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Maine’s Anti-Gay Signature Collecting Update

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2009

Stand For Marriage Maine, the coalition of anti-gay activists who are seeking to overturn Maine’s marriage laws, has announced that they have enough signatures to put their petition on the ballot.

Looking to overturn a bill signed by Governor John Baldacci in May approving same sex marriage, Stand For Marriage Maine announced today that they have collected more than the 55,087 signatures needed to place a People’s Veto on the November ballot and are collecting additional signatures as insurance to meet the deadline to qualify the measure for the 2009 statewide election.

While that makes for a good press release, it doesn’t tell the full story.

As any politico will tell you, a large percentage of the signatures in any collection effort will prove to be invalid for a number of reasons. Some folks are not actually registered to vote, are registered at a different address, are registered under a different name, or provide an illegible signature. Some will agree to sign but will put down a fake name. So petitioners always collect enough extra names to have a substantial cushion.

In mid June, Bob Emrich, the head of the effort, set a goal of collecting 80,000 signatures by the middle of July. At that time they had about 12,000 already collected.

It now appears that they are not on schedule to meet their goal. By now they should have collected a total of 63,000 signatures. And to reach 80,000 by next week, they will have to collect 25,000 signatures, or nearly half of what they collected in the past month. And at this point each additional signature will be harder to get than the one before.

However, it is still very likely that the campaign can meet its goals. The projected cushion of 25,000 is aggressive; and a campaign can usually assume that a 20-25% cushion is adequate and that may well be within their means. And as the campaign doesn’t actually have to turn in the signatures until the end of the month, they can use the extra weeks for signature collection rather than for verification.

But it is encouraging to see that their efforts are not proving to be a smooth or easy as they anticipated. As I said in June, we need to hope for their failure and plan for their success.

Comments

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AJD
July 8th, 2009 | LINK

As I said in June, we need to hope for their failure and plan for their success.

My thoughts exactly. What we shouldn’t be doing is what we did in California, i.e. expecting their failure and not even considering their success.

Richard W. Fitch
July 8th, 2009 | LINK

Where was it I read that there were two petitions people could sign, one for the measure and one, purported to be, against the the measure, but in actuality simply an obfuscated wording of the first. People signing the second, if they have been combined with the first would dilute the count. And some of those who signed the first may have reconsidered by time to go to the polls — let’s hope.

AJD
July 8th, 2009 | LINK

My main concern is that this is that Equality Maine will mount yet another softball, No On 8-style campaign and end up blowing it, just like what happened in California.

Trevor
July 9th, 2009 | LINK

They (pro-marriage forces) need to smear their opponents as being backwoods hicks. Doesn’t matter if its true or not as long as it gets the job done. I recommed giving ol’ Fred Phelps a call. I’m sure he’d jump at the chance.

ravenbiker
July 9th, 2009 | LINK

Failure is inevitable.

wlv
October 26th, 2009 | LINK

This is fascinating. You are hoping for the failure of an initiative left to the voters of Maine? At which stage do you hope for failure? I think most of you are simply afraid to allow the voters to vote on it. Gay marriage, when put to the voters, has failed in every single instance. People realize that those advocating this are not asking for equal rights. They already have equal rights under the law to marry. They are asking for additional rights, and only for themselves. If you truly want marriage to be between ANY consenting adults, you open the proverbial Pandora’s Box for incestuous marriages, polygamous marriages. Are you ready for a mother to marry her adult son? No. Some of you would put provisions in a marriage bill to exclude everything but what you want. But you now fear the voters of Maine, and you label any opposition to you position as “anti-gay”. It’s really pathetic.

Priya Lynn
October 26th, 2009 | LINK

WLV said “People realize that those advocating this are not asking for equal rights. They already have equal rights under the law to marry. They are asking for additional rights, and only for themselves.”

That’s quite simply a lie. Ted has the right to marry Alice, Dorothy does not have the same right Ted has to marry Alice – the rights are indisputably unequal. Gays seek the same right straights have to marry the person of their choice.

WLV said “If you truly want marriage to be between ANY consenting adults, you open the proverbial Pandora’s Box for incestuous marriages, polygamous marriages.”.

Another lie. Equal marriage has been going on in several countries for many many years and there’s never been a legalization of incestuous or polygamous marriages and there is no organized effort to bring that about.

WLV said “Some of you would put provisions in a marriage bill to exclude everything but what you want.”.

No, that’d be you. You want to exclude the same sex marriages you do not want.

WLV said “But you now fear the voters of Maine, and you label any opposition to you position as “anti-gay”. It’s really pathetic.”.

Once again, you’re the pathetic one. The tyranny of the majority is rightfully opposed. You seek to deny gays the rights you take for granted – you are anti-gay by definition.

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