FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. Releases for Public Comment the Proposed Ballot Questions for the Lewiston Casino and the Biddeford and Washington County Racino Citizen Initiatives
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers has released drafts of the questions that will be presented to Maine voters on the November 8, 2011 ballot. Under the law, the public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed wording of the ballot questions that have been prepared.
The Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part Third, Section 18 provides for legislation by citizen initiative. In order for a proposal to move forward, proponents must file with the Secretary of State a number of signatures of registered Maine voters equivalent to 10% of the votes cast at the last gubernatorial election. Currently, 57,277 signatures are required. Once the signatures are certified, the legislation is transmitted to the Legislature.
In February, Secretary Summers certified that proponents of both citizen initiated bills, “An Act Regarding Establishing a Slot Machine Facility” and “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Deadline and Conditions for Municipal Approval of a Second Racino and To Allow a Tribal Racino in Washington County,” had gathered a sufficient number of signatures. The initiated legislation was then introduced to the 125th Legislature. Members of the House and Senate had the option of enacting the measures into law, without amendment, or sending the questions to the voters for a final determination. Because neither initiated bill was enacted, the questions will be placed on the November ballot.
The proposed wording for the initiative questions that voters will decide on, along with a link to the text of the initiated legislation, is as follows:
The questions were drafted by the Secretary of State with assistance from senior staff and the Attorney General's office. Maine law, Title 21-A MRSA Section 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."
Written public comments on the proposed questions may be filed with the Secretary of State by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment, 148 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0148; or by hand at the Secretary of State's office at Nash School, 103 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. Public comments must be received by the Secretary of State prior to the close of business (5:00 PM) on Monday, August 15, 2011.