Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Secretary Bellows Announces New Wording on Referendum Question

AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced the new wording of the referendum question for the citizens’ initiative entitled “An Act To Create the Pine Tree Power Company, a Nonprofit, Customer-owned Utility.” The question will be:

“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?”

Secretary Bellows was directed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to revise the question as initially drafted following a recent challenge to that language.

The full text of the proposed bill is available for viewing on the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions’ Citizens’ Initiatives webpage, along with proponent information.

The initiative went to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution, on February 16, 2023 in the First Regular Session. As the Legislature adjourned that session sine die on March 30, 2023 without enacting the bill as written, the initiative will be on the ballot for a statewide vote on November 7, 2023.

The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions will be creating a Citizens’ Guide to the 2023 Election in the coming months and all voters are encouraged to read it to inform themselves of the details of the bills.

In addition to the citizens’ initiative questions, the November Referendum Election ballot may also include bond issues, Constitutional Resolutions or other referenda questions that the Legislature chooses to send to the voters. Any such ballot questions will be included on the Upcoming Elections page.

For more information about the November 2023 election, visit Information on voter registration and locating your polling place can also be found on the Corporations, Elections and Commissions website.