AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine election officials say they’ve validated enough voters’ signatures to authorize a referendum on a casino in Oxford County.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Wednesday that the proposal will go before Maine lawmakers during the current session. If the Legislature does not approve the measure, it will be sent to the voters at a statewide election later this year.

Dunlap said 79,731 signatures were accepted, nearly 25,000 more than required.

Peter Martin of Black Bear Entertainment, which wants to build the western Maine casino, said it would create 1,000 jobs with benefits and pump millions into the state’s education budget.