Wording amended for November energy corridor referendum question

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 3:30pm

    AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has reviewed the public comments and finalized the wording for the energy transmission project citizens’ initiative question that is slated, according to a news release, to go before voters on the November 3 General Election referendum ballot.

    Since presenting the proposed language on May 22, Secretary Dunlap received 161 comments regarding the questions form and content prior to the comment close period of June 22.

    Following a thorough review of the comments, Secretary Dunlap has finalized the ballot question as: Do you want to require the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reject a previously-approved proposal to construct the New England Clean Energy Connect electrical power transmission line through western Maine?

    State law requires Secretary Dunlap to present ballot questions concisely and intelligibly, the news release noted, while also ensuring that the language does not introduce any bias and accurately reflects the proposed legislation.

    “We received many thoughtful comments on this proposed ballot question,” said Secretary Dunlap. “I have incorporated several of those suggestions in this final language, to make it more clear and complete.”

    The original proposed language for this initiative was: 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?

    The energy transmission project citizens initiative is the subject of an ongoing legal challenge and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court is expected to rule on whether it will ultimately appear on the November 3 ballot, the news release stated. 

    The State Supreme Court decision is expected prior to the late August ballot printing deadline, the news release said.