- Minimum wage increases among hot topics featured on 2014 ballots, Aug 26, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Issues of “consumer choice” make the ballot in Colorado and North Dakota, Aug 26, 2014
- August 19, 2014 election results: Outcome of Alaska ballot measure election still up in the air, Aug 20, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Minimum wage on the ballot in Alaska, Nebraska and possibly Arkansas, Aug 19, 2014
- August 19, 2014 ballot measure election, Aug 19, 2014
- Judge rules Ventura County pension reform impossible without approval from state, scrapping contentious initiative, Aug 13, 2014
- Statewide Ballot Measures Making Waves, Aug 13, 2014
- Marijuana among hot topics featured on 2014 ballots, Aug 12, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: California’s “Overturn Citizens United” Proposition 49 booted off the ballot by Supreme Court, Aug 12, 2014
- Ballotpedia:Analysis of the 2014 ballot measures, Aug 12, 2014
- Compromise in Colorado: Fracking stays off the ballot for 2014, Aug 06, 2014
- Initiative campaigns, ranging from summer vacations to conservation funding, submit signatures in North Dakota, Aug 06, 2014
- August 5, 2014 election results: Missouri right-to-farm narrowly approved, gun rights amendment succeeded and Michigan PPT to be phased out, Aug 06, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Primary elections foreshadow those in November, Aug 05, 2014
- August 5, 2014 ballot measure elections, Aug 05, 2014
- Ballot Law Update: Taxpayers association, alleging a violation of political fair play, sues to keep Citizens United advisory measure from statewide ballot, Jul 31, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Marijuana a prevalent issue on state and local ballots, Jul 29, 2014
- Contentious GMO labeling measure the last initiative certified in Oregon, Jul 25, 2014
- Court overturns fracking ban in Longmont, Colorado, with potentially significant implications for other cities, Jul 25, 2014
- Pension Hotspots: Trend of unfavorable ballot summaries for pension reform measures continues, Jul 25, 2014
- Legalized marijuana initiative on Oregon ballot, again, Jul 23, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: From Citizens United v. FEC to parental custody battles, diverse issues certified for November ballot, Jul 22, 2014
- Pharmacy ownership battle may soon begin in North Dakota, Jul 21, 2014
- Open, top-two primaries make the Oregon ballot, Jul 18, 2014
- Voters may cast ballots on splitting California into six states in 2016, Jul 16, 2014
- Amendment 1 ends Alabama cotton refunds, but adds to constitutional reform debate, Jul 16, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Alabama measure to be decided in $3 million election, Jul 15, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: 2014 shaping up to be a remarkably light year for initiatives, Jul 08, 2014
- Few initiatives for Oregon, but none for Arizona, Jul 03, 2014
- Signatures submitted for minimum wage measure one day before deadline in Nebraska, Jul 03, 2014
- No measures slated for November ballot in Ohio, Jul 03, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Fourth and final citizen referred measure certified for 2014 California ballot, Jul 01, 2014
- Pension Hotspots: Ventura County pension reformers see first offensive from unions, Jun 27, 2014
- Criminal sentencing reform initiative on the ballot in California, Jun 27, 2014
- After a year of lawsuits and delays, Loveland, CO, voters reject a two-year fracking suspension, Jun 25, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Minimum wage, equal rights measures certified for November ballots, Jun 24, 2014
- With initiative signature deadline in Montana, Medicaid expansion and cable tax cut initiatives out, Jun 20, 2014
- All Massachusetts initiative campaigns to submit signatures on June 18, Jun 18, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Minimum wage battle heating up at state and local levels, Jun 17, 2014
- Parental custody sharing initiative may get second chance in North Dakota, Jun 17, 2014
- California's 9th Circuit Court strikes down law mandating identity of ballot measure proponents on front of petition, Jun 16, 2014
- June 10, 2014 election results: Voters alter initiative process in North Dakota, Jun 11, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: North Dakota ballot measure election held during June primary, Jun 10, 2014
- June 3, 2014 election results: California veteran bonds and open government measures approved, 51st state results mixed and San Franciscans vote for input on waterfront projects, Jun 04, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Judgement day for statewide and local measures in California's primary election, Jun 03, 2014
- June 3, 2014 ballot measure elections, Jun 03, 2014
- Two Michigan ballot measure campaigns submit signatures for indirect initiatives, Jun 03, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Missouri’s Gov. Nixon divides ballot measures between August and November, May 27, 2014
