MAINE, USA — Mainers appear to have rejected Question 1 Tuesday night, a people's veto referendum that would have rejected the law passed by the state legislature last year, eliminating those philosophical and religious exemptions.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday evening, with 33% of Maine's precincts reporting, No was leading with over 73% of the vote.
“We will continue to work tirelessly to protect Maine’s children. We look forward to legislatures judicially and wisely putting this law into motion,” Laura Blaisdell, co-chair of the No on 1 Campaign told NEWS CENTER Maine Tuesday night.
That law eliminated two of the three exemptions to Maine’s school vaccine law, leaving only medical exemptions as a way to avoid children being immunized. Children who are not vaccinated and do not have medical exemptions would not be allowed to attend school, affecting all levels from pre-K to college.
'No on 1' primary night watch party at Salvage BBQ
“Tonight, the health and wellbeing of Maine children prevailed," Governor Janet Mills said in a statement. "This law leaves medical exemptions up to medical professionals and ensures that Maine children are better protected from the spread of dangerous communicable diseases. It is the right thing to do for the health and safety of our kids.”
As the concession speech came to an end Tuesday night, David Boyer, a consultant for Mainers for Health and Parental Rights thanked the media for coming, then said, "Now you can leave."
A 'Yes' vote would have repealed the vaccine law passed last year and would've allowed religious and philosophical exemptions. A 'No' vote will keep the new law – only allowing a medical exemption for those concerned about vaccines.
This will take effect in 2021.