Public Comment Period Open for Ballot Question

Public comment period now open on wording of energy corridor ballot question

AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is now accepting public comment for the wording of the energy transmission project citizens’ initiative question that is qualified to appear on the Nov. 3, 2020 Referendum Election ballot.

The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions initially certified the citizens’ initiative Resolve, To Reject the New England Clean Energy Connect Transmission Project on March 4, with an amended decision issued April 1 following a court ruling. The new decision, issued April 1, finds 66,117 valid signatures. A minimum of 63,067 signatures from registered Maine voters is required to qualify for the ballot.

State law requires Secretary Dunlap to present the ballot question “concisely and intelligibly.” He will be accepting public comments regarding the question’s form and content for a 30-day period, beginning today, Friday, May 22 until 5 p.m. on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Secretary Dunlap is proposing the following wording to appear on the ballot for this initiative:

“Do you want to adopt a Resolve directing the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reverse its approval of the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect power transmission line?”

Comments supporting or opposing the citizens’ initiative will not be considered; this 30-day period is to receive comments only on the ballot question itself, and whether the question presents an accurate and clear representation of the proposed resolve.

Public comments must be received by the Secretary of State prior to the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Written comments may be filed with the Secretary of State in the following ways:

  • By email at sos.office@maine.gov; use subject line “Public Comment.”
  • By mail at Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment, 148 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0148; or
  • By hand delivery at: Office of the Secretary of State, Nash School Building, 103 Sewall St., 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine.

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  • Noah Hale
    commented 2020-05-24 06:44:59 -0400
    It’s confusing and a wordy double negative.
  • Cyndi Berthaume
    commented 2020-05-22 15:31:32 -0400
    Just Say No: It’s easier to get people to vote against something than for something. Similarly, tearing down an idea is easier than engaging in positive dialogue for something. Be cognizant of this, as your opponents will capitalize on ballot language to get folks to vote no. Bottom line: if your language is unclear or obscure, it makes the measure harder to pass. jmo
  • Glen Darling
    commented 2020-05-22 14:20:41 -0400
    The corridor project is a no win deal for each side of the border.
    Please tell me how this project is at this point in full swing even when it is going to a vote in November.
    Out of the country money is controlling that hydro electric construction. It is a big cash cow that will gush money for them. The corridor not going through will turn off the money machine!
    Why does it mean that they can do what they please? They are shoving it down the throats of all all Mainers from the beginning, Overlooking the damages it will cause our Woodlands.