The Tuesday Count: A recap of 2013, a glance at 2014

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November 12, 2013

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Edited by Brittany Clingen

2013 ballot measures
One week after the November 2013 elections, all but two measures - two of the five advisory questions in Washington - are unofficially decided. The charts below detail a breakdown of all statewide election results from the November 5, 2013 elections:
2013 election stats
Total Approved (%) Defeated (%) Undecided (%)
31 24 (77.4%) 5 (16.1%) 2 (6.5%)

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 1[1]

Statewide measures election results

See also: Analysis of the 2013 ballot measures

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, five were defeated and two of the advisory questions in Washington are undecided. 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.

Local measures election results

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 local measures on the ballot. As of November 12, 82 were approved, 49 were defeated and 7 are too close to call before certification.

Ballotpedia only covered one notable measure in Ohio:

LocalBallotMeasures Final.png

In California, Ballotpedia provided comprehensive coverage of all local measures:

  • 70 measures total
  • 47 measures were approved
  • 20 measures were defeated
  • 3 measures are too close to call until results are certified

18 notable measures were on the ballot in Colorado, including measures on fracking, local marijuana taxes and the secession of counties in northern Colorado to form a "51st state." To see the election results and details for each measure see November 5, 2013 ballot measures in Colorado.

43 measures total were decided in Arizona

  • 19 were approved
  • 22 were defeated
  • 2 are too close to call until results are certified.

Ballotpedia covered one local measure in Florida:

Ballotpedia covered one local measure in Washington, which sought to raise the minimum wage for about 6,300 airport, hospitality and transportation jobs to $15 per hour. The groundbreaking measure in the small city of SeaTac, although according to initial counts was ahead by a fair margin, is currently clinging to its status as approved by only 43 votes. And there are many more votes left to count, making the Prop 1 victory very uncertain until results are certified.

Recall election results

Thirteen elected officials faced recall elections in five states. Five of those officials were recalled and eight retained their seats.
The following are summaries of the recall elections:

  • In San Benadino, California, City Councilmember Wendy McCammack was successfully recalled from her seat. Voters, nonetheless, sent her to a runoff for the position of mayor.
  • A Lubbock County Commissioner was “disappointed” by Lubbock City Councilmember Victor Hernandez and filed a recall affidavit against him. Voters in Lubbock City, however, contradicted the county commissioner and retained Hernandez on the city council.
  • In Teton School District 401, Idaho, Trustee of the School Board Nancy Arnold retained her seat by a wide margin despite her opposition’s claim that she “does not represent the views” of constituents.
  • Leon Sanders, rather than facing recall, resigned from his position on the Board of Trustess of Lochbuie, Colorado on October 29. His co-trustee, Candy Veldhuizen, also faced recall, but was able to acquire enough votes to retain her seat.
  • Four members of the Cibolo City Council in Texas faced recall elections. The campaign to recall them was initiated by residents opposed to opening a Walmart in their city. Two of the councilmembers were recalled and two retained their seats.
  • In Onaway City, Michigan, the mayor and two city commissioners faced potential recalls. Mayor Gary Wregglesworth and City Commissioner Charles Abshagen both retained their respective seats. Commissioner Jessie Horrocks was not as fortunate and was narrowly recalled by one vote. Voters did, however, re-elect Horrocks in the general election to serve as another term as Commissioner starting January 2014. She is therefore only out of office for two months.
  • Two school board members of the Hesperia School District, Michigan, faced recalls. One retained his seat and the other was recalled. The recalls were initiated after the board decided not to renew a wrestling coach’s contract.

Looking forward to 2014

As an even-numbered year, 2014 is guaranteed to have significantly more measures on the ballot than 2013. An average of 182 measures were on the ballots in 2008, 2010 and 2012, compared to 2013's 31. For 2014, there are already 47 measures certified for ballots in 19 states. For the next year, Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count Report will focus on measures vying for a spot on 2014 ballots.

See also

2013 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2013 Scorecard


  1. Two of the advisory questions are unresolved

  1. Two of the advisory questions are unresolved