Gov. Paul LePage is summoning incoming legislators to Augusta – and questioning the validity of their election victories.

LePage sent a letter Wednesday that includes a standard message telling legislators that they should show up in Augusta on Dec. 7 to start conducting the people’s business.

But the Republican governor goes on to say that he questions the results of the Nov. 8 voting.

“I am issuing this summons and signing this election certificate despite the fact that I maintain strong concerns regarding the integrity of Maine’s ballot and the accuracy of Maine’s election results and I cannot attest to the accuracy of the tabulation certified by the secretary of state,” LePage wrote.

The letter does not include any evidence or explain the reason for his concerns.

LePage had cast doubt on the state’s voting process in October after Republican nominee Donald Trump warned that the presidential election he would later win was “rigged” against him.


LePage also raised concerns in November about voter fraud by college students, but was contradicted by the secretary of state.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap reaffirmed his faith in the integrity of the election results through spokeswoman Kristen Schulze Muszynski, who said Dunlap is unaware of any reason not to have “total confidence in the way the election was run or the final results.”

“It is certainly upsetting when people make these kind of statements because it discourages people from participating in the democratic process,” Muszynski said. “We have no evidence of any kind of problem. We have no idea what the governor is talking about. He hasn’t raised any concerns with this office.”

One returning legislator, Matthew Moonen, a Portland Democrat, posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook page, adding the comment, “This is so embarrassing. And nobody gives a (expletive) what you can attest to.”

A spokeswoman for LePage, Adrienne Bennett, did not reply to emails or calls Thursday seeking additional information about what prompted LePage’s concerns.

Dunlap is aware of only one election-related inquiry, Muszynski said. The Attorney General’s Office is investigating a student in Lewiston who said he voted in his home state and in Maine. Attorney General Janet Mills’ office did not respond to requests for comment Thursday evening.


Maine law requires the Secretary of State’s Office to certify the results of the election within 20 days. Dunlap submitted certified results to LePage on Nov. 28, Muszynski said. LePage has 10 days to review the submission and issue proclamations summoning lawmakers to their swearing-in ceremonies and announcing the official results of any ballot questions, she said.

LePage’s letter to lawmakers effectively serves as a proclamation on behalf of their elections, but not for the referendum results, she said. It’s unclear what will happen if LePage does not issue a proclamation on the ballot questions. Dunlap will worry about that situation if it becomes necessary, but it likely would be handled by the Attorney General’s Office, Muszynski said.

State Democrats said the letter is a sign that LePage cannot accept the will of the people.

“Regardless of whether or not we like the results, the Maine people have spoken, and their voices must be respected,” said Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett in an email.

Calls and emails seeking comment from numerous legislators in both parties were not returned Thursday night.


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