Maine reconsiders constitutional appointments

By Stephen Betts | May 31, 2011

Augusta — Maine voters could one day vote for their attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer.

The state Senate voted 23-12 on May 26 to approve a bill that would call for a constitutional amendment to be put on the November 2011 ballot for voters to decide whether those three officers should be elected by the public at the polls.

Currently, the Legislature appoints those three constitutional officers.

Under the bill, LD 1572, the first election for those officers would be held in November 2014. Each of their terms would run for four years.

The Legislature's State and Local Government Committee had recommended that those positions as well as state auditor be elected positions. But the Senate adopted an amendment by a minority group of that committee that the auditor not be included in the change.

All three local Republican state senators — Sens. Christopher Rector of Thomaston, A. David Trahan of Waldoboro, and Michael Thibodeau of Winterport — voted for the amended bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Hampden.

The House has yet to vote on the bill.

For a constitutional referendum to go before voters both the House and Senate must pass the bill by a two-thirds margin.

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