- Georgia Democrats voiced views on statewide political issues at primary election, May 21, 2014
- Southern Oregon residents decisively vote to banish GMOs from Jackson and Josephine counties, May 21, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Medical malpractice measure makes California ballot, May 20, 2014
- Californians to vote on medical malpractice cap in November, May 16, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Gun measure referred to Missouri ballot, May 13, 2014
- May 6, 2014 election results: Ohio bonds approved, Youngstown, OH, fracking ban rejected for a third time and California voters approve school taxes but reject healthcare tax, May 07, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Certifications and elections mark the first Tuesday in May, May 06, 2014
- May 6, 2014 ballot measure elections, May 06, 2014
- Ballot Law Update: Proposed changes to I&R in four states and a precedent-setting court case on Alaska fishing, May 01, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Number of measures on 2014 ballots steadily increasing, Apr 29, 2014
- King County voters reject Prop. 1 Metro funding, choosing lower taxes despite looming bus service cuts, Apr 23, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Alaska initiatives moved from August to November ballot, Apr 22, 2014
- Deadline to submit signatures for initiatives in California is April 18, Apr 18, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Illinois 2014 ballot - Double the measures, double the fun, Apr 15, 2014
- Local voters in California approve three measures and defeat two, Long Beach medical marijuana tax passes easily, Apr 09, 2014
- Voters in Springfield, Missouri, renew sales tax to support old pension fund, Apr 09, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Gambling measure makes 2014 ballot in Nebraska, Apr 08, 2014
- Local voters in Wisconsin support marijuana legalization and a $50 million dollar performing arts development, Apr 02, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Montana Supreme Court boots top-two primary referral from ballot, Apr 01, 2014
- Pension Hotspots: Pacific Grove, CA, Ventura County, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, Mar 28, 2014
- Ballot Law Update: Michigan initiatives seek to expand initiative and referendum power, Mar 26, 2014
- Montana top-two primary measure removed from the ballot by Supreme Court, Mar 26, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Legislative referrals expanding statewide ballots, Mar 25, 2014
- California medical malpractice cap initiative, potentially “most expensive” in state history, submits signatures, Mar 25, 2014
- One, maybe two, measures on Georgia’s ballot following legislative session adjournment, Mar 24, 2014
- The Idaho Legislature places one amendment on the ballot, Mar 21, 2014
- First fracking measure of the year fizzles out, voters say no to Johnson County anti-fracking advisory question, Mar 19, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: California pension reform initiative a no-go for 2014, Mar 18, 2014
- One legislative referral will appear on the ballot in West Virginia, Mar 14, 2014
- Michigan wolf hunting opponents turn in signatures for second veto referendum, Mar 14, 2014
- D.C. Board of Elections approves marijuana legalization initiative, petition drive to kickoff in April, Mar 12, 2014
- Phoenix pension reform proponents turn in 54,000 signatures to ensure their initiative goes on the ballot, Mar 12, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Tax and hunting measures to appear on 2014 ballot, Mar 11, 2014
- Judge blocks Sacramento STOP Initiative from ballot, construction crews expected to break ground on new arena in the fall, Mar 05, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Referendum booted from AZ ballot after passage of new law, Mar 04, 2014
- Pension Hotspots: Piedmont, CA, Chattanooga, TN and Sonoma County, CA, Feb 28, 2014
- Ballot Law Update: Four ballot law related bills proposed in three states, Feb 26, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Effort to repeal CA transgender law fails, Feb 25, 2014
- Alaskans to vote on minimum wage, Feb 19, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Mississippi voters to decide right vs. privilege, Feb 18, 2014
- Berkeley joins San Francisco, potentially putting a sugary beverage tax on the November ballot, Feb 18, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Michigan measure to expand initiative and referendum approved for circulation, Feb 11, 2014
- Alaska marijuana measure qualifies for primary ballot, Feb 05, 2014
- Piedmont voters give overwhelming approval to pension debt refinance, Feb 05, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Maine bear hunting measure could spark multimillion dollar battle, Feb 04, 2014
- Florida’s initiative petition deadline passes on February 1, Feb 03, 2014
- Superbowl report featuring sports arenas on the ballot: fans v. foes, Feb 01, 2014
