting, a Notary Public can be obtained to hold the special meeting. This would be done on the basis of ‘unreasonable refusal’, given the time sensitive nature of our petition.

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