FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
August 29 deadline for public comment on statewide referenda to appear in citizens’ guide
AUGUSTA — The Department of the Secretary of State is currently accepting submissions of public comment to appear in the 2023 Citizens’ Guide to the Referendum Election.
The department publishes the Citizens’ Guide each fall before a Referendum Election. Any individual, corporation, political action committee or other organization may file public comments in support of, or in opposition to, a ballot measure for publication in the guide. The Secretary of State’s Division of Elections allows for up to six commentary submissions – three in support and three in opposition – on each referendum question.
This year, voters will decide on four citizen initiatives and four constitutional amendments that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot:
QUESTION 1: An Act to Require Voter Approval of Certain Borrowing by Government-controlled Entities and Utilities and to Provide Voters More Information Regarding That Borrowing. 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?
QUESTION 2: An Act to Prohibit Campaign Spending by Foreign Governments and Promote an Anticorruption Amendment to the United States Constitution. Do you want to ban foreign governments and entities that they own, control, or influence from making campaign contributions or financing communications for or against candidates or ballot questions?
QUESTION 3: An Act to Create the Pine Tree Power Company, a Nonprofit, Customer-owned Utility. Do you want to create a new power company governed by an elected board to acquire and operate existing for-profit electricity transmission and distribution facilities in Maine?
QUESTION 4: An Act Regarding Automotive Right to Repair. Do you want to require vehicle manufacturers to standardize on-board diagnostic systems and provide remote access to those systems and mechanical data to owners and independent repair facilities?
QUESTION 5: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine Regarding the Timing of Judicial Review of the Determination of the Validity of Written Petitions. Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to change the time period for judicial review of the validity of written petitions from within 100 days from the date of filing to within 100 business days from the date of filing of a written petition in the office of the Secretary of State, with an exception for petitions filed within 30 calendar days before or after a general election?
QUESTION 6: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Require All Provisions in the Constitution to Be Included in the Official Printing. Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to require that all of the provisions of the Constitution be included in the official printed copies of the Constitution prepared by the Secretary of State?
QUESTION 7: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Align the Proceedings for Circulating Written Petitions for People's Vetoes and Direct Initiatives with Federal Law. Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision requiring a circulator of a citizen's initiative or people's veto petition to be a resident of Maine and a registered voter in Maine, requirements that have been ruled unconstitutional in federal court?
QUESTION 8: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Allow Persons Under Guardianship for Mental Illness to Be Electors. Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision prohibiting a person under guardianship for reasons of mental illness from voting for Governor, Senators and Representatives, which the United States District Court for the District of Maine found violates the United States Constitution and federal law?
Ballot measure public comments are limited to 300 words or less and must be accompanied by a completed application form and a $500 fee. Public comments must be submitted electronically and filed with the Secretary of State by the deadline of 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.
The Citizens’ Guide to the Referendum Election will be available on the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions website in mid-September.
Copies of the guide are also printed and distributed to municipal offices and public libraries throughout the state.
For the application form, instructions and rules on the Citizens’ Guide to the Referendum Election public comment submission process, visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html.