Friday, Sept. 13, 2019
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
207-626-8404/ 207-441-7638

Voters will decide on alternative signatures, transportation bond

AUGUSTA — The Referendum Election will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, with two statewide issues on the ballot. The 2019 Maine Citizens’ Guide to the Referendum Election is now available on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State’s Upcoming Elections webpage, allowing voters to see the legislation behind this year’s ballot questions, as well as analysis of the intent and content of each question.

The guide, prepared by the Department of the Secretary of State in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General, Office of the State Treasurer and Office of Fiscal and Program Review, is an unbiased and non-partisan review of the issues that voters will consider at the polls this November. The Citizens’ Guide provides detailed information about each question on the November ballot. The two ballot questions are:

Question 1: Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?

Transportation Bond

This proposal would authorize the State to issue general obligation bonds, in an amount not to exceed $105 million, to raise funds for transportation projects. The 10-year bond would fund several projects, including upgrades to bridges, secondary roads, state highways and other transportation infrastructure statewide under the helm of the Maine Department of Transportation ($100 million); a matching grant program for municipal culvert upgrades via the Maine Department of Environmental Protection ($4 million); and the renovation of the wharf and bulkhead at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland ($1 million).

Question 2: Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to allow persons with disabilities to sign petitions in an alternative manner as authorized by the Legislature?

Constitutional Resolution

This proposal would amend Maine’s Constitution to allow voters who have physical disabilities that prevent them from signing their own names to use an alternative method of signing a citizens’ initiative or people’s veto petition. Maine election law already allows voters with disabilities to use an alternative signature on a voter registration application, a change of party enrollment form, candidate nomination petitions, and Maine Clean Election Act forms by using a signature stamp or by authorizing another Maine-registered voter to sign on the voter’s behalf ‒ in the voter’s presence and at the direction of the voter.  Adoption of the proposed Constitutional amendment would expand the scope of this election statute so that voters with certain physical disabilities would also be able to sign citizens’ initiative petitions and people’s veto petitions.

More information is available on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State Upcoming Elections webpage or by calling 207-626-8400.