Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s office has released the wording of five citizen-initiated referendums that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The release of the questions starts a 30-day public comment period, after which the questions will be finalized.
The questions are as follows:
- An Act to Establish Ranked-choice Voting: “Do you want to change Maine election law to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate and State Representative?”
- An Act to Legalize Marijuana: “Do you want to legalize the possession and use of marijuana by persons who are at least 21 years of age, allow state and local regulation of retail sales of marijuana, and allow state regulation of the cultivation, manufacture, testing and distribution of marijuana?”
- An Act to Raise the Minimum Wage: “Do you want to raise the minimum hourly wage of $7.50 to $9.00 in 2017, and in $1.00 increments up to $12 in 2020; and to raise it for service workers who receive tips from the current rate of $3.75 to $5 in 2017, in $1.00 increments up to $12 in 2024?”
- An Act to Require Background Checks for Gun Sales: “Do you want to change Maine law to require background checks prior to the transfer of firearms between individuals, with some exceptions for certain circumstances?”
- An Act to Establish The Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education: “Do you want to establish a Fund to support kindergarten through 12th grade public education by adding a 3% surcharge on Maine taxable Income above $200,000?”
Public comments are due June 13. To see the full language of each of the five initiatives, click here. The ballot order of the referendum questions will be determined by random drawing after the comment period.