A judge upheld the decision made by the Maine Secretary of State to invalidate numerous petition signatures submitted by financial planner Max Linn (R). The reduced number leaves Linn below the minimum number of signatures required to qualify for the primary ballot.
“Kennebec County Superior Court Justice William Stokes wrote in his ruling that Secretary of State Matt Dunlap ‘closely examined each petition and carefully exercised his discretion in determining where fraud existed and whether that fraud affected the remaining signatures on the petition.’”
Stokes pushed back against the claim of Linn’s lawyer that Dunlap went too far in his decision, writing: “As Mr. Linn has argued, the fraud had to come from somewhere. As the court cannot speculate as to where the fraud occurred, and the only person who was known to handle the petitions was the circulator, it is not an abuse of discretion for the Secretary to determine that there was fraud on the part of the circulator.”
Linn "did not immediately return a request for comment on whether he would appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court." (Portland Press Herald)