Like many other states, Maine allows for citizen initiatives, the process by which individual citizens and nongovernmental organizations directly propose legislation. Also like many other states, Maine’s initiative process attracts more than its fair share of bizarre characters and proposals, including this referendum to end the fluoridation of Maine’s drinking water. Considering the most famous attempt to end the fluoridation of drinking water ended in a nuclear war, I suppose that the initiative process is a vast improvement.
However, the occasional strange referendum isn’t the only thing that makes Maine’s initiative process interesting. In addition to allowing conventional initiatives, Maine also gives its citizens a “People’s Veto”, through which the voters can veto laws passed by the state legislature. The right to a People’s Veto is enshrined in Article IV, Section 17 of Maine’s Constitution, which also outlines the process by which a veto can appear on the ballot. [Read more…] about How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the People’s Veto