Public comment is now being accepted for the wording of the citizen’s initiatives questions that will appear on the Nov. 8, 2016 Maine Referendum Election ballot, 

The Secretary of State's Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions has certified five citizens’ initiatives to go before Maine voters. The name of each piece of legislation and its proposed ballot wording 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 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?”
  • 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?”

The full text of each proposed bill is available for viewing via the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions’ Citizens’ Initiatives page.


Those who wish to comment on the wording may do so online. Comments will also be accepted via email, mail or in person:

  • Email, use “public comment” and the name of the ballot question in the subject line
  • Mail comments to the Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment, 148 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0148
  • Drop off written comments to the Office of the Secretary of State at the Nash School Building, 103 Sewall St., 2nd floor, Augusta, Maine.

Following the completion of the public review period ending June 13, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says the ballot order of the referendum questions will be determined by random drawing.