Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count plateaus at 4 certified measures
By Bailey Ludlam
The Tuesday Count is steady at four certified measures in two states for the upcoming November 8, 2011 general election ballot. Three weeks into the new year and the first petition drive deadline is just around the corner.
Thursday, January 20, marks the end of efforts to qualify initiatives in the state of Maine. According to the Maine Secretary of State, as of Tuesday, January 18, only one of the five initiative efforts had filed signatures for their proposed ballot measure. The slot facility proposal would allow the establishment of a slot machine facility in the state. A minimum of 58,054 valid signatures are required to qualify for the ballot.
The four pending initiatives would allow for cultivation and possession of medical marijuana, repeal the prohibition of marijuana in the state, relate to political campaign promises in the state and amend laws governing deadline for approval of second racino and allow another tribal racino.
But Maine isn't the only state that may qualify measures for the upcoming odd-year election. On the west coast, two initiatives that have been certified for the California February 7, 2012 ballot, the Change in Term Limits Initiative and the Tobacco Tax Initiative, may instead end up on the June 2011 ballot. If the California State Legislature acts on Jerry Brown's urging to place the Tax Increase on the June 2011 ballot then the measure will be moved.
Developments in the Mississippi Legislature are brewing and may knock a certified measure off the ballot. On January 12 the House passed a bill that would ban the state government from taking private lands by eminent domain. The measure will now be sent to the Mississippi State Senate. If the measure is passed by the senate and enacted, this would forgo a November vote on the issue. Currently, a citizen-initiated eminent domain amendment is scheduled for the November 2011 ballot.
SPOTLIGHT:Secret ballots - yay or nay?
Voters overwhelmingly approved four questions relating to secret ballots in Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. The federal government, however, is none too pleased. On January 14 officials of the National Labor Relations Board said the measures are unconstitutional and that the U.S. plans to invalidate the laws. Specifically, officials argue that the approved measures conflict with federal law and argue the case based on the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. According to reports, the federal lawsuits are expected to be filed in two weeks.
An estimated two states are proposing similar measures for 2012 statewide ballots. In Virginia Republican lawmakers are considering a ballot measure to protect secret ballot voting for union authorization elections. In Nevada supporters are continuing an effort that was initiated in 2010. It too proposes protecting the right to secret ballots in union representation elections.
The current National Labor Relations Act can be read here.
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