December 21, 2022

Public Comment Periods Now Open on Wording of Ballot Questions

AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is now accepting public comment on the wording of two citizen initiative questions that will appear on the Nov. 7, 2023 Referendum Election ballot, unless enacted by the Legislature as written.

The department’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions has certified two citizen initiatives, as follows:

An Act To Create the Pine Tree Power Company, a Nonprofit, Customer-owned Utility   

The ballot question for the consumer owned utility legislation, as drafted, reads:

“Do you want to create a new quasi-governmental owned power company governed by an elected board to acquire and operate existing electricity transmission and distribution facilities in Maine?”

An Act To Prohibit Campaign Spending by Foreign Governments and Promote an Anticorruption Amendment to the United States Constitution

The ballot question for the campaign spending restrictions legislation, as drafted, reads:

“Do you want to ban foreign governments and entities that they own, control, or influence from making campaign contributions or financing communications for or against candidates or ballot questions?”

State law requires Secretary Bellows to present each proposed legislation “concisely and intelligibly” as a ballot question. She will be accepting public comments regarding the question’s form and content for a 30-day period, beginning today, Wednesday, December 21 until 5 p.m. on Friday, January 20, 2023. All comments will be reviewed and considered before the ballot question is finalized.

Comments will be accepted via the online submission form, email, mail or in person:

  • Mail comments to the Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment, 148 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0148
  • Drop off written comments to the Office of the Secretary of State at the Nash School Building, 103 Sewall St., 2nd floor, Augusta, Maine.

The full text of the proposed pieces of legislation are available on the Citizen Initiatives webpage, along with proponent information.