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Judge’s Ruling Open the Door to Maine Legalization Vote

An effort to allow Maine residents to vote to legalize recreational marijuana use advanced on Friday when a judge overruled a state official’s decision invalidating some of the signatures needed to get the initiative on the ballot.

The ruling came a month after Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap’s office disqualified almost half of the 99,229 voter signatures gathered by marijuana activists, leaving the initiative without enough certified supporters to land a spot on the ballot.

The Secretary of State’s office said it had invalidated the petitions over concerns that the signatures of notaries public on various forms submitted did not match up with versions on file in official state records.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, a national group advocating for the referendum, appealed the state’s decision last month, saying that officials had disenfranchised tens of thousands of Maine voters based on a “handwriting technicality.” [Read more at Reuters]

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