Despite finding a stunning 24% of the signatures to be invalid, the Secretary of State's office has confirmed enough signatures to place the beverage tax repeal referendum on the November ballot.
Health Coverage for Maine was quick to reply, with a statement from Maine Medical Association Vice President Gordon Smith:
That’s why Maine doctors are solidly opposed to all efforts, including this one, which would put health coverage for children and adults at risk. And that’s why we’re confident Maine voters will reject this attempt to protect beer and soda profits at the expense of jeopardizing Maine’s health coverage system. Maine is one of the few states that has lowered its rate of uninsured citizens in recent years. We need to build on that success, not take coverage away from families and small businesses.
We continue to have serious concerns about the methods used by the paid signature gatherers, especially in light of the fact that one out of four of the signatures they turned in was invalid. Stories abound of out-of-state gatherers not following the collection rules and offering false information to voters to get their signatures. We look forward to seeing the petitions ourselves but are also very comfortable with a ballot question. We are confident that when Maine voters have accurate information about the serious effects of this proposal on children and hard-working adults, they will say ‘no thanks’.