Gov. Paul LePage officially certified election results Thursday for all but two of the questions that appeared on the state ballot Nov. 8.

The governor issued a proclamation to the secretary of state certifying the passage of measures to raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020, establish ranked-choice voting and authorize a bond issue to improve transportation infrastructure. Those laws will take effect in 30 days – on Jan. 7.

LePage’s proclamation also certified voters’ rejection of a measure to expand background checks for gun purchases.

It did not certify results for two ballot questions that passed by narrow margins, according to the state’s official counts: marijuana legalization, and a 3 percent tax surcharge for high earners.

While the governor had a deadline Thursday to certify most of the results, he has more time to issue proclamations about the votes on marijuana and the tax surcharge because of recount requests, which delayed the legal certification process.

The marijuana vote is the subject of a hand recount that began Monday and could continue well into January. LePage won’t be asked to certify those results until the recount is complete.


A recount also was requested on the income tax surcharge. That request was later withdrawn, but not before delaying the secretary of state’s formal reporting of results to the governor.

The Secretary of State’s Office did not formally submit the results of referendum Question 2 until Dec. 2, and the governor has 10 days from that date to issue a proclamation certifying its passage.

LePage opposed all five of the citizen-initiated referendum questions. He created doubts about whether he would certify the results when he wrote in a Dec. 1 letter to incoming legislators that he had “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.”

The letter and a similar statement to the media days later did not include any evidence of voter fraud or explain the reason for his concerns.

On Wednesday, LePage called on the new Legislature to change two of the voter-approved laws. LePage said the ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage and impose a 3 percent tax surcharge on individual income above $200,000 a year will hurt the state’s economy.

Copies of LePage’s formal, signed proclamation were not available Thursday, according to the governor’s office and the Secretary of State’s Office.

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