Fulford for Congress
Circulator check list
-- Maintain security of the petitions at all times.
-- Observe each
signature as it is being placed on the
-- One municipality to a petition.
-- Only one person may circulate an individual petition.
-- Once you start
to fill out a petition write the name
of the municipality on the top right hand side.
-- When all
signatures are collected, have a notary
public certify your circulator’s oath on the back
of the petition.
-- Take the
certified petition to the town Registrar of
Voters for voter verification.
-- Notify the
campaign as soon as you get the petitions
back from the town.
-- If you have
any questions or problems, contact one
of the petition coordinators.
David Bright, 207-234-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Hay Bright, 207-234-4225, email@example.com
Authorized & Paid for by Fulford For Congress. Martha Reeve Treasurer.
Fulford for Congress
Instructions to Nomination Petition Circulators
Thank you for agreeing to help Jonathan Fulford gain ballot access by circulating his nomination petition. We can’t elect Jonathan to Congress unless he’s on the ballot, so your work over the next few weeks is absolutely critical to the success of this campaign.
Circulating a nomination petition is a legal process and is therefore subject to strict rules of procedure. These rules are not complicated but they must be strictly followed. If at any time you have any question on how to proceed, please contact one of the petition coordinators immediately.
David Bright, 207-234-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Hay Bright, 207-234-4225, email@example.com
WHO CAN CIRCULATE A PETITION?
You do not have to be a registered voter, or even a citizen of the State of Maine, to circulate a candidate nomination petition. However, you do have to be 18 years of age or older, because you will have to sign a binding legal document in connection with this effort. In signing the document you must swear that you personally observed each signer put pen to paper and watched as they signed the petition.
ALWAYS MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE PETITION
The most important thing to remember about circulating a petition is that the petition must remain in your control at all times, and you must personally witness every person signing the petition. Therefore:
� Once you start a petition, you are the only person who can circulate it. Do not hand it off to someone else to complete. Write the name of the municipality on the top left of the petition after the first person signs it and make sure only voters from that municipality sign that petition.
� Do not leave the petition out on a table or countertop where someone could sign it (or steal it) when you are not looking.
� Do not allow a petition to be passed from person to person around a room, as often happens with sign-up sheets at political meetings. You may carry the petition with you and approach people to sign, but that must be the only task you are performing at that time.
� Do not try to juggle more than one petition at one time or interact with more than one person at one time.
� Do not hand the petition to one person to sign then turn your attention to someone else while the petition is being signed.
� If you are working at a table and have to get up and leave the table for any reason, even if for just a minute or so, either take the petition with you or put it away so it’s out of sight until you return.
If you are collecting signatures from people who live in different towns, use a separate petition for each municipality. Write the name of the municipality on the top left of the petition after the first person signs it and make sure only voters from that municipality sign that petition.
This is because the signatures must be verified by the Registrar of Voters in each town. (Having people from more than one town sign the same petition does not invalidate the petition, but it complicates the verification process. If you find you have a petition like this, call one of the petition coordinators for instructions before taking it to the town office.)
I HAVE A PETITION WITH NO SIGNATURES ON IT,
MAY I GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE TO CIRCULATE?
Yes, but before you do you must obtain complete contact information that person, and then contact the campaign as soon as possible to let us know who has the petition. The information you need to collect is the petition number (hand-written on the upper left), first and last name, phone number, email, mailing address, and, if you know, the name of town in which it will be circulated.
If you somehow have obtained a petition that does not have Jonathan’s information at the top, or one that has no number, do not circulate it until you call one of the petition coordinators and get instructions on how to fill out the top information. It’s illegal to circulate a petition that does not have the candidate information filled out at the top.
WHO CAN SIGN A PETITION?
In order to sign a nomination petition for Jonathan, the signer must:
� Be a registered Maine voter. (17-year-olds may register to vote if they will be 18 years of age by Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018. Once registered, they may sign petitions and vote in a party caucus and the primary election.)
� Be enrolled as a Democrat.
� Be a resident of Maine’s Second Congressional District. (A list of the towns in the Second District may be found at the end of this document.)
� Sign the petition using their name as appears on their town’s voter registration list.
If someone knows they are not a registered voter or enrolled as a Democrat, they can do so at their town office or city hall. If you’re collecting near that office they can immediately register and enroll and then come back and sign. In other cases you may have to encourage them to register when they can and then wait for another opportunity to sign the petition. You may carry voter registration cards with you and have someone fill the card out, but they are not a voter and/or a Democrat until the card is entered into the system at their town office. Do not let them sign the petition until they have registered and enrolled.
HOW DOES SOMEONE SIGN THE PETITION?
To complete the petition, the voter must fill out the appropriate boxes. Don’t assume the voter knows how to fill out the petition. Once the petition is in front of them, point to the boxes as you explain to them what they must do. They should:
� Leave the first box blank.
� SIGN their name in the second box.
� Write the date on which they are signing the petition in the third box.
� Write their street address (where they live, NOT a P.O. Box) in the fourth box.
� Write the name of the municipality in which they vote in the fifth box.
� And PRINT their name in the sixth (last) box.
If the voter makes a mistake they may cross out the entire line and start over.
Ditto marks may be used for the street address and town if those entries are the same as the entries directly above.
If a signer has difficulty writing, the circulator may fill out the date, address, town and printed name, but the voter must sign his or her own name.
