Mainers approved a proposal Tuesday to expand the state’s public campaign financing system and passed two bond issues for $100 million for senior housing and transportation projects. The proposal to revitalize the Maine Clean Election Act, Question 1, was leading 55-45 percent, with 83 percent of precincts reporting. … Approved by voters in 1996, the Maine Clean Election Act allows candidates running for the Legislature or governor to receive public campaign financing in exchange for agreeing to forgo private donations. Question 1 will increase the total pool of money available to the Maine Clean Elections program and increase the potential disbursements to candidates while allowing them to collect additional $5 donations.
The initiative will also require organizations behind political advertisements to disclose the top three donors to the ads and increase penalties for candidates who violate Maine’s campaign finance laws.
One of two state-level campaign finance initiatives on ballots around the country this year, supporters claim the measure will help reduce the influence of outside groups or well-funded special interests on Maine elections while strengthening accountability and transparency.