FRYEBURG, Maine — Maine voters will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on $105 million in transportation bonds and also a constitutional amendment to help people with disabilities sign petitions.
Voting in Fryeburg will take place from 8 a.m-8 p.m. at the American Legion hall on Bradley Street.
The first question on the ballot pertains to infrastructure funding.
Question 1 reads: “Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?”
According to Maine Gov. Janet Mills, “We are one of the most rural states and we have the most dispersed population in the country, which makes maintaining our infrastructure both challenging and critically important for the people of our state.
“This is not a partisan issue. We don’t drive on Democratic or Republican roads, but our roads are in dire need of repair and reconstruction," Mills said. "I urge all Maine people to vote for Question One so we can provide safe infrastructure for Maine people and strengthen our economy."
Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note said: “Right now, the dedicated people at MaineDOT are doing their best to provide our customers a safe and reliable transportation system in a rural state that is facing a serious unmet funding need.
"Those challenges will become exponentially more difficult without these bond funds. I strongly urge Maine people to support Question 1 so that we can do what we do best: work at building a safe and effective transportation system."
Mills proposed and signed the $105 million bond into law after it passed with “overwhelming” bipartisan support in the Legislature in August.
According to Mills’ office, the transportation bond would provide:
• $85 million to construct, reconstruct or rehabilitate state roads, highways and bridges.
• $15 million for ports, rail and air facilities or equipment that preserve public safety or otherwise have demonstrated high transportation economic value including property acquisition.
• $4 million for culverts and stream crossings, and matching local funding for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings in order to improve fish and wildlife habitats and increase community safety.
• $1 million for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute Bulkhead to protect working waterfronts and further restoration of a commercial fishing wharf to support both research in the Gulf of Maine and long-term marine-based job development.
The second referendum question is a proposed constitutional amendment.
It reads: "Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to allow persons with disabilities to sign petitions in an alternative manner as authorized by the Legislature?"
According to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office, the second question, if approved, would amend the Constitution of Maine to “allow persons with physical disabilities that prevent them from signing their own names to use alternative signatures when signing petitions. This accommodation is not expected to create additional costs for the State or for local units of government.”
Maine law already allows disabled people to use signature stamps and a fellow Maine registered voter to act on voters‘ behalf in some circumstances such as to sign a voter registration application and change of political party form.
The Maine Citizens' Guide to the Referendum Election can be found at tinyurl.com/y2mayr8f.