Proposed Initiative Ballot Question / Public Comment

Notice of Public Comment Period - May 13, 2016 - June 13, 2016

Among the items that will be presented to the voters at the November 8, 2016 Referendum Election, are five Direct Initiatives of Legislation (i.e. Citizen Initiative). Under Maine's Constitution, the Secretary of State is responsible for preparing the ballots for direct initiatives ?in such form as to present the question or questions concisely and intelligibly.? Below are the Secretary of State's proposed ballot questions for the five initiatives that will appear on the November 8, 2016 ballot.

Proposed Ballot Questions for:

"An Act To Establish Ranked-choice Voting"

?Do you want to change Maine election law to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate and State Representative??

"An Act To Legalize Marijuana"

?Do you want to legalize the possession and use of marijuana by persons who are at least 21 years of age, allow state and local regulation of retail sales of marijuana, and allow state regulation of the cultivation, manufacture, testing and distribution of marijuana???

"An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage"

?Do you want to raise the minimum hourly wage of $7.50 to $9.00 in 2017, and in $1.00 increments up to $12 in 2020; and to raise it for service workers who receive tips from the current rate of $3.75 to $5 in 2017, in $1.00 increments up to $12 in 2024??

"An Act To Require Background Checks for Gun Sale"

?Do you want to change Maine law to require background checks prior to the transfer of firearms between individuals, with some exceptions for certain circumstances??

"An Act To Establish The Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education"

?Do you want to establish a Fund to support kindergarten through 12th grade public education by adding a 3% surcharge on Maine taxable income above $200,000??

Maine law, Title 21-A ?905-A, requires that the Secretary of State provide a 30-day public comment period for the purpose of receiving comments on the content and form of proposed questions to be placed on the ballot for any pending initiatives.

Public comments must be received by the Secretary of State prior to the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, June 13, 2016.

Written comments may be filed with the Secretary of State in the following ways:

  • By email at; use subject line Public Comment followed by the subject of each question;
  • By mail at Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment and key word, 148 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0148; or
  • By hand at: Office of the Secretary of State, Nash School Bldg., 103 Sewall St., 2nd Floor, Augusta, ME.

The language of the five Citizen Initiatives that will appear on the ballot can be found here: