Center for Inquiry Congratulates Maine for Overwhelming Rejection of Anti-Vaccine Ballot Measure


For Immediate Release: March 4, 2020
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

On Super Tuesday, the voters of Maine overwhelmingly rejected a misguided attempt to overturn the state’s new vaccination requirements, which the Center for Inquiry heralded as a decisive victory for reason and science over misinformation and pseudoscience. 

Question 1, a referendum on Tuesday’s ballot in Maine, would have repealed the state’s recent legislation which eliminated religious and philosophical exemptions from mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren and healthcare workers. As of Wednesday morning, with 88 percent of precincts reporting, 73 percent of Mainers voted to reject the repeal effort. 

Last year, CFI communications director and Maine resident Paul Fidalgo delivered testimony to the Maine Legislature Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs in support of the bill.

“Last night’s results showed that Mainers were unmoved by the massive misinformation campaign waged by anti-vaxxers,” said Fidalgo. “Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists wanted to make this referendum about ‘Big Pharma’ and ‘religious liberty,’ but the truth is that viruses simply don’t care about your politics or what religion you believe in.”

Non-medical vaccination exemptions in Maine had been on the rise since 2009. In 2019, the Maine public school system had its highest rate of exemptions in 10 years among kindergartners, and was the 25th state to confirm a case of measles. 

“Privately held beliefs must never be used as an excuse to jeopardize the health of our own children or anyone else’s,” said Fidalgo. “Mainers understand that, and they should be proud of the stand they’ve taken.”

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.