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Rent questions could end up on Portland ballot after all

Voters could have their say on rising rent in Portland this November. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – Voters could have their say on rising rent in Portland this November.

The city says they've validated signatures, and that the issue could make the ballot this fall.

Since Monday’s clerical error city staff have seen looking into ways to change the deadline for the citizen initiated referendums from 90 to 60 days. While researching they found another error which is good news for supporters of fair rent.

In 2011 city officials thought they made a change to the ordinance by changing the deadline for the signatures from 60 to 90 days but they were wrong. City leaders failed to realize under Maine’s law, in order to change the ordinance requirements, they needed to send the changes to voters which they didn't.

That means the two citizen initiatives will more than likely be on the ballot because they were submitted before the 60 days and have been verified Thursday.

From here city leaders say the questions will be sent to voters, sent to voters with competing measures or city councilors will enact it themselves.

City officials say they are sorry for making the unintentional error and are working to ensure the fair rent questions wind up on the November 7 ballot.

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