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The Tuesday Count: 2012 total on record pace as Alabama and Idaho contribute

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June 14, 2011

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Edited by Bailey Ludlam

The Tuesday Count for 2012 is on the rise again. In just the last week the count has added six newly certified measures: three in Alabama and three in Idaho. This bumps the count to a total of 45 certified measures for spots on 19 statewide ballots in 2012. At this rate, the 2012 count is well on its way to surpassing the 184 total measures that appeared on ballots in 2010.

In contrast, the 2011 Tuesday Count remains as steady as ever. No states have referred measures in the last two weeks following the gigantic wake of 10 certified measures set by the state of Texas.

Like the state of Texas, Alabama set out to make its own mark on the 2012 count. On the very last day of the legislative session, the Senate gave the final okay on three ballot measures.

The measures include: an amendment to prohibit mandatory participation in any health care system, an amendment to guarantee the right to a secret ballot in votes of employee representation, and one that would require photo identification when voting at the polls.

Although the three measures are already certified for the ballot, more may join the list when the Alabama Legislature reconvenes in 2012.

Idaho too has been a busy state. After two months of petition circulation, three education veto referendums were officially certified and cleared for a statewide vote.

The measures target three state laws. Senate Bill 1184 deals with technology and online learning; Senate Bill 1110 relates to teacher merit-pay bonuses; and Senate Bill 1108 governs collective bargaining rights dealing with teachers in the state.

Continuing to heat up the discussion on an Ohio state law, supporters of repeal Senate Bill 5 are still forging ahead with their efforts. A little more than two weeks remain before the June 29 petition drive deadline. If approved for the 2011 ballot, the measure will ask voters to repeal a bill that limits collective bargaining for public employees in the state. A minimum of 231,149 valid signatures are required to put the measure to a vote. In May 2011, supporters of the repeal announced that they had an estimated 214,000 signatures.

Signatures are piling up, not only in Ohio but also in Washington. Early this week, supporters of Initiative 1130 - an initiative to adopt new rules for egg-laying hens - announced that they had met the state's minimum requirements.

An estimated 275,000 signatures have thus far been collected. However, the Secretary of State's office recommends that initiative campaigns collect at least 320,000 signatures to compensate for any duplicates or errors. With that in mind, the campaign reportedly will continue to circulate petitions until the July 6 deadline.

Recent ballot measure proposals


SPOTLIGHT: Italy casts their vote on nuclear power, water and criminal trials
On June 12-13, a referendum vote was held in Italy. A total of four questions were asked:

A quorum of at least 51 percent of eligible voters had to participate in the election for it to be valid, Italian authorities reported near 57 percent participation in exit polls. Of that 57 percent, preliminary election results showed that all four issues were defeated with nearly 90 percent of residents against the implementation of these measures. Results are not official yet.

The first question, about nuclear power growth in the country, appears to have been defeated. Italy had previously halted its nuclear power program in the 1980s and the current government had sought to reinstate the use of nuclear power in the country. Citizens petitioned against nuclear power and the courts allowed this question to be asked on the ballot, noting that the 2011 crisis in Japan could happen elsewhere. If the measure is officially defeated, the Italian government will seek to look into renewable energy sources as the alternative to nuclear power.

The second and third questions related to water privatization in the country. One question sought to stop the privatization of the water system and the second sought to stop competitive pricing of water for citizens. Both measures were defeated, according to unofficial results. Opponents argued that it was a way for water utilities to further increase prices.

The last question, government impediment legislation enactment, was reportedly seen as a blow directly to the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who currently is facing four criminal cases. Berlusconi's government sought to enact legislation which would give government officials exemptions from criminal trials, but the Italian people overwhelmingly defeated his efforts according to unofficial results. This, along with elections held last month in which Berlusconi's hand picked candidates did not win seats, has led to further cries for Berlusconi to step down from his position.

LocalBallotMeasures Final.png ELECTION RESULTS: For the seventh time in 2011, California holds local ballot measure elections
On June 7, 2011 in California, local elections were held throughout eleven counties in the state, with six measures so far listed as defeated, and ten listed as approved. Among the approved questions were recall measures in Hercules, Contra Costa County. They were the only recall measures listed for June 7, 2011 local elections in California. Those efforts ultimately recalled city council members Donald Kuehne and Joanne Ward.

As for tax measures, only one of the four listed parcel tax questions was approved. The approved question was in Trinity County, where the measure will continue the hospital district's tax of $118 per dwelling and $32 per undeveloped parcel for five more years. The tax generates about $900,000 a year for the hospital district.

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Which Midwestern state is considering merging the Treasurer and Comptroller offices? Click to find out!

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Court actions concerning I&R: A lawsuit was filed in Washington state on May 31, challenging the decision of the Longview City Council to block a referendum on the city's traffic cameras. On May 23, the petitioners submitted a number of signatures sufficient to get the camera-blocking measure on the ballot. Rather than placing the law on the ballot, the city council voted to make the referendum merely advisory rather than binding. The plaintiffs argue that the city had no such power under state law.[1]
Across Washington state, several local traffic camera initiatives have faced opposition from city officials. On May 20, a Superior Court ruling rejected a local Wenatchee camera referendum, siding with plaintiffs, the City of Wenatchee and American Traffic Solutions Inc. The plaintiffs contended that the city's contract with ATS Inc. could not be voided via referendum (See decision).[2]
Prior to the November election, the City of Mukilteo also attempted to have a similar ban removed from the ballot. The State Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case, and the law remained on the ballot (See decision).[3] Following the court's ruling and the overwhelming passage of the measure, city officials determined that traffic camera laws were not subject to referendum and decided to treat the vote as advisory. Currently, the Mukilteo case is again before the State Supreme Court. Initial reports suggest that the court is sympathetic to the initiative's proponents.[4][5]

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See also

2011 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2011 Scorecard