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Secretary Of State Releases Final Wording For Ballot Questions

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap has altered the wording of two ballot questions that will appear before voters in November. He released the final wording of the questions on Thursday.

Question 1, which will allow a single casino developer to build a gambling facility in York County, has been changed to remove the words “out of state” before the words “certain company.”

Department spokeswoman Kristen Muszynski says the wording was changed to alleviate concerns that the initial wording could be viewed as biased against out-of-state companies.

“We still wanted to make it clear that the legislation does narrow it down to being a particular company, but not to add any sort of bias of out of state, and also out of concerns about accuracy,” she says.

Dunlap also struck the word “insurance” from Question 2, which would expand Maine’s Medicaid program to cover adults 65 or younger with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Republican activists protested using the word, saying Medicaid is welfare. The new wording asks voters whether they want to provide health care coverage instead.

Muszynski says the wording was changed to strike a balance between both sides.

“We decided that we were going to try our best to avoid words that were inflammatory to some particular political views. We want to keep the questions as unbiased as possible,” she says.