At first glance, Tuesday’s election might seem less significant than some we’ve seen — no candidates for president or governor on the ballot, no earth-shattering, society-altering cultural issues to confront.

But the election is worthy of voters’ attention. Statewide ballot questions dealing with election day voter registration and casino gambling have generated controversy and high-dollar political campaigns. There are spirited campaigns for elective offices in cities and towns from Biddeford and Portland to Augusta and Waterville, and local ballot questions that involve the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

It’s an important election and we urge all eligible voters to make their voices heard at the polls.

Like many individuals and institutions around the state, MaineToday Media’s editorial board has offered endorsements in key races. Here is a recap of our recommendations on statewide ballot questions.

Question 1:Election day registration

We recommend a yes vote.


Same-day registration has worked well in Maine for many years, and opponents have failed to offer any legitimate rationale for doing away with it.

There is no evidence that same-day registration has compromised the integrity of the electoral system but there is considerable evidence that it has encouraged voter turnout and made it possible for eligible Mainers to vote who might otherwise be shut out.

Question 2:Authorizing Biddeford, Washington County racinos

We recommend a yes vote.

Not only will approval of these developments boost the local economy, they will help preserve the sport of harness racing, a valuable contributor to Maine’s economy and an important cultural link to the state’s history and traditions.

Some opponents have attacked harness racing, calling it a dying industry — but it isn’t dying and it needn’t die. In addition to creating jobs, encouraging tourism and providing revenue for state and local coffers, the racino/resort proposals envisioned in this ballot question will go a long way toward preserving harness racing as a source of jobs and entertainment.


Question 3:Authorizing Lewiston casino

We recommend a no vote.

As useful as gaming can be in promoting economic development, there are places where it simply doesn’t measure up as a meaningful bridge to the future. Lewiston is such a locale. The city has made substantial progress toward revitalizing its downtown business district and can continue to do so without wagering on the potentially elusive benefits of gambling. Whether you are pro or con on the general question of gambling as fuel for the economy, some gaming-related developments make sense and some don’t. This one does not.

Question 4:

Constitutional amendment on redistricting

We recommend a yes vote.

Approval of this question will amend the state constitution to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for congressional redistricting.

A two-thirds vote is currently mandated by statute, but as we learned during this year’s redistricting controversy, the law could easily be skirted by a partisan majority.

That didn’t happen this year but there is no guarantee that it couldn’t; it only makes sense to lock in the two-thirds requirement by making it part of the constitution.

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