AUGUSTA – With just over a week to go before the November election, groups hoping to influence voters have raised more than $5 million, a review of campaign finance reports filed with the state shows.

Well more than half of that total is being spent to try to win support for Question 2, which would allow new harness racing tracks with slot machines in Biddeford and Calais. Ocean Properties of Portsmouth, N.H., one of the developers behind the Biddeford project, has loaned the campaign $3.2 million, according to records on file with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

In addition to Question 2, voters will also be asked if they want to support Question 3, which would allow a new casino in Lewiston.

Opponents to the expansion of gambling have raised nearly $670,000, with significant contributions coming from supporters or owners of the state’s other two gambling facilities. Penn National Gaming, which owns Hollywood Slots in Bangor, gave more than $250,000 to fight the proposals and Friends of Oxford Casino gave $50,000. Voters last November approved plans for a new casino in Oxford, which is currently under construction.

Other opponents include Black Bear Funding, investors who backed the Oxford casino. Black Bear Funding gave about $200,000.

The other gambling initiative, Question 3, has drawn just over $365,000 in money raised by supporters. The primary supporter is GT Source, a Georgia gaming company that wants to provide slots for the facility, which has given $358,200 to the campaign so far.

When it comes to Question 1, a people’s veto of a new law passed earlier this year that would ban same-day voting registration, money raised by supporters far outpaces that of opponents.

The reports show those urging a yes vote have raised more than $560,000, while those in opposition have raised just over $50,000. Major donors to the yes campaign include Donald Sussman, a hedge fund manager who recently married U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, and the National Education Association.

Sussman donated $185,000 while the NEA gave $40,000. Other labor unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union, gave a combined $45,000.

Also, Obama for America, the re-election fund for President Barack Obama, donated $2,345 in staff time to the “yes” campaign.

On the other side, the Maine Republican Party recently spent more than $9,000 on newspaper ads in northern Maine, according to the reports.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015, or at:

[email protected]