Residents to vote on new state law on vaccine exemptions

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine residents will decide the fate of a new state law that eliminates religious and philosophical exemption for childhood vaccines in the state.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap announced Thursday that voters will take to the ballot box on the issue in March 2020.

The announcement comes after a people’s veto drive to overturn the law successfully gathered enough voter signatures over the summer to put the question on the primary ballot.

The Portland Press Herald reports the Legislature passed the vaccine law in June, with the bill clearing the state Senate by a single vote.

If it is passed in March, Maine would become one of five other states — California, Mississippi, West Virginia and New York — which have eliminated all but medical exemptions for vaccines.

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