- Pension Hotspots: Phoenix, AZ, and Ventura County, CA, Jan 31, 2014
- Ballot Law Update: Florida Supreme Court allows marijuana measure on ballot and California Superior Court rules on signature deadlines, Jan 29, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: First marijuana measure is certified for 2014 ballot, Jan 28, 2014
- Floridians to vote on medical marijuana in November, Jan 27, 2014
- One more hurdle after medical marijuana initiative achieves valid signature requirements in Florida, Jan 24, 2014
- Committee files pension reform initiative to bring down Ventura County's $1 billion in pension debt, Jan 24, 2014
- Three cities in Maine targeted for recreational marijuana legalization initiatives, Jan 23, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Florida measure to rejuvenate conservation fund on 2014 ballot, Jan 21, 2014
- Conservation fund amendment will be on the 2014 ballot in Florida, Jan 20, 2014
- New Washington Post poll shows D.C. residents overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization, Jan 17, 2014
- Competing Washington gun measures likely headed to 2014 ballot, Jan 17, 2014
- Florida medical marijuana and conservation fund initiatives surpass signature requirements, Jan 16, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: More marijuana measures possible in 2014, Jan 14, 2014
- California 2013 Ballot Measures: Statistics and Highlights, Jan 09, 2014
- Repeal of CA Transgender Law Moves Closer to 2014 Ballot, Jan 08, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: CA pension measure given questionable title, cleared for signature gathering, Jan 07, 2014
- The Tuesday Count: Fracking may be another repeat issue on 2014 ballot, Dec 17, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: 2013 Year in Review, Dec 11, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Battle over GMO labeling could continue in 2014, Dec 10, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Minimum wage could be hot topic on 2014 ballots, Dec 03, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Guns, GMOs likely to appear on 2014 ballots, Nov 26, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Arizona election law referendum on 2014 ballot, Nov 19, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: A recap of 2013, a glance at 2014, Nov 13, 2013
- Few surprises in 2013 statewide ballot measure elections, Nov 06, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Final pre-election report, Nov 05, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Washington 2013 measure breaks campaign funding record, Oct 29, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Millions donated to 2013 ballot measure campaigns, Oct 22, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Low number of initiatives on 2013 ballots, Oct 15, 2013
- Pension reform: San Jose and San Diego voters weigh in, Oct 15, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Ballotpedia announces 5 most important 2013 ballot measures, Oct 08, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: 2013 Pre-election coverage, Oct 01, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: Residency requirements for circulators repealed in California, Sep 25, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Ballots set for November 2013 election, Sep 24, 2013
- Ballotpedia:Analysis of the 2013 ballot measures, Sep 24, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Arizona veto referendums finish collecting signatures, Sep 17, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: CO school tax officially certified for 2013 ballot, Sep 10, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Healthcare becoming a prominent issue on 2014 ballots, Sep 03, 2013
- Signature recount demanded over local smoking ban referendum, Aug 30, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: I&R supporters take the offensive in North Dakota, Aug 28, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Maine may be first state to put Common Core on the ballot, Aug 27, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Arkansas 2014 ballot begins to take shape, Aug 20, 2013
- Lawsuit challenges campaign finance reform ballot measure, Aug 14, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Five advisory questions to appear on Washington 2013 ballot, Aug 13, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Texas sees approval of first 2014 ballot measure, Aug 06, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: Legal action ramps up against state I&R laws, Jul 31, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: New Jersey measure short two votes for 2013 ballot, Jul 30, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Nonpartisan coalition seeks to reform Illinois redistricting laws, Jul 23, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Alaska oil tax referendum garners 20,000 more signatures than required, Jul 16, 2013
- UPDATE: "Hill bill" referendum supporters file lawsuit, Jul 15, 2013
