Maine voters defeat Question 1, the Religious and Philosophical Vaccination Exemptions Referendum, on Tuesday with 72.5 percent of voters against it.
Maine Question 1 would have repealed Legislative Document 798 (LD 798), which was designed to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of healthcare facilities. With the defeat of Question 1, the elimination of religious and philosophical exemptions will go into effect on September 1, 2021.
Governor Janet Mills (D) signed Legislative Document 798 (LD 798) into law on May 24, 2019. Most legislative Democrats (84 percent) supported the bill. Most legislative Republicans (91 percent) opposed the bill. In June 2019, the campaign committee Mainers for Health and Parental Rights filed paperwork for the veto referendum seeking to repeal LD 798. On September 18, 2019, the campaign filed 95,871 raw signatures, of which 79,056 were found valid. A minimum of 63,067 signatures needed to be valid. On October 17, 2019, Secretary of State Dunlap (D) announced that the veto referendum qualified to appear on March primary ballots.