Bill to make special legislative races more accessible to voters

Posted June 21, 2011, at 1:08 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill awaiting Gov. Paul LePage’s signature would give voters greater voice in legislative special elections.

The bill would allow a municipality that hasn’t held a once-every-two-years caucus to hold one within 15 days of the governor’s proclamation that a vacancy in the House exists. In effect, it would give towns more opportunity to choose nominees in special legislative races.

Republican Rep. Beth Turner of Burlington, who won a special election in March to fill a vacant House seat, is sponsoring the bill. Turner says only a tiny percentage of the people in her eastern Maine district were able to vote in the January caucus in which she was nominated. Most were excluded because their towns had not held biennial caucuses. Her bill would change that.

 

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