- First half of 2013 sees $1 billion more in school bond money over first half of 2012, Jul 11, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Deadlines pass with no signature filings in WA & OH, Jul 09, 2013
- Petitioners in Tucson turn in abundant signatures to qualify pension reform initiative for the ballot in the face of an underfunded city retirement fund, Jul 02, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Prop 8 ruling and the future of ballot measures, Jul 02, 2013
- Florida medical marijuana initiative goes before state supreme court, Jul 01, 2013
- Pension Hotspots: Tucson, AZ, and Pacific Grove, CA, Jun 28, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: Supreme Court delivers rulings on several high profile ballot measures, Jun 26, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Record number of measures headed to New York ballots, Jun 25, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Number of 2014 ballot measures continues to rise, Jun 18, 2013
- Governor of Nevada authorizes spending bills, Jun 14, 2013
- Tennessee measures scheduled for 2014 ballot, Jun 14, 2013
- California voters approve nearly all June 4 local ballot measure elections, Jun 14, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: End of Louisiana's 2013 legislative session brings most recent referrals, Jun 11, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Certified Texas 2013 measures and failed 2014 referendums, Jun 04, 2013
- Washington Initiative 1183, liquor privatization, celebrates one year anniversary, May 31, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: May sees major uptick in legal activity over 2012 ballot measures, May 30, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: 2014 certifications, marijuana and pension reform, May 28, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Ballot certifications for 2013 and beyond, May 21, 2013
- Updated: Los Angeles voters decide on ballot measures, mayors and school boards, May 21, 2013
- Democrats announce effort to repeal unpaid wages bill, May 15, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Immigration, gambling and hunting may appear on 2014 ballots, May 14, 2013
- Nevada film tax credit legislation drew celebrity endorsement, May 13, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Washington certification, Medicaid, and hot button topics in Maryland, May 07, 2013
- State of Washington to vote on GMO labeling this November, Apr 30, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Genetically modified food, marijuana and Croatian golf courses, Apr 30, 2013
- Fallout continues in Wyoming over "Hill bill", Apr 29, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: Michigan fast becoming a battleground for referendum rights, Apr 24, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Voters decide how to vote, Arkansas certifications, and referendums, Apr 23, 2013
- Pennsylvania bill proposes increased retirement ages for state judges, Apr 19, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Renaming positions, prohibiting taxes and dissolving the office of the lieutenant governor, Apr 16, 2013
- North Dakota Legislature strikes hard at abortion, Apr 15, 2013
- Washington petitition drive deadline scheduled for July 5, Apr 15, 2013
- Tennessee voters to have say on income tax, Apr 11, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Certification found in Michigan and Montana moves to pass record number of referrals, Apr 09, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Colorado could see vote on massive health care reforms, Apr 02, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: Ohio sees passage of stricter I&R laws, Mar 27, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Abortion, nuclear weapons and petition rights dominate, Mar 26, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Nevada Margins Tax Initiative automatically passed to 2014 ballot, Mar 19, 2013
- GOP Senate contenders agree on two-term limit in primary debate, Mar 15, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Amendment relating to judicial selection referred to the ballot in Tennessee, Mar 12, 2013
- Local ballot measures are on the rise, new report shows information scarcity, Mar 07, 2013
- Election results: March 5 California elections, Mar 06, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Wyoming could see its first veto referendum in 18 years, Mar 05, 2013
- California March 5 elections are less than a day away: school board, local measures and mayoral elections, Mar 04, 2013
- Los Angeles Unified School District election attracts fierce competition; heads to the ballot in less than 5 days, Mar 01, 2013
- Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate filing deadline has come and gone, Feb 28, 2013
- Referendum on local smoking ban receives support from city council, Feb 28, 2013
- New poll shows support for medical marijuana in Florida, Feb 28, 2013
