MPA Calls on Secretary of State Charlie Summers to Resign

Organization Launches Petition Citing Conflict of Interest, History of Voter Intimidation 

"Charlie Summers should resign his position as Secretary of State," said Maine People's Alliance Executive Director Jesse Graham. "Summers should resign not just because of the conflict of interest inherent in overseeing his own election, but because of his history of voter intimidation and suppression." 

Last year, Secretary of State Charlie Summers said that he would not be involved in the referendum campaign on same-day voter registration, acknowledging the obvious conflict of interest with his official position. 

"I have really tried to back away from the campaign aspect of all of this. You know, as the person in charge of elections for the state, I've tried not to get too far into that water," told the hosts of the WGAN morning show. 

Summer did become involved in that campaign, however, using his office to amplify outrageous and false accusations of voter fraud in an attempt to swing public opinion and suppress the vote. Summers even went so far as to send a threatening letter on official stationary to a list of college students provided by GOP Chair Charlie Webster in order to deter them from exercising their voting rights. 

A Sun Journal editorial called his tactics "intimidating" and "bullying"(1) and the American Civil Liberties Union found that he had violated the protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.(2) 

"Charlie Summers tried to stop students from voting and used scare tactics in an attempt to make it harder for all of us to register to vote," said Graham. "Someone with a history of voter intimidation and suppression should not be administering any election, much less one in which he is a candidate." 

Now, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, Summers is once again blurring the line between his office and his campaign. 

This week, when MPA member Sheryl Lee called the Secretary of States Office to get an official email address to comment on the proposed wording of the referendum on same-sex marriage, she was instead given contact information for his Senate campaign. 

During the Republican Primary campaign, Summers' opponents also noted that members of his state office staff were appearing at campaign events, wearing stickers, and distributing campaign literature.(3) 

The Maine People's Alliance has launched a public petition calling for Secretary Summers' resignation. It can be viewed and signed here