Ballotpedia's 2012 ballot measure coverage plan

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
BallotMeasureFinal text.jpg

Welcome to Ballotpedia! On this page you'll find everything you need to know about Ballotpedia's ballot measure election coverage for 2012. This includes state and local ballot measures as well as recall efforts. Additionally, below you'll find a preliminary list of unique election reports to expect for the year.

If you have any questions about election coverage or any of the projects please contact Bailey Ludlam.

For an index of all State Ballot Measure related Ballotpedia reports, click here. For Local Ballot Measures, click here.

Tuesday Count and 2012 Scorecard

Potential measuresFiled Initiatives

Local ballot measures

May 8June 5June 12July 31
August 7August 28
September 18November 6

NevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNorth CarolinaNorth Dakota
OhioOklahomaOregonRhode Island
South CarolinaSouth DakotaUtahVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWyoming

AbortionAdmin of gov'tAffirmative actionAssisted deathBondsBusiness regulationConstitutional conventionsCivil rightsEducation
ElectionsEminent domainEnvironmentFirearmsGamblingHealthcareHuntingImmigrationInsurance
JudiciaryLaborLanguageLaw enforcementMarijuanaMarriageMotto and symbolsNatural resourcesPension
RedistrictingReligionLegislative salariesState budgetsState executivesState judiciaryTaxesTerm limits

WashingtonOregonCaliforniaNevadaArizonaAlaskaIdahoUtahNew MexicoTexasHawaiiOklahomaColoradoWyomingMontanaNorth DakotaSouth DakotaNebraskaKansasMinnesotaIowaMissouriWisconsinIllinoisArkansasLouisianaMichiganIndianaKentuckyTennesseeMississippiAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaOhioSouth CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginiaWest VirginiaPennsylvaniaNew YorkMaineVermontNew HampshireMassachusettsRhode IslandConnecticutNew JerseyDelawareMarylandWashington, D.C.US Map I&R.png

Our coverage

For the fourth consecutive year, Ballotpedia will cover all statewide ballot measures across the country, and local measures for 11 states.

If you are interested in volunteering to expand our local ballot measure coverage, we'd love to have you! Click here for more information.

In 2011, we featured coverage of statewide and local recall efforts throughout the year. That will be continuing in 2012.

In addition to election coverage, we are always working to build our database of historical statewide measures, as well as recall efforts. To read more about those projects click here for state measures and here to read about recall efforts.

Statewide ballot measures

An average of 220 statewide ballot measures were certified each year between 1998-2008. In 2010, that number hit 184. Just shy of the 220 average.

This page features election results for all 176 ballot questions that were on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot in 38 states. Additionally, results are listed below for some of the most notable local measures on the November 6 ballot.

For election results regarding state legislative, state executive official and congressional races, click here.
2012 ballot measures

Hot-topic ballot measures

2012 ballot measure calendar
#Washington#Oregon#California#Idaho#Nevada#Utah#Arizona#Montana#Wyoming#Colorado#New Mexico#Alaska#HawaiiTexas#Oklahoma#Kansas#Nebraska#North Dakota#South Dakota#MinnesotaIowa#Missouri#Arkansas#LouisianaMississippiTennessee#Alabama#Georgia#Florida#South Carolina#North Carolina#Virginia#Kentucky#IllinoisWisconsin#Indiana#Michigan#Michigan#Ohio#West Virginia#Maryland#MarylandWashington, D.C.DelawareDelawareConnecticutPennsylvania#New Jersey#New JerseyNew YorkVermont#New Hampshire#Rhode Island#Massachusetts#MaineVermont#New Hampshire#MassachusettsConnecticut#Rhode Island2012ImageE.png
188 ballot questions were certified for spots on 39 statewide ballots in 2012.

Also, 176 of those ballot questions were on the November 6, 2012 ballot in 38 states. A total of 8 elections on statewide ballot measures were scheduled for 2012.

Historically, even-numbered election years feature significantly higher measures than odd-numbered years. In 2010 alone, 184 ballot questions were certified for spots on 38 statewide ballots. In comparison, only 34 ballot measures were on the ballot in 9 states in 2011.

