Voters in Waldo County will face a statewide ballot, and Belfast will also fill three City Council seats and two seats on the Regional School Unit 71 Board of Directors at the polls Tuesday, Nov. 2. Here’s a look at what will be on the ballot:

State Ballot

Question 1: “Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?”

A “Yes” vote supports a ban on the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines and would require the state Legislature to approve such projects by a two-thirds majority vote.

A “No” vote supports allowing the construction of the corridor project.

This is a citizen initiative driven by a group that collected more than 80,000 signatures.

Those who support a “yes” vote argue the CMP Corridor would clear-cut a 53-mile swath through an environmentally significant forest and wildlife habitat to serve the needs of out-of-state ratepayers and companies while doing next to nothing to help Mainers.

Those supporting a “no” vote shifted their focus from the project itself to the ballot wording, arguing it endangers the future of business investment in Maine by allowing retroactive legislation.

Projects that alter the use of Maine’s public lands, such as this one, should go to the Legislature already under a provision in the Maine Constitution, and those who favor banning the CMP Corridor argue the “retroactive” argument is misleading, because this project should never have gained approval in the first place. Their opponents argue a “no” vote sends a clear message that Mainers oppose retroactive lawmaking.

Question 2 is a bond issue that asks, “Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to leverage an estimated $253,000,000 in federal and other funds?”

Question 3 seeks a state constitutional amendment dealing with the issue of food sovereignty.

It asks: “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being?”

According to the Secretary of State’s “Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election,” this proposal would add a right to food to the Declaration of Rights in Article I of the Maine Constitution.  The Declaration of Rights sets forth the natural, inherent and unalienable rights of the people of Maine.

The proposed right to food would include the right of each individual to save and exchange seeds, and the right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health, and well-being. In addition to these features, the right to food may have other features not expressly described.

The proposed right would not protect trespassing, theft, or poaching. The right would also exclude other abuses of private property rights, public lands, or natural resources in the harvesting, production, or acquisition of food.

Those in favor of the amendment argue that it will protect Mainers’ right to grow or produce food without government interference or prohibitions. Those who oppose it say it will do nothing to address hunger in Maine and could remove animal welfare protections in farming and food production, as well as well as stripping local governments of the power to provide health and safety, anti-pollution and zoning standards.

Belfast City Council and RSU 71 reps

The seats of Councilors Brenda Bonneville and Mike Hurley, representing Wards 3 and 4, respectively, and that of Mayor Eric Sanders are on the ballot. Registered voters in all five wards of the city will cast ballots for all three seats. All three candidates are running unopposed for two-year terms.

In addition, Ryan Harnden and Ryan Otis are running unopposed for two, three-year RSU 71 Board of Directors seats representing the city. Elizabeth Burnett, who was recently nominated by councilors to replace outgoing board member Charlie Grey until the election, is running unopposed for a one-year term.

Several sitting wardens and ward clerks are also running unopposed and no one is seeking the position of warden for Ward 5.

Election night coverage

Be sure to log onto Village Soup election night for real-time updates of voting results as we receive them.

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