FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. Releases Final Ballot Questions for the Lewiston Casino and the Biddeford and Washington County Racino Citizen Initiatives
AUGUSTA, Maine — Following a 30-day public comment period that ended on Monday, August 15, 2011, Secretary of State Charlie Summers has finalized the wording of the questions for the Lewiston casino and the Biddeford and Washington County racino citizen initiatives that will be presented to Maine voters on the November 8, 2011 referendum ballot.
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 the required 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 Secretary of State is charged with drafting the question to be posed to the voters on the ballot. Maine law directs the Secretary of State to draft the question concisely and intelligibly. Maine law ( Title 21-A §905-A ) further stipulates that before a ballot question is finalized the Secretary must “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.” After the comment period, Secretary Summers had 10 days to review the comments and determine whether or not the questions needed to be altered.
Secretary Summers with input from the Division of Elections staff and the Attorney General’s office has taken into account all the comments that were received and has released the following questions that will appear on the ballot:
Do you want to allow a casino with table games and slot machines in Lewiston, with part of the profits going to support specific state and local programs?
Do you want to allow a slot machine facility at a harness racing track in Biddeford or another community within 25 miles of Scarborough Downs, subject to local approval, and at a harness racing track in Washington County, with part of the profits from these facilities going to support specific state and local programs?
For more information on the November 8, 2011 Election, please visit the Secretary of State's website for upcoming elections.