By Setareh Jalali This is part of our Youth BIPOC Spotlight series that highlights young…
By Houssein Mouhoumed
PORTLAND, Maine – Voters will cast their votes at the polls tomorrow to decide on three referenda and appoint three new members to both the city council and school board. Polls will open at 7am tomorrow and close at 8pm.
Referendum questions can be daunting to understand, so we have broken the three questions down below to help voters make informed decisions
Question 1: Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?
The first statewide referendum question is in regards to the CMP’s corridor construction, a high transmission line connecting the hydroelectric dam in Quebec to Massachusetts. If Maine citizens vote in favor of Yes, the construction of the high transmission lines in Kennebec would be stopped and would require legislative approval by 2/3 of Maine representatives. If No passes, the CMP corridor would continue the project as planned.
The CMP corridor race will be watched closely by many people in-state or out-of-state. With $80 million spent already, the CMP’s corridor campaign is the most expensive referendum election in the state’s history. For more information on both sides of the issue, read our in-depth article from last month.
Question 2: Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to leverage an estimated $253,000,000 in federal and other funds?
The second referendum question on the statewide ballot is a proposed $100,000,000 bond to upgrade infrastructure. Voting yes on this question means that you support improving roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports throughout the state of Maine. Voting no is voting against the state of Maine going forward with this bond.
Those who support the question believe that this project will create good-paying jobs for Mainers during construction and make Maine more efficient place for business. The opposition argue that Maine already has the money for these improvements. Sen. Matt Pouliot of District 15, the only state senator to vote against the bill that placed Question 2 on the ballot, told NewsSource8, “Maine has enough cash to pay for our transportation infrastructure if we prioritize it – we should use cash not credit cards to pay for it.”
Question 3: Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent, and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health, and well-being?
If successful, the third question would make Maine the first state with a constitutional amendment to provide an explicit right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their choosing as long as they are not trespassing on somebody else’s property or stealing.
The referendum has received support from both parties in Maine’s congress. Those who oppose, such as Animal Rights Maine and the Maine Farm Bureau. Julie Ann Smith, executive director of the Maine Farm Bureau: “We think it’s very dangerous to have the words ‘to consume the food of your own choosing.’ That is so broad and dangerous. It has the potential to cause serious problems in food safety, animal welfare.”
Check back our website later this week for updates on the election results.