In 2012, veto referendums exploded on the scene. In 2008, 6 veto referendums were on the ballot for voters to decide on. Two years later in the next even-numbered election year, in 2010, only 4 made the ballot. 13 veto referendums appeared on the ballot for 2012. 11 of those measures appeared on the fall election ballot. Referendums in 2012 challenged a variety of legislation including same-sex marriage, medical marijuana and redistricting.

With Legislative referrals, there was a decrease in 2012, with 119 on the ballot, not including advisory questions and automatic ballot referrals. In 2010, there were 134 legislative referrals that were sent to the ballot, leaving 2012 with 15 less referrals. However, in the previous presidential election in 2008, there were only 100 legislative referrals on the ballot, 19 less than 2012.

Ballot initiatives saw a slight increase from 2010, with 50 citizen-initiatives on the ballot, four more than in 2010. However, compared to 2008, 2012's total fell short of that year's by 18.

Also on the ballot were three constitutional convention questions that were automatically referred to the ballot due to provisions in those respective states' constitutions.

The top five political topics included: taxes, administration of government, bond issues, state judiciary, and law enforcement.

Throughout the year, Ballotpedia staff tracks all proposals including legislative referrals and those made via the initiative & referendum process. This includes tracking filed initiatives, providing updates following petition drive deadlines, maintaining an up-to-date list of potential measures in each state and keeping track of measures that did not qualify for the ballot.

Every Tuesday at 4 pm CT, Ballotpedia publishes a report called The Tuesday Count that provides the latest in ballot measure (state and local), recall, lawsuit and ballot measure legislation news. That report highlights the current certification number for the year. On Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2012 you can find a weekly breakdown of when statewide certifications occurred.

To view a more detailed picture of currently certified state ballot measures, take a look at the Ballot Measure Scorecard. This page highlights when certified measures will appear on the ballot as well as the type of measure.

Throughout the year, we'll be covering efforts to support and oppose ballot measure campaigns, including campaign ads, campaign finance totals, controversies and much more.

For questions about statewide coverage contact Al Ortiz.

Ballot measure law

In addition to covering campaign details for all certified measures, Ballotpedia staff tracks lawsuits filed against certified measures and proposals. You can find a list of such lawsuits for 2012 here (by type of lawsuit) and here (by state).

Just as in 2011, we will continue monthly tracking of proposed changes to ballot measure law (the Ballot Law Update). These proposals can, for example, amend the constitution to permit initiatives or raise the number of signatures required to get a measure on the ballot.

For questions about ballot law contact Tyler Millhouse.

Local ballot measures

Ballotpedia currently tracks a total of 11 states at the local level, based on the availability of comprehensive online election information. Those 11 states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. When additional information in other states is made available, it is added to the growing local database.

Every year, Ballotpedia keeps track of all locally held ballot measure elections. You can find the list for 2012 here. That page provides a big picture overview of all of the local elections covered by Ballotpedia and summarizes election results.

In addition to the big picture overview, elections are categorized by date and county. For example: March 6, 2012 ballot measures in Ohio and Brown County, Ohio ballot measures. County pages provide readers a historical look at past measures that appeared on ballots in that particular county.

For a look at all past election dates, news, county lists and links to local laws, visit the local state pages. Example: Local ballot measures, Ohio or Local ballot measures, California.

For questions about local coverage contact


2011 was a very popular year for statewide recall efforts, and it looks like 2012 may be headed in the same direction.

Last year, 11 state legislative recalls made the ballot in 3 states, resulting in the removal of 2 state senators in Wisconsin, 1 in Arizona, and 1 state Representative in Michigan. To put that in perspective, between 1913 and 2008, there were just 20 state legislative recall elections, 13 of which resulted in the state legislator being removed from office.

Currently, 18 states allow for the recall of statewide officials.

For 2012, much like our state and local ballot measure coverage, we are covering scheduled recalls as well as proposed efforts. You can find a list of upcoming recalls here.

For a historical look by state and year, take a look here and here, respectively.

For up-to-date recall news either regularly visit the Recall portal or sign up to receive the weekly Tuesday Count.

General election

Leading up to the November 6, 2012 general election, Ballotpedia ballot measure coverage will include a series of reports and analyses providing readers with a preview of what's to appear on ballots across the United States. (See below for more details).

