Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Maine is one of four states that does a "very good" job informing voters about ballot measures, according to a recently released study.
The study, performed by Ballotpedia, reviewed three years worth of ballot initiatives and voters guides in all 50 states. The analysis scored states on several criteria, including how it explained referendum questions, whether voter guides included the text of the bill and the fiscal impact.
Maine had high marks for posting the text of ballot questions online and publishing the title.
But does the study set the bar too low?
Maine received demerits for failing to include a non-partial explanation of what the ballot initiative would do if enacted or its fiscal impact. The same deficiencies were shared by 14 other states, including six that ranked "very poor." Apparently, Alabama, Vermont, Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas -- the lowest ranking states -- provide residents with very little information about the issues they'll be voting on.
Overall, 58 percent of the states ranked very poor or fair, according to the study.
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon all received an "excellent" rating.Tweet
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.