The results of the Nov. 2 referendum election have come in, and Maine citizens voted in favor of all three measures presented on the ballot.
The first question regarded the CMP corridor and future energy project legislation. Question 1 asked whether the Maine legislature should ban the construction of the CMP corridor, and whether in the future similar energy projects should be passed only by a two-thirds majority vote in the Maine legislature. The measure passed with a vote of 59% in favor of the ban and 41% against. This means that construction on the CMP corridor will be halted, and any future high-impact electrical transmission line construction must be approved by the Maine legislature.
The second question on the ballot involved passing a $100 million bond for the sake of constructing or repairing state infrastructure and transportation. The measure passed with a majority vote of 72% in favor of the bond and only 28% against. Directly following the results of the election, Maine Department of Transportation commissioner Bruce Van Note expressed his gratitude for those who supported the measure’s passing.
“On behalf of the nearly 1,700 dedicated and hardworking team members at the Maine Department of Transportation, I want to thank Maine voters for approving Question 2 today,” Van Note said in a statement to News Center Maine. “We are fortunate that Mainers historically have shown overwhelming support for transportation funding, and this year is no different. We never take that support for granted. Thank you.”
Van Note went on to describe precisely the effect that this measure will have on MDOT’s work. With this $100 million bond, the total investments given to the department will be increased to around $253 million, making this bond investment over 40% of MDOT’s budget.
“These dollars are critical to our mission. Without these funds, we simply could not do our job for the people who live, work and travel in Maine,” Van Note said.
Question 3 involved the ratification of a state constitutional amendment to make it a right for all Mainers to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume food of their choosing. The Right to Food amendment passed with a vote of 61% in favor of its ratification and 39% against.
The passing of this amendment is the first of its kind to be passed in the United States, and makes it legal for Mainers to grow food and raise livestock in their backyards. Major concerns which were raised by opponents to the measure included animal safety and welfare, as well as food safety. Some of the proponents of the measure argue that the amendment’s passing will help prevent the complete erasure of self-sustainability and small farming.
With all three of these measures being approved in the Maine referendum election of 2021, the CMP corridor has been banned, MDOT has been approved for increased funding and Mainers have earned the right to grow and consume their own food and livestock.