On the night of November 6, coverage for state and local ballot measures as well as recalls will include:

For an example of election coverage, take a look at 2011. 2011 ballot measure election results features election results for state and local measures only. November 8, 2011 election results features results for all elections covered by Ballotpedia. In 2011, that included state and local ballot measures, state legislatures, state executive officials and recalls.

2012 General election coverage will include:

  • state and local ballot measures
  • statewide recalls
  • Congress
  • state legislatures
  • state executive officials

Original analysis

Ballotpedia:WikiProject Original Content

A variety of election-related reports are produced throughout the year for state and local ballot measures, ballot law and recall. Some of those reports include:

For all your 2012 election information (including state resources such as voter guides and state blue books) check the Election portal.
Election Dates
2012 statewide ballot measuresLocal ballot measure elections in 2012

Petition drive deadlines

State Filing deadline for 2012 ballot Signatures for amendment Signatures for statute
Alaska January 17Red padlock.png N/A 25,875
Arizona July 5 Red padlock.png 259,213 172,809
Arkansas July 6 Red padlock.png 78,133 62,507
California See suggested deadlines. Red padlock.png 807,615 504,760
Colorado August 6 Red padlock.png[2] 85,853 85,853
Florida February 1 Red padlock.png 676,811 N/A
Idaho 18 months after title approval or Red padlock.png May 1, whichever comes earlier. N/A 47,432
Illinois May 7 Red padlock.png 298,399 N/A
Maine January 30Red padlock.png[3] N/A 57,277
Massachusetts December 7, 2011Red padlock.png, July 4[4] Red padlock.png 68,911[5] 68,911[5]
Michigan May 30 (CISS) Red padlock.png, July 9 (CICA) Red padlock.png 322,609 258,087
Missouri May 6 Red padlock.png 146,907 (minimum)[6] 91,818 (minimum)[6]
Montana September 30, 2011 (VR)Red padlock.png,June 22 (CISS and CICARed padlock.png) 48,673 24,337
Nevada November 9, 2010 (IndISS) Red padlock.png, August 8 (CICA), July 9 (VR) Red padlock.png 71,653 71,653
Nebraska July 6 Red padlock.png Varies with voter registration Varies with voter registration
North Dakota March 14 (Primary)Red padlock.png, August 8 Red padlock.png(General) 26,904 13,452
Ohio July 4 Red padlock.png 385,247 115,574[7]
Oklahoma September 7 Red padlock.png 155,215 82,781
Oregon July 6 Red padlock.png 116,283 87,213
South Dakota November 1, 2011 (CISS)Red padlock.png, November 7, 2011 (CICA)Red padlock.png 31,708 15,854
Utah April 15 Red padlock.png N/A 96,234[8]
Washington July 6 Red padlock.png N/A 241,153
Wyoming February 13 Red padlock.png N/A 28,623


  1. Due to the large number of local measures generally scheduled to appear on ballots on the night of the General election, only 15 will be selected. ALL local measure results will be available in the days following the General election.
  2. CO Secretary of State, "2011-2012 Initiative Calendar," January 28, 2011
  3. Maine Secretary of State, "Citizen Initiative Application Packet"
  4. Signatures must be filed on November 23, 2011 to local registrars. After certification, supporters have until the December date to turn in signatures to the Secretary of State for confirmation. Legislature reviews certified petitions, but if rejected by lawmakers, supporters must turn in additional signatures by the first Wednesday in July. Since this falls on a national holiday, the deadline may be either July 3 or 5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Additional signatures are required at a later date if the first deadline and signature verification process succeeds
  6. 6.0 6.1 In Missouri, the number of signatures is based on which 6 out the state's 9 congressional districts is chosen for qualification purposes
  7. Ohio uses both direct and indirect initiated statues. For the Legislature to consider an indirect statute, 115,574 signatures is needed, which equals to three percent of the total number of ballots casted in the 2010 Governor's election. If the Legislature fails to qualify the statute, a sponsor must collect an additional 115,574 signatures.
  8. Utah uses both direct and indirect initiated statutes. For indirect statutes, 48,117 signatures are required to qualify the statute An additional 48,117 signatures is needed if the Legislature fails to qualify the statute.