- Washington initiative tackles I-90 tolls, Feb 27, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: Ballot law a focal point in the Dakotas, Feb 27, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Effort underway to introduce "Right-to-Work" laws in Ohio, Feb 26, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: New Jersey sees first measure certification for the 2013 ballot, Feb 19, 2013
- Arizona Legislature may move forward an initiative law proposal, Feb 15, 2013
- Colorado signature filing deadline for initiatives falls on August 5, Feb 15, 2013
- California Democratic supermajority might mean changes to the initiative process, Feb 15, 2013
- Legislative action underway concerning Virginia's school division amendment, Feb 15, 2013
- New Jersey Legislature gives thumbs up to place minimum wage on ballot, Feb 15, 2013
- New research demystifies local ballot measures, Feb 14, 2013
- Allegations of petition fraud surround two 2013 initiatives in Washington, Feb 14, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Assisted death may look voters in the face in New Jersey, Feb 12, 2013
- North Dakota Senate passes "Life at Conception" bill to State House, Feb 08, 2013
- Minimum wage inches closer to New Jersey 2013 ballot with Senate approval, Feb 08, 2013
- Voter I.D. measure shows up in Missouri, Feb 06, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Land preservation comes to the forefront of state's 2013 legislative session, Feb 05, 2013
- Washington's 2013 Initiative 522 clears signature hurdle, Feb 04, 2013
- Marijuana issue hits the state of Alaska, Jan 31, 2013
- Ballot Law Update: The year starts off with a bang as legislatures across the country look to shorten ballots, Jan 30, 2013
- Some Michigan lawmakers suggest greater efficiency can be achieved working part-time, Jan 29, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: A battle is blazing over minimum wage; voters could have last say, Jan 29, 2013
- Washington's Initiative 517 soars over first hurdle, Jan 24, 2013
- Maine petition drive deadline for 2013 ballot initiatives sees no action, Jan 24, 2013
- Federal intervention expected in New Jersey sports betting legalization melee, Jan 23, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: Death penalty proposals alive in another western state, Jan 22, 2013
- 2012 featured almost 1,000 more local measures and a higher approval rate, Jan 21, 2013
- Alaska voters may get a chance to chime in on mining project, Jan 16, 2013
- Mandatory retirement age for judges may appear on Wyoming's ballot in 2014, Jan 16, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: One more week before 2013 initiative drive deadline swoops in on one state, Jan 15, 2013
- 2012 destroys 2011's school bond money record, concerns mount, Jan 11, 2013
- Wording of potential Arkansas ballot measure approved, Jan 09, 2013
- The Tuesday Count: First report of 2013 shows new year, new flood of proposals, Jan 08, 2013
- New Maine Treasurer addresses 2012 voter-approved bond issues in swearing-in speech, Jan 08, 2013
- Pair of Washington initiatives to turn in signatures early (Updated), Jan 03, 2013
Individual 2013 news stories
Election results certification yields a victory for the SeaTac, WA, minimum wage increase, litigation already underway:
By Josh Altic
The highly contentious measure in the small city of SeaTac was one of the most narrow races on the November ballot. Although, according to initial counts, the proposition was ahead by a fair margin, the margin was reduced to as little as 19 votes in later vote count updates. Finally, on November 26, the results were certified and the measure was declared approved by a margin of only 77 votes, with 3,040 voting for the measure and 2,963 voting against it. Prop 1 had fallen into the national spotlight because it was the first municipal ballot measure that sought to raise the minimum wage; Prop 1 asked voters to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Many living-wage advocates think this measure might be the beginning of local movements, across the state and across the nation, to increase legally mandated wages of low-rank employees.
Proposition 1 had produced a very disproportionately well funded battle in the small city of SeaTac. In the city of only 12,100 registered votes, support and opposition campaigns had received contributions totaling $1,585,763. This amounts to $131.05 per registered voter and, with the projected voter-turnout of 55%, this figure rises to about $238 per vote. Evidence of the strong support and opposition to this measure was also given by the litigation that already surrounds it. The measure drew an attack early on, when opponents, including Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association, filed a lawsuit questioning the validity of the petition signatures used to qualify the measure for the ballot. After the election, even before results were certified, the same opponents have filed another lawsuit claiming the measure is unenforceable and lies outside the power of the city and the city's voters.
