Commentary

Ballot Questions May Run Afoul of Maine Constitution

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Last week I spoke at a forum during Constitution Week at Husson University. Liberals are constantly attacking our Constitution, but I believe it is a sacred document.

As Governor, I am sworn to uphold the Constitutions of Maine and the United States of America. I take this responsibility very seriously. In fact, I carry a copy of the Constitution in my suit pocket every day.

In Maine, I believe three of the questions on the November ballot are unconstitutional. If they pass it will be impossible to uphold my oath of office.

Question 1 seeks to make marijuana legal. But the federal government says marijuana is illegal. If I allow marijuana to be legal in Maine, I will violate my oath to follow the laws of the federal government.

Question 3 proposes Universal Background Checks on all private sales and transfer of firearms. This is an attempt to create a gun registry, which is being funded by New York liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The Maine Constitution clearly states: “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” It sure sounds like Bloomberg is questioning the traditional practices of responsible firearms owners. It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to create a gun registry so Bloomberg and the government will know if you own a gun. Bloomberg should leave our Constitution and our guns alone. He should spend his money trying to keep liberal cities like Chicago and New York City safe.

Question 5 wants to throw out our traditional system of voting and replace it with Ranked Choice Voting. It’s a complicated process that allows candidates to get a second chance to win elections—and maybe even a third chance. Supporters claim it ensures a candidate gets a majority of votes, rather than a plurality. But that’s not true.

In the last election, I got the most votes ever cast for a Maine governor. Mike Michaud got the second most number of votes. But with Ranked Choice Voting, it’s possible that third-place candidate Eliot Cutler could have won. That’s probably why he supports it. But the Maine Constitution states that candidates win by plurality. Period.

Even the Attorney General says Ranked Choice Voting is unconstitutional. It’s one of the rare times we agree.

Despite these constant attacks on our rights and our laws, I will always follow and defend the Constitution. If the people of Maine want these three laws, first, we must change our Constitution.

About Paul LePage

Governor Paul LePage (R) has served as the 74th Governor of Maine since 2011. Prior to his time as governor, LePage served as the general manager of Marden's and as the mayor of Waterville.

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