Update Nov 12, 2014! The link I originally referenced is here , THIS IS HOW THE LAW WAS WRITTEN IN 2011- showing the process of incrementalism at play
In this link part of the sentence
below is struck out:
§152. Ratification of bond issue; signed statement
12 ....To meet the
13 requirement that the signed statement of the Treasurer of State accompany any ballot
14 question for ratification of a bond issue, the statement may be printed on the ballot or it
15 may be printed as a separate document that is
WORDS STRUCK OUT
posted in each voting booth on election day
16 and, in the case of absentee voting, the statement must be made available to each voter
17 who votes in the presence of the municipal clerk or provided along with the ballot to each
18 absentee voter who does not vote in the presence of the municipal clerk voters as
19 provided in Title 21-A, sections 605 and 651.
Later I found the same section as it is now published in the Maine Statutes:
§152. Ratification of bond issue; signed statement
I have been rethinking the 2011 statute and I have realized that it does not negate the constitutional requirement that the required information accompany the bond question- it simply adds statutory requirements that amplify the methods of making the public aware about the fiscal impact of the bonds on which they are voting. -in my most humble layman and citizen's opinion!
And so This is how I replied to the response I received to my inquiry to the Boothbay Town Office:
Dear Bonnie Lewis,I understand that in 2011 the legislature amplified what the constitution requires - and said that the constitutionally required information is to additionally be posted somewhere outside the guard rail which separates those voting from those waiting to vote. I didn’t see this or any one reading it or any notice telling the voter that such information is available.
Thank you for replying to my question.
How was the voter informed that the fiscal impact information was available. I know I was not and was looking for it to be stated on the ballot- or accompanied to the ballot s is stated in the Maine Constitution- which takes precedence over the additional requirements created in a 2011 statute,which I became aware of only after the fact of voting and finding that the information was not accompanying the bond questions.
General Provisions.Section 14. Authority and procedure for issuance of bonds.
........Whenever ratification by the electors is essential to the validity of bonds to be issued on behalf of the State, the question submitted to the electors shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth the total amount of bonds of the State outstanding and unpaid, the total amount of bonds of the State authorized and unissued, and the total amount of bonds of the State contemplated to be issued if the enactment submitted to the electors be ratified.........
2. Election materials distributed and posted. At any time after the materials are received and before the polls are open, the clerk may open the packages or boxes of election materials, break the seals on the packages not marked "ballots," and use the materials for instructional purposes.
The election officials shall post one instruction poster in each voting booth and at least one instruction poster outside the guardrail where it is visible to voters before they have voted. The election officials shall also post one set of sample ballots or one set of sample ballot labels for each ballot being used in that voting place, along with one poster of the constitutional resolutions and statewide referenda, outside the guardrail where they are visible to voters. The election officials shall post a list of any declared write-in candidates for that voting district, with the office sought, next to the sample ballot.On election day, the clerk or the election officials must post the voter instructional materials described in section 605-A, if applicable to the election, as follows:A. In each voting booth: one voting instruction poster prepared under section 605-A; andB. Outside the guardrail enclosure at each voting place:(1) At least one voting instruction poster prepared under section 605-A;(2) One set of sample ballots for each ballot style being used in that voting place;(3) A list of any declared write-in candidates for that voting district, with the office sought, next to the sample ballots;(4) One voting rights poster or notice prepared under section 605-A;(5) One election penalty poster or notice prepared under section 605-A;(6) One Treasurer's Statement prepared under Title 5, section 152;(7) One citizen's guide to the referendum election prepared under section 605-A; and(8) One copy of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review's estimate of the fiscal impact prepared under Title 1, section 353.
However from what you are saying “outside the guard rail” is the only requirement that can said to have been satisfied - by stopping in your office, located outside the guard rail, and requesting to see the “Fiscal Impact Statements Poster” which is a statutory requirement. The requirement that the information accompany the bond question has even greater authority because it is a constitutional mandate in order for the bonds to be ratified.
So the way I read it , to comply with the constitution , the ballot needs to be “accompanied by “ a printout of the total amount of bonds of the State outstanding and unpaid, the total amount of bonds of the State authorized and unissued, and the total amount of bonds of the State contemplated to be issued if the enactment submitted to the electors be ratified.........
In another section the 2011 statute says this:
D.The Treasurer's Statement must be prepared according to Title 5, section 152 to accompany ballots containing any statewide bond issues. The Secretary of State must include written instructions on each referendum ballot that indicate where the voter may view the Treasurer's Statement on the Secretary of State's publicly accessible website.
And according to the 2011 statute- it was also supposed to be posted outside the guardrail with an additional message on the ballot that the information is also available on the Secretary of State’s website. There was no such notice on the ballot that I could observe and so the ballot not only violated constitutional requirements but also statutory requirements.
So if we are still a state governed by our constitution, the bonds cannot be ratified. –just saying.