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The Tuesday Count: Certification slowdown continues during anniversary of Tuesday Count

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January 10, 2012

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Edited by Al Ortiz

The trend from the past few weeks has struck again; no certifications this week. 59 ballot questions are on 24 statewide ballots across the country once more, the same number as last week's report.

While the anticipated eruption of the ballot measure count stays quiet for now, this week Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count page celebrates its 2-year anniversary of tracking statewide ballot measures across the country.

Reviewing the inaugural Tuesday Count posting, on January 5, 2010, the Tuesday Count first showed that 66 ballot measures had been certified for the ballot in 2010 up to that day. Two years later, 2012's count is slightly behind that pace at 59. However, certifications are still expected to keep pace with 2010, if not surpass it during the presidential election year.

Take a look at Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count pages from the last two years here.

Like 2010, the first 2012 petition drive deadline is in the state of Alaska, on January 17, one week from today.

Currently, there are two measures that are reported to be circulating, however one initiative that is garnering a considerable amount of attention is the proposed coastal management question. The measure would establish a new coastal management program in the state. Specifically, the management program that would be established would be formally called the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program.

The supporting group is called the Alaska Sea Party. Supporters need 25,875 signatures in order for the measure to be reviewed by the state legislature before potentially being placed on the ballot, since the proposal is an indirect initiated state statute.

Alaska is the only coastal state in the country without a federal coastal management plan, according to reports. Coastal programs are established to guarantee state and local participation in federal decisions on coastal issues that could potentially surface.

Updates will be given during that day reporting which initiatives filed signatures.

In Ohio, supporters of a dog auction ban initiative submitted 154,082 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State during the week of December 29. According to reports, 115,570 signatures must be verified in order for the Ohio Legislature to consider the proposal. If the legislative body does not enact the measure by the end of April, the group must collect another 115,570 signatures to place it on the ballot.

Featured campaign quotes:
Oklahoma SQ 762 - Support
Speaker of the State House Kris Steele
Letting the governor focus on parole recommendations for violent crimes is a critical component of Oklahoma’s recent progress to build a stronger, more effective criminal justice system.[1]

Oklahoma SQ 762 - Opposition
State Representative Jason Murphey
When you take the governor out of [the parole] process [for non-violent crimes] the people of Oklahoma have no one to hold accountable...[1]

The proposal, backed by The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, prohibit bringing into the state, for purposes of sale or trade, a dog acquired through auction. The Ohio Secretary of State is currently verifying petition signatures.

In what seems to be a weekly routine, the state of Washington continues to churn out ballot measure news. The initiative filing period has begun in the state, as