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  • Grassroots coalition to spearhead support of election reform referendum in Maine

    A broad grassroots coalition of Mainers today announced the creation of Mainers for Accountable Elections.

    This Ballot Question Committee is made up of Democrats, Republicans, Greens and independents and will lead the effort in support of the November 2015 referendum intended to return control of elections to the hands of Mainers.

    The measure was placed on the ballot after more than 80,000 Mainers signed a petition in favor of it.

    The referendum will:

    • Increase fines and penalties for those who break election rules so we can keep our representatives accountable to us.

    • Increase transparency and shine a light on dark money in our elections by requiring outside groups to list their top three funders on any ads they buy.

    • Reform Maine’s campaign finance system so candidates in Maine can run for office without having to depend on wealthy special interests to fund their campaigns.

    The coalition includes Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) and will build off of the grassroots work MCCE has done throughout the years in support of election reform.

    “This is a grassroots initiative about ensuring politicians are accountable to all of us – not just the ultra wealthy and big corporations,” said Ann Luther, primary signer of the citizen initiated legislation and founding Treasurer of Mainers for Accountable Elections. “By increasing transparency through stronger disclosure requirements, limiting dark money’s influence on elected officials, and increasing fines and penalties for those who break the rules, we can keep our representatives honest and ensure everyone’s voice is heard in our democracy.”

    In addition to forming the Ballot Question Committee, Mainers for Accountable Elections additionally launched a Facebook pageTwitter account and a website where Mainers can sign up and join the campaign.  

    “This campaign isn’t about Democrats or Republicans or Independents. It’s about making sure that everyone – not just the wealthy – can be represented in our democracy,” said former Republican State Senator Ed Youngblood, one of the citizens who helped put this year’s referendum on the ballot. “This November Mainers have an unprecedented opportunity to reform our election system and keep the power of government where it belongs – in the hands of the people. That’s why this referendum is so important. When politicians depend on contributions from large corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups, they work for them. We deserve politicians who work for us.”

    Youngblood and Luther say Mainers for Accountable Elections will have a formal campaign launch in the coming months.