If the voter is physically unable to sign the petition, they may direct another Maine registered voter to sign the petition in the presence of both the voter and the circulator. The individual assisting the voter who is physically unable to sign must sign the voter’s name on one line and then sign the individual’s own name on another line and attest that the individual is signing on the voter’s behalf. The assistant must complete the rest of the information on both lines for the voter and the assistant.
Voters may sign petitions for more than one candidate running for the same office.
If you encounter a voter who is not certain if they already signed a petition for Jonathan, have them sign your petition. Duplicate signatures will be caught in the verification process, will not be counted twice, and they will not invalidate your petition. (Better twice than not at all.)
WHAT IF I’M UNCERTAIN IF A SIGNER’S INFORMATION IS ACCURATE?
It’s not uncommon for people to think they’re enrolled as a Democrat because the usually vote that way, but in fact not be enrolled in the party as far as the voting list is concerned. Some people may also not even be registered voters but will sign anyway. It’s for these reasons that the Registrar of Voters will check the petitions. Names of people who are not on the state-wide voting list will be eliminated. If you had no reason to think they were not registered voters or enrolled Democrats when they signed, the petition will still be valid.
On the other hand, if you suspect the person who is signing is not who they claim to be, or you have a strong belief they are not registered and enrolled Democrats, you are entitled to question them. If you have any question about the identity of the signer or the validity of the signature, you may also ask for a photo ID if you think that’s appropriate, although in some situations that may not be the best tactic and it won’t tell you anything about their registration status. It’s best to simply make a small dot on the petition just to the right of their signature so you can remember which signature you are concerned about. When you get a free moment call one of the petition coordinators and we will advise you. The campaign has access to the entire voting list in the Second Congressional District and can check the name for you. If it’s determined that the name is not valid you can simply cross it off. It is a crime for anyone to knowingly place a false name on a petition.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I’M FINISHED GATHERING NAMES ON THE PETITION?
There are several steps to be followed in handling a petition after the signatures have been gathered. If you have any questions be sure to contact a petition coordinator for assistance.
HAVE A NOTARY PUBLIC CERTIFY YOUR PETITION
When you have collected as many signatures as you can (even if there is only one signature on a petition form, this process is the same), the circulator must take an oath before a notary public indicating:
� The circulator personally witnessed all of the signatures to the petition and that,
� To the best of the circulator’s knowledge and belief, each signature is that of the person whose name it purports to be;
� Each signer is a registered voter of the electoral district named on the petition and is enrolled in the party designated on the petition; and
� If a voter was unable to sign due to a physical disability, that the voter authorized another voter to sign at the voter’s direction and in the voter’s presence.
The circulator must take the oath for each petition paper circulated.
Once the circulator has taken the oath before a notary, no signatures may be added to that petition form. Generally the Registrar of Voters or Clerk in your municipal office is a notary and can take your oath. A complete listing of Maine notaries public can be found at:
GET THE SIGNATURES VERIFIED BY THE REGISTRAR OF VOTERS
The next step is to have the signatures verified by the town Registrar of Voters.
Take the certified petitions into the municipal office and present them to the Registrar of Voters. You may be able to have the signatures verified while you wait, but more likely you’ll have to leave them. If that’s the case, ask for a receipt showing the number of petitions you have dropped off.
The Registrar has up to a week to verify the signatures, so the quicker you get them in, the sooner we get them back and ready to turn in to the Secretary of State. If you know you will not be able to pick them up when they are ready, be sure to tell the Registrar who is authorized to pick them up on your behalf. The Registrar will not release them to anyone else without your permission.
If you have no one else who can pick them up for you, give them the names of the petition coordinators:
David Bright, Dixmont, Maine 207-234-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Hay Bright, Dixmont, Maine, 207-234-4225, email@example.com
NOTIFY THE CAMPAIGN WHEN THE PETITIONS ARE COMPLETED
When you get the petition back from the town, or if you want the coordinators to pick it up, call one of the petition coordinators and we’ll make arrangements to get them.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CLOSELY FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES?
As noted above, without getting the proper number of certified and verified nomination signatures, Jonathan doesn’t get on the ballot and the campaign is over long before the primary election.
Our opponents know the best way to keep Jonathan off the ballot is to prevent him from getting on the ballot in the first place. Over the years there have been many attempts to knock candidates off the ballot. These can include people falsely signing a petition so we come up short once the false names are removed, or actually trying to distract a circulator so someone else can later claim the circulator was not observing the petitions being signed.
Any Maine voter has a right to challenge our petitions. If someone claims a circulator did not follow the rules, they can file a complaint with the Secretary of State, who will hold a hearing to determine the facts. If the Secretary of State is convinced there is credible evidence that some petitions were not legally collected, those petitions can be invalidated.
By carefully adhering to the rules we can assure we get Jonathan on the ballot.
YOU ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THIS CAMPAIGN
Our goal is to get 1,500 valid signatures collected as soon as possible so we can deliver them to the Secretary of State and get the ballot access issue out of the way. Then we can move on to other aspects of the campaign.
Your help in making sure we accomplish this goal is very important.
Thank you for your help and support.
* The following towns are part of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District:
All towns in these counties: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo and Washington.
And the Kennebec County towns of Albion, Belgrade, Benton, Clinton, Fayette, Gardiner, Litchfield, Monmouth, Mount Vernon, Oakland, Randolph, Rome, Sidney, Vienna, Wayne, West Gardiner and Unity Township.