Bigger campaign spending pays off, Albuquerque voters say no to late term abortion ban:
Updated: November 21, 2013
| Total campaign cash |
as of November 15, 2013
By Josh Altic
Yesterday featured a historic election on the abortion issue. Albuquerque voters rejected an initiative that would have banned abortion procedures after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If this measure had been approved by voters, it would have made Albuquerque the first city to ban abortions after 20 weeks and would shut down the Southwestern Women's Options clinic, which is one of the few clinics in the nation that offers late term abortions during or after the sixth month of pregnancy. While many states have passed similar legislation, this is the first attempt to ban abortions after 20 weeks on the municipal level, making yesterday's election unique. Although this was a local measure, it would have had state and even nation wide effects, as women from many areas often travel to the Southwestern Women's Options clinic in Albuquerque to have a late term abortion procedure.
Although polling done by the Albuquerque Journal in early September showed 54% of voters were likely to support the initiative, the measure lost at the polls by just a little more than that majority, with 55.3% of voters saying "no" according to the current unofficial vote count. Some have tried to explain this shift in apparent voter position on the issue through the heavily unequal campaign spending seen from each side of the campaign. As of November 20, campaign finance reports showed the campaign in opposition to the abortion ban with a war chest of a little over $700,000, while the initiative supporters had collected $183,336. Moreover, donors on both sides of the issue were not restricted to local groups. Main contributors to the "No" campaign include Planned Parenthood organizations from several states, which donated a total of $344,655, and the New Mexico ACLU, which donated $245,000. The "Yes" campaign has seen its largest donations from the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization, and from residents of Albuquerque.
Updated November 12, 2013
By Josh Altic
Ballotpedia provided comprehensive coverage of all 70 local measures decided in California in the November 5, 2013 election. Ballotpedia also covered local measures in Arizona and notable measures in Colorado, Ohio, Florida and Washington. All together Ballotpedia covered 139 measures on the ballot. As of November 7, 82 were approved, 49 were defeated and 7 are too close to call before certification.
The notable measure that was overwhelmingly defeated on the ballot in Ohio by Cincinnati voters is Issue 4, which was an initiative put on the ballot through a signature petition drive backed by a committee called Cincinnati for Pension Reform. Issue 4 sought a solution to the $862 million in unfunded pension debt featured by the city's public pension fund. It proposed converting the pension system for new city employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, implementing contribution caps for the city, making cost of living adjustments compatible with actual increases in the consumer price index, with a cap at 3% annually, and prohibiting city employees from earning income from a city or government job while also simultaneously receiving retirement benefit payments. Although the committee behind the measure had a war chest of $469,205, Issue 4 was defeated by a 78.33% majority.
47 measures out of 70 total in California were approved. 3 measures are too close to call until the results are certified. The remaining 20 measures were defeated.
45 of the 70 measures on the November 5 ballot pertained to local tax and bond measures $22 billion of borrowing in 87 school districts. Stay tuned after the election to see how this year's approval rate for tax and bond measures compares to years past.
The notable measures in California were found in San Francisco, where a public retiree health care fund reform measure was approved with a 68.7% majority. Two measures concerning a waterfront development project known as the "8 Washington Street development were decisively defeated.
Four measures proposing a moratorium or permanent ban on fracking in cities across Colorado found their way onto the November 5 ballot in Colorado. One other, a City of Loveland Two Year Fracking Suspension Initiative, is awaiting a court case decision and may or may not be put on a later special election ballot. Of the four on the ballot, 3 were approved and 1 is currently too close to call.
There were also sales tax increases for recreational marijuana on the ballot in the cities of Denver and Boulder and a marijuana occupation tax measure in the town of Eagle, which were on the ballot in concert with the proposed state-wide measure seeking a excise and sales tax on all recreational marijuana, Proposition AA. All three local measures and the state measure were approved.
In eleven counties, voters decided on a resolution requiring their respective county commissions "to Pursue the Creation of a 51st State" in concert with the other counties seeking to secede. According to the current, unofficial vote count, 6 counties rejected the "51st state initiative," while five approved it. The counties in which this question was before voters on November 5 were:
There were 43 measures on the ballot in Arizona. 18 were approved, 22 were defeated and 3 are too close to call until results are certified.
The 2013 local measure to watch in Arizona was the initiative in Tucson seeking to change the pension system for new public employees from a defined benefit plan to a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan. This measure, however, was removed from the ballot due to a lawsuit based on circulator qualifications and petitioner regulation technicalities.
The other measures on the ballot in Arizona mainly consisted of city and school district bond issues and capital overrides.
One pension measure was approved by voters in the city of Hialeah. This measure eliminated the relatively generous pension plan offered to retired city council members. According to the 2012 U.S. Census estimate, Hialeah is the 88th largest city in the nation and the 6th largest city in Florida with a population of 231,941. This was the only notable measure covered by Ballotpedia in Florida.
For the November 5, 2013 election, three very notable and high-profile measures were covered by Ballotpedia in Washington, including two Spokane measures, which sought to establish a "Community Bill of Rights" and a "Voter Bill of Rights" respectively. Both of these measures, however, were booted from the ballot in court on the grounds that the proposed laws fell outside the jurisdiction of city authority and the authority of the peoples' initiative.
But the groundbreaking measure in the small city of SeaTac was still on the ballot and, while garnering enough votes early in the vote count to prompt proponents to announce victory, is, after updated vote counts, clinging to the status of approved by only 43 votes. There are many more votes to count, making a Prop 1 victory very uncertain. Stay tuned to this page for immediate election results updates. Prop 1 had fallen into the national spotlight because it was the first municipal ballot measure that sought to raise the minimum wage; Prop 1 asked voters to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Many living-wage advocates think this measure might be the beginning of local movements, across the state and across the nation, to increase legally mandated wages of low-rank employees.
Proposition 1 had produced a very disproportionately well funded battle in the small city of SeaTac. In the city of only 12,100 registered votes, support and opposition campaigns had received contributions totaling $1,585,763. This amounts to $131.05 per registered voter and, with the projected voter-turnout of 55%, this figure rises to about $238 per vote.November 5, 2013 ballot include a measure to label genetically-modified foods in the State of Washington, a $950 million tax increase in Colorado, a proposed minimum wage increase in New Jersey and a proposed constitutional amendment in Texas that would take money out of the state’s Rainy Day Fund and spend it on water projects. A city-wide initiative in Cincinnati to address the city’s $862 million in unfunded pension liabilities rounds out the list of 2013’s measures to watch.
The list of this year’s most notable measures was compiled by Ballotpedia, which has provided comprehensive coverage of statewide ballot measures since 2008.
Leslie Graves, Ballotpedia’s executive editor, noted a unique feature of the 2013 ballot: With only 31 statewide measures on the ballot in 6 states, 2013 will have 28 percent fewer measures than the average number of measures on the ballot in an odd-numbered year. Historically, elections in even-numbered years see an average of 175 measures, while those in odd-numbered years see approximately 45. The statewide ballot measures in 2013 are light, even in comparison to ballots from other odd-numbered years.
The Five Most Notable Measures are:
- Washington State’s I-522: I-522, if approved, will require that foods produced entirely or partly with genetic engineering be labeled as such when offered for retail sale in the state, beginning in July 2015. A similar measure, California’s Proposition 37, lost narrowly on that state’s November 6, 2012 ballot after a long list of food companies spent more than $45 million in the waning weeks of the campaign to defeat it.
- Colorado’s Amendment 66: Amendment 66 proposes a state income tax increase of approximately $950 million, with the proceeds going to the state’s public education system. A similar measure, Colorado’s Proposition 103, was defeated in November 2011. Supporters of Amendment 66 paid over $11 per signature to qualify it for the ballot, beating the record set in 2012 when supporters of California’s 2012 Proposition 30 paid $10.86 per signature to qualify their measure, which was also a tax hike for education.
- New Jersey Public Question 2: New Jersey’s Public Question 2 proposes an increase in the minimum wage by a dollar, from $7.25 to $8.25, and automatic yearly increases based on the Consumer Price Index. Six statewide minimum wage increases were on the 2006 ballot; all of them were approved by wide margins.
- Texas Proposition 6: Texas typically votes on a significant number of proposed constitutional amendments in off-years. 2013 is no exception, with nine proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution on the ballot. In previous years, the practice of holding off-year elections has led to voter turnout in the single digits. This doesn’t mean that the off-year amendments are unimportant. Proposition 6 in 2013 proposes to take $2 billion out of the state’s Rainy Day Fund and spend it on water projects. This has led to fierce opposition from fiscally conservative groups in the state.
- Cincinnati Pension Reform Charter Initiative: This initiative aims to change Cincinnati’s underfunded pension system from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan. It is opposed by the city council and city unions. Two cities in California, San Diego and San Jose, voted on and overwhelmingly approved city-wide measures to reform their faltering pension plans in June 2012. Initiatives similar to the Cincinnati plan are under discussion in other cities. Election-watchers looking for insight into the mood of the electorate on pensions should keep an eye on how Cincinnati's citizens vote on this one.
Jefferson City, Missouri: Rex Sinquefield, a retired financier and frequent contributor to campaigns and candidates in Missouri, has filed a lawsuit to block a campaign finance reform measure from appearing on the 2014 ballot. If approved by voters, this measure - which is sponsored by the group, The Missouri Roundtable for Life - would amend the Missouri Constitution and cap campaign contributions to those running for statewide office or a legislative seat at $2,600. Currently, there are no caps or restrictions on contributions to campaigns and candidates in the state. The measure is currently collecting signatures, and if supporters gather at least 211,000 valid signatures, the measure will be placed on the ballot.
Sinquefield and lobbyist Travis Brown are both listed as plaintiffs. They claim "the initiative doesn’t adequately measure the financial impact of the amendment, unfairly restricts free speech and freedom of association and contains unfair language that could manipulate voters." Brown told the Missouri Times, "This ultimately is about freedom of expression and speech. An individual should have the right to express themselves by support or opposition to a candidate or committee." Sec. of State Jason Kander responded, saying he believed the language of the measure would be upheld in court. Courts have historically struck down attempts to limit campaign contributions, saying that the ability to donate money to campaigns and candidates is a form of free expression, which is protected by the first amendment.
By Eric Veram
CHEYENNE, Wyoming: Supporters of a referendum on Senate File 104 submitted piles of signed petitions to the Wyoming secretary of state's office on May 28, the deadline by which 37,606 signatures were needed to place the legislation before voters. Despite high hopes from supporters, Wyoming election director Peggy Nighswonger announced on May 31 that only 21,991 signatures had been collected, thereby disqualifying the measure.
The story doesn't end there, however, as the effort's leading sponsor, Jennifer Young, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the secretary of state violated the rights of referendum supporters by taking two weeks to provide them with petition forms. According to the lawsuit, those two weeks account for about sixteen percent of the ninety-day period citizens are given for circulating referendum petitions. The lawsuit names Secretary of State Max Maxfield as the only defendant. Young is asking the court to award her and other supporters of the referendum another ninety days to circulate petitions for the 2014 ballot.
CHEYENNE, Wyoming: Tuesday, May 28, was the deadline to submit signed petitions for anyone looking to hold a public referendum on legislation passed by the Wyoming legislature this session. In contrast to the last seven years, this time signatures were actually turned in to the secretary of state's office.
The petitions were filed by the opponents of Senate File 104, also known as the "Hill bill." The bill stripped a number of duties from the elected state superintendent of public instruction and transferred them to the newly created education department director, a position to be filled by an appointment by the governor. The petition drive was spearheaded by the Wyoming Constitution Party, who say that the bill is in opposition to the will of the public because it transfers power from an elected position to an appointed one. Members of the legislature who voted in favor of the bill say that current superintendent Cindy Hill was mismanaging the state education department and preventing legislative work aimed at overhauling the state's public school system.
The secretary of state has sixty days from the filing deadline to count and verify the submitted signatures. If the necessary 37,606 are certified, the Wyoming Education Department Director Referendum will head to the 2014 general election ballot.
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