Citizen initiatives increase in 2011's odd-year ballot

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September 28, 2011

Portal:Ballot Measures

By Al Ortiz and Bailey Ludlam


2011 elections are just around the corner. For some states like Louisiana, it's only weeks away. Like most odd-year elections, 2011 will see less than 100 measures. The ballot count currently stands at 34 certified ballot questions.

Like the number of measures, the number of states that will cast their vote on statewide questions remains slim. Nine states will vote on measures this Fall: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

A closer look at this year's measures and previous odd-year ballots revealed that 2011 marks the second highest number of citizen initiatives (12) in the last decade. 2005 leads with 19 citizen initiatives.

Legislative referrals, on the other hand, came in dead last with the least number of referrals (22) on an odd-year ballot. A grand total of 60 referrals appeared on the 2003 ballot.

Ballotpedia kicks off this year's election review with a look at the most recent odd-numbered year elections - 2009 and 2011.

Citizen initiatives

21 of the 26 I&R states do not have any citizen initiatives on their 2011 ballot. Of the nine total states with measures on the ballot, five are initiative and referendum states: Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio and Washington. All five initiative states have initiatives on the 2011 ballot.

  • 2011 features 4 more initiatives than 2009
  • Maine featured less initiatives (2) on their 2011 ballot than 2009
  • Colorado, Mississippi, Ohio and Washington all saw initiatives increases on their 2011 ballots
  • Of the five initiative & referendum states with measures in 2011, Colorado and Mississippi did not have initiatives on the 2009 ballot.
# of initiatives in 2009 # of initiatives in 2011 Change between the two years
Totals: 8 12 +4

Legislative referrals

In total 2009 featured 24 legislative referrals, while 2011 features 22. 2011 has two less referrals on the ballot than 2009. California (-6) and Louisiana (+6) had the most significant changes in the number legislative referrals on the ballot.

Of the nine states that featured legislative measures on either 2009 and/or 2011; Texas is the only state with a double digit number of referrals on both the 2009 and 2011 ballots. California, on the other hand, is the only state that did not have any legislative referrals on the ballot in 2011.

Three did not have legislative referrals on the ballot in 2009, but did in 2011. The states include: Arkansas, Louisiana, and Washington.

# of referrals in 2009 # of referrals in 2011 Change between the two years
Totals: 24 22 -2


An analysis of the 2011 ballot measures, ongoing in the weeks leading up to the election, will include a look at political topics relating to 2011 proposals.

See also

2011 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2011 Scorecard