Thursday, February 16, 2023
Contact: Emily Cook

Public Comment Period Now Open on Wording of
Ballot Question

AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is now accepting public comment on the wording of a citizen initiative question that will appear on the Nov. 7, 2023 Referendum Election ballot, unless enacted by the Legislature as written.

The department’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions has certified An Act To Require Voter Approval of Certain Borrowing by Government-controlled Entities and Utilities and To Provide Voters More Information Regarding that Borrowing. The ballot question, as drafted, reads:

“Do you want to bar some kinds of quasi-governmental entities and consumer-owned utilities from taking on more than $1 billion in debt unless they get voter approval?”

State law requires Secretary Bellows to present each proposed legislation “concisely and intelligibly” as a ballot question. She will be accepting public comments regarding the question’s form and content for a 30-day period, beginning today, Thursday, February 16 until 5 p.m. on Monday, March 20. All comments will be reviewed and considered before the ballot question is finalized.

Comments will be accepted via the online submission form, email, mail or in person:

  • Mail comments to the Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment, 148 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0148
  • Drop off written comments to the Office of the Secretary of State at the Nash School Building, 103 Sewall St., 2nd floor, Augusta, Maine.

The full text of the proposed pieces of legislation are available on the Citizen Initiatives webpage, along with proponent information.