Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, upon reviewing new evidence regarding the candidate petitions of U.S. Senate candidate Max Patrick Linn, has found that Linn has not met the threshold to be eligible for the June 12, 2018 Primary Election ballot.
Earlier today, Secretary Dunlap re-opened the hearing on a challenge to Linn’s candidate petitions, per order of the Kennebec County Superior Court, to consider new evidence presented by the challenger, David Boyer and the Eric Brakey for Senate campaign, as well as any relevant evidence presented by the candidate.
After hearing all the evidence presented at the first hearing on Thursday, March 29, as well as the second hearing on Tuesday, April 24, Secretary Dunlap has invalidated 258 of Linn’s original total of 2,248 petition signatures that were initially counted as valid, leaving the candidate with a total of 1,990 valid signatures, which is 10 fewer than the minimum required to qualify for the primary election ballot.
Due to the ballot printing schedule, the deadline for a candidate to have his or her name removed from the ballot was April 3. Thus, Linn’s name will appear on the ballot, but voters will be provided with notice at the polls informing them that he is no longer a candidate.
This decision modifies Secretary Dunlap’s previous decision of April 5, when Dunlap found the challenger had presented sufficient evidence to invalidate the signatures of 230 voters but concluded that the petition and consent form still met the legal requirements to allow Linn to appear on the ballot. The Brakey campaign appealed that decision to the Kennebec County Superior Court and subsequently filed a motion to take additional evidence relevant to the challenge. On Friday, April 20, Justice William R. Stokes granted the challenger’s motion and ordered Secretary Dunlap to reopen the challenge hearing to consider new evidence.
Justice Stokes is expected to hear oral argument on Wednesday, April 25 at 11 a.m. regarding Secretary Dunlap’s decision.