Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count kicks off the new year with a new measure certification
By Bailey Ludlam
In only the first few days of the new year Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count is reporting a brand new ballot measure certification. However, the measure will not appear on the 2011 ballot, instead it will be featured in Alaska's 2012 election. According to the latest reports, the 2011 Tuesday Count remains steady and stable at four certified measures.
Historically, odd-numbered election years feature significantly fewer measures than even-numbered years. Already, 2012's ballot measure count according to the Tuesday Count is surpassing 2011's by two certified measures. Since 1970 odd-numbered years have had an average of 46 ballot questions. In 2009, voters cast their ballots on a grand total of 32 questions.
The 2012 ballot however, was bumped up this week following the certification of an Alaska Property Tax Exemption Act proposal. The initiated state statute would allow municipalities to overlook, at most, $50,000 of the value of residential properties when imposing taxes. According to reports, the homeowners’ exemption has a ceiling of $20,000. According to the Alaska Election Division, the initiative was improperly filed on June 2, 2010 but following a legal challenge the rejected signatures were reviewed and approved. The tax measure is scheduled to appear on the August 28, 2012 primary election ballot.
While some measures are successfully qualifying for the ballot, others are not. Supporters of a proposed Ohio Dog Auctions Initiative for the 2011 ballot failed to collect a sufficient number of signatures to qualify. In order to be referred for a statewide vote the initiative required 120,600 valid signatures by December 31, 2010. The measure would have prohibited bringing into the state, for purposes of sale/trade, a dog acquired through auction. Additionally, the measure aimed to empower the Ohio Attorney General to "investigate, conciliate and prosecute alleged violations" and, if necessary, to bring civil actions against violators.
Another petition drive deadline is quickly approaching for those in the Northeast. An estimated 5 citizen initiatives are currently in circulation in the state of Maine. The filing deadline for initiative petitions for the November 8, 2011 ballot is January 20. In order to qualify, the initiatives are required to submit a minimum of 58,054 valid signatures.
SPOTLIGHT: Voters get ready, recalls and referendums are just around the corner
The new year just started but for voters in Nebraska and California will soon be casting their votes on a recall and a referendum. On January 25, in Nebraska voters will decide whether to recall Jim Suttle from his position as mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. Suttle, a Democrat, has served as the Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska since June of 2009. He is not accused of breaking any laws and there is no single act being held up as the justification for a recall. Rather, the impetus for the recall has been citizen discontent with his performance. At the heart of the recall is voter anger at a deal over police pensions that Suttle personally negotiated and increasing tax rates in the 2011 budget. The recall effort gathered adequate signatures and survived a court case. To read more about recall effort, click here.
Also on January 25, voters on the West Coast in the City of Azusa in California will decide whether to approve an agreement between the City and Vulcan Materials. The agreement would allow Vulcan to take certain development steps on the 270-acre property known as the Azusa Rock Quarry. The measure collected and submitted more than 2,700 signatures in order to qualify the measure which was certified on September 29, 2010. Initially requests were made to feature the question on the March 8, 2011 ballot but the city instead voted for a special election on January 25. The special election is expected to cost the city $60,000.
| 2011 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2011 Scorecard|