Thursday, March 30, 2023

Secretary Bellows Announces Final Wording on Referendum Question

AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced the final wording of a referendum question on Monday.

The wording of the citizens’ initiative question entitled “An Act To Require Voter Approval of Certain Borrowing by Government-controlled Entities and Utilities and To Provide Voters More Information Regarding that Borrowing” will be:

“Do you want to bar some quasi-governmental entities and all consumer-owned electric utilities from taking on more than $1 billion in debt unless they get statewide voter approval?”

The full text of the proposed bill is available for viewing on the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions’ Citizens’ Initiatives webpage, along with proponent information.

Secretary Bellows received five comments on the proposed ballot question during the 30-day public comment period, which was open February 16 through March 20. These comments, from individuals and organizations throughout the state, were taken into consideration to draft the final language of each ballot question.

The initiative has gone to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution. The Legislature can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote in November 2023.

The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions will be creating a Citizens’ Guide to the 2023 Election in the coming months and all voters are encouraged to read it to inform themselves of the details of the bills.

In addition to the citizens’ initiative question, the November Referendum Election ballot may also include bond issues, Constitutional Resolutions or other referenda questions that the Legislature chooses to send to the voters. Any such ballot questions will be included on the Upcoming Elections page.

For more information about the November 2023 election, visit Information on voter registration and locating your polling place can also be found on the Corporations, Elections and Commissions website.