Maine legislature considering bill to require referendum signatures from each congressional district

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) State lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at requiring a certain amount of signatures for referendums be from each congressional district.

The Maine Senate approved the bill and the House is scheduled to take it up soon.

The bill would mandate that each of Maine's two congressional districts have the number of signatures be at least 10% of the total votes cast for governor in the most recent election.

Supporters say it would help make sure organizers are talking to people in rural Maine.

"We noticed when the signatures are gathered, a large majority of the signatures are gathered in Portland," said Rep. Scott Strom, R-Pittsfield. "It's very easy to hang out around the Maine Mall and places like that and get most of your signatures. This will at least make the organizations who are gathering these signatures come to rural Maine and Maine's 2nd Congressional District and get some of those signatures, and at least hear from the people up there, and give them a little more voice and a chance to weigh in on it before it gets to the ballot."

Opponents say all signatures should matter equally, no matter where in the state you're from.