Tuesday, Nov. 3 was election day across the country, where state issues were on the ballot. In Maine, two bonds were passed and elections were made more transparent through a change to the Maine Clean Election Act.
Question 1, titled “Clean Elections”, asked if voters would like to make an addendum to the Maine Clean Election Act. The change would see improvements to the disclosure of parties who pay for political ads and increase penalties for violating campaign finance law. According to the Bangor Daily News election results, 55 percent of voters were in favor of the change.
“Today Mainers sent a message loud and clear. We want transparency. We want a government accountable to everyday people. And, we want a strong public financing Clean Election law that puts voters in control of our democracy — not wealthy special interests and high paid lobbyists,” said Andrew Bossie, executive director of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, said in a Nov. 3 press release.
“This is a victory for democracy,” Bossie continued. “A victory for the people, of the people, and by the people. Now it’s time for the legislature and the state to move forward with implementation.”
Question 2 dealt with a $15 million bond issue for low-income housing for senior citizens. The bond, as stated in the question, would aid in building energy efficient housing, as well as weatherizing existing housing for low-income seniors. The bond would be matched by $24 million in private and other funding. Voters were largely in favor, with 69 percent saying yes.
Another bond issue was on the ballot for Question 3. Voters were asked if they favor a $85 million bond for construction and repair of highways and bridges, as well as pedestrian trails, harbors, railroads and other transportation. This funding would be matched by $121.5 million in federal and other funding. Again, voters were largely in favor, with 73 percent for the bond.
In Orono, a total of 1,016 ballots were cast. The votes cast by the citizens of Orono were concurrent with rest of Maine, as all three questions on the ballot were passed by large margins. On Question 1, 73 percent were in favor of cleaner elections, and nearly 83 percent were in favor of both bond issues.