AUGUSTA — On June 13, voters will cast ballots in a statewide Special Referendum Election and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is reminding all Maine voters of an informational resource that can help them make informed decisions at the polls. The 2017 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election is available at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html
The Citizens Guide is intended to provide as much information as possible so that voters have a convenient resource to educate themselves before casting their ballot. The Department of the Secretary of State, in collaboration with the attorney general, state treasurer and Office of Fiscal and Program review, prepared the guide as an unbiased and non-partisan review of the bond issue that voters will consider at the polls this June.
Question 1 asks: “Do you favor a $50,000,000 bond issue to provide $45,000,000 in funds for investment in research, development and commercialization in the State to be used for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that enable organizations to gain and hold market share, to increase revenues and to expand employment or preserve jobs for Maine people, to be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private entities, leveraging other funds in a one-to-one ratio and $5,000,000 in funds to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in small businesses with the potential for significant growth and strong job creation?”
In the guide, voters can read the full text of the bond proposal legislation, the fiscal impact information, and an analysis of the intent and content of the bond question. Election law also allows for citizen advocacy statements to be published supporting or opposing questions, which provides voters with those viewpoints to consider, but no public comments were filed in support or opposition to this question.
Voters can request absentee ballots online via the Secretary of State’s website at: http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl . Ballots can also be requested in person, by phone or by mail from the municipal clerk. Contact information for municipal clerks is available at: http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/munic.html