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Few surprises in 2013 statewide ballot measure elections

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November 6, 2013

By Brittany Clingen

31 ballot questions were certified for spots on 6 statewide ballots in 2013.

Historically, odd-numbered election years feature significantly less measures than even-numbered years. In 2011, 34 measures were on the ballots in nine different states. However, 2013 was an unusually low year, particularly for initiated state statutes, none of which were approved by voters.

Of the 31 measures on statewide ballots, 24 were approved, 4 were defeated and 3 of the advisory questions in Washington are undecided as of November 6, 2013. There were not too many surprises when the polls closed. All nine of the proposed constitutional amendments in Texas were approved, including the state's highly contested measure for 2013, Proposition 6. Now that it's been approved by voters, $2 billion will be removed from Texas' "Rainy Day Fund" and transferred to two funds that will serve as financing vehicles for water projects in the state.

Both of the initiatives on the ballot in Washington were defeated at the polls, including I-522, a measure that would have mandated the labeling of certain foods containing GMOs. This measure was watched nation-wide, as multiple other states are considering similar legislation. I-522 ultimately went the way of California's Proposition 37 in 2012: early polls showed strong support for both measures, but as millions of dollars were contributed to fuel relentless opposition campaigns, support faltered, and both measures were ultimately defeated.

Another high-profile measure that was defeated is Colorado's Amendment 66, which would have raised the income tax in order to raise money for public education spending. Colorado's second tax measure, Proposition AA was overwhelmingly approved by voters, triggering sales and excise taxes to be placed on recreational marijuana sold in the state. In 2012, voters approved Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado.

November 5, 2013 proved to be a big night for supporters of increasing the minimum wage. New Jersey voters approved Public Question 2, which will raise the state's minimum wage by $1, from $7.25 to $8.25 and implement automatic increases each year based on the Consumer Price Index. Ten other states are either considering putting minimum wage on the ballot or are already in the process of doing so. For these states, New Jersey's Public Question 2 was a referendum of sorts on voters' feelings on the subject. Also on November 5, a local ballot measure in Washington state increased the minimum wage to $15 in the city of SeaTac.

Overview pages

Tuesday Count and 2013 Scorecard

Number of measuresMeasures of note

November 5
ColoradoMaineNew JerseyNew YorkTexasWashington

Admin. of gov'tBond issuesBudgetsBusiness regulationCivil serviceCounty governanceDirect democracyEducationFood & agricultureForests & parksGamblingHealthcareHousingMarijuanaMinimum wageState judiciaryTaxesTransportationVeterans

Potential measuresFiled Initiatives

WashingtonOregonCaliforniaNevadaArizonaAlaskaIdahoUtahNew MexicoTexasHawaiiOklahomaColoradoWyomingMontanaNorth DakotaSouth DakotaNebraskaKansasMinnesotaIowaMissouriWisconsinIllinoisArkansasLouisianaMichiganIndianaKentuckyTennesseeMississippiAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaOhioSouth CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginiaWest VirginiaPennsylvaniaNew YorkMaineVermontNew HampshireMassachusettsRhode IslandConnecticutNew JerseyDelawareMarylandWashington, D.C.US Map I&R.png

Statistical summary

The charts below include all statewide election results from the November 5, 2013 elections:

2013 election stats
Total Approved (%) Defeated (%) Undecided (%)
31 24 (77.4%) 4 (12.9%) 3 (9.7%)

Initiated measures

Initiatives Amendments Statutes Approved Yes.png Rejected No.png
3 1 2 0 3

Legislative and other referrals

Referrals Amendments Statutes Approved Yes.png Rejected No.png
23 17 6 22 1

Advisory questions

Questions Approved Yes.png Rejected No.png
5 2 0[1]

November 6

By state


Colorado 2013 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Result
LRSS Proposition AA Taxes/Marijuana Impose a 15% excise tax and a 10% sales tax on all marijuana sales in the state Approveda
CICA Amendment 66 Taxes Raise additional taxes for funding public schools, and implement the new School Finance Act (SB 213) Defeatedd


Maine 2013 ballot measures

November 5, 2013:

Type Title Subject Description Result
LRSS Question 1 Bond issues $14,000,000 bond for maintenance and improvement projects for Maine Army National Guard readiness centers Approveda
LRSS Question 2 Bond issues $15,500,000 bond to update and improve University of Maine system facilities Approveda
LRSS Question 3 Bond issues $100,000,000 transportation bond to match an estimated to match an estimated $154,000,000 in federal and other funds Approveda
LRSS Question 4 Bond issues $4,500,000 bond for a public-private partnership for a new science facility at the Maine Maritime Academy Approveda
LRSS Question 5 Bond issues $15,500,000 bond to upgrade buildings in the Maine Community College system Approveda

New Jersey

New Jersey 2013 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Public Question 1 Veterans Allows veterans' organizations to use money collected from existing games of chance to support their organizations Approveda
LRCA Public Question 2 Minimum wage Increases the state minimum wage Approveda

New York

New York 2013 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Proposal 1 Gambling Allows casino gambling statewide Approveda
LRCA Proposal 2 Veterans Gives veterans with combat-related disabilities extra points when competing for civil service promotions Approveda
LRCA Proposal 3 Budgets Allows municipalities to continue exceeding their debt limits for sewage facilities Approveda
LRCA Proposal 4 Forests and parks Attempts to solve a dispute with private landowners over property in the Adirondack forest preserve Approveda
LRCA Proposal 5 Forests and parks Allows a land exchange involving the Adirondack forest preserve with NYCO Minerals Approveda
LRCA Proposal 6 State judiciary Raises the mandatory judicial retirement age in the state to 80 Defeatedd


Texas 2013 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Proposition 1 Taxes Property tax exemption on residence for surviving spouse of armed services member killed in action Approveda
LRCA Proposition 2 Admin. of gov't Elimination of an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund Approveda
LRCA Proposition 3 Taxes Increase in number of days that aircraft parts may be located in the state and be exempt from taxation Approveda
LRCA Proposition 4 Taxes Property tax exemption for partially disabled veterans on their residence under certain conditions Approveda
LRCA Proposition 5 Housing Rules and regulations governing reverse mortgage loans Approveda
LRCA Proposition 6 Budgets Transfer funds from Rainy Day Fund to water projects Approveda
LRCA Proposition 7 County governance Rules governing how to fill vacancies on governing bodies of home-rule municipalities Approveda
LRCA Proposition 8 Healthcare Eliminate the state constitutional provision that authorizes a hospital district in Hidalgo County Approveda
LRCA Proposition 9 State judiciary Expansion of types of sanctions against state court judges after disciplinary proceedings Approveda


Washington 2013 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Result
ITL Initiative 517 Direct democracy Penalties for harassing petition organizers, limit pre-election litigation, extend signature gathering time Defeatedd
ITL Initiative 522 Business regulation Requires labels on food offered for sale if food is made with genetic material changed Defeatedd
AQ Advisory Vote 3 Taxes Eliminates a leasehold excise tax credit for taxpayers who lease publicly-owned property Defeatedd
AQ Advisory Vote 4 Taxes Imposes an aircraft excise tax on commuter air carriers Defeatedd
AQ Advisory Vote 5 Taxes Extends the insurance premium tax to some insurance for pediatric oral services Approveda
AQ Advisory Vote 6 Taxes Eliminates a retail sales tax exemption for certain telephone and telecommunications services Approveda
AQ Advisory Vote 7 Taxes Extends estate tax on certain property transfers and increased rates for estates over $4,000,000 Defeatedd

See also


  1. Three of the advisory questions are unresolved