Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count reveals 155 questions for November's ballot

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September 28, 2010

Click here for the latest Tuesday Count

By Bailey Ludlam

Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count continues to change as legislative referrals take their place on state ballots. Currently, a total of 179 measures in 37 states have been certified for ballots this year. For the upcoming November 2 general election however, a total of 155 questions will appear.

The looming election date has not stopped lawsuits from being filed. In Arkansas Issue 2, an amendment on loan interest rates, has been challenged. The lawsuit was filed with the Arkansas Supreme Court opposing the measure and asking the court to take the issue off of the November ballot. The lawsuits argues that the measure violates single-subject law and that the proposal combines three separate issues into one measure, sidestepping the limit on Legislature to refer only up to three measures in an election year.

Arkansas isn't alone in its post-certification legal battles. In Montana, I-164 is the center of debate. The filed lawsuit calls for removing the initiative that proposes capping yearly interest rates of payday and title loans at 36 percent. The challenge was filed in August 2010 but following several depositions and the filing of other documents, the case will be heard by District Judge C.B. McNeil.

Thus far, a total of 8 previously certified measures have been removed from ballots this year: California, 3 in Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

But, just prior to November's vote, Louisiana will close the door on Primary voting for the year. Early voting has ended but voters can continue to cast their ballots on Saturday. In summary, the first proposed amendment would move the date that the legislature would meet, making it earlier to coincide with other state legislative bodies. The second amendment would give government employees exemptions for serving emergency civil services. While most editorials have given their approval of the first amendment, it is generally thought of as a good idea to have an earlier legislative session, the field has been split if the blanket exemption from service is a good or bad thing.




Deer debate hot in Ottawa Hills - In Ottawa Hills, a small town west of Toledo, Ohio, voters will cast their ballots this Fall on what is known as the Ottawa Hills Deer Culling Referendum. In late 2009 the village approved of a resolution to allow sharpshooters to cull the deer population. However, a citizens group halted the law after collecting sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for a town-wide vote. A ban on killing deer had previously been in place since 1940. If approved by voters, the village would still have to apply for a permit from the state in order for the deer cull to take place. The cull would be the Toledo area's first organized suburban deer killing since 1998 in Perrsyburg. If rejected, the village's current ban would remain.

Rhode Island voters to cast their votes on the state name - Rhode Island residents will have a hand in shaping their history, as the state of Rhode Island will let them decide whether or not to change the official name of the state from "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "Rhode Island." The proposed amendment will appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot. Representative Joseph Almeida, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, said "It's high time for us to recognize that slavery happened on plantations in Rhode Island and decide that we don't want that chapter of our history to be a proud part of our name." Opponents of the bill say that it is an unnecessary glossing over of the state's history that undermines its tradition of religious liberty and tolerance for different viewpoints

ANALYSIS:Spending issues dominate 2010 ballots

Ballotpedia's analysis of ballot measures in 2010 continued this week with a shift in topic.The analysis concluded that a total of 5 issues were by far the most popular among 2010 ballot measures. Those issues included:taxes, administration of government, elections and campaigns, bond issues and state budgets. In total, 2010 saw a decrease in social issues like immigration and gambling. Considering that some of those social issues have been on statewide ballots on a consistent basis, this development is notable.

In light of the United State's current recession, economic issues are at the center of most statewide discussions. This trend is highlighted in this year's ballot measures. To break it down even further, the majority of tax and spending related questions ask voters one of three things: to raise revenue; provide tax exemptions; and require a 2/3 vote from the legislature prior to imposing new taxes.

Read more about 2010 ballot measure research here.

See also

2010 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2010 Scorecard
AnalysisIssues on ballot