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Sec. of State finalizes wording of energy corridor ballot question

The energy transmission project citizens’ initiative question is slated to go on the November 3 Maine General Election referendum ballot.
Credit: AP
In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo a sign protests Central Maine Power's controversial hydropower transmission corridor near Jackman, Maine. The power corridor would extend 53 miles from the Canadian border into Maine's north woods. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

AUGUSTA, Maine — On Wednesday, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced he has finalized the wording for the energy transmission project citizens’ initiative question that voters will be asked to answer on the General Election ballot.

Since presenting the proposed language on May 22, Dunlap says he received 161 comments regarding the question’s form and content. The comment period closed Monday, June 22.

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

Following a thorough review of the comments, 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?”

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

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 decision is expected before the late August ballot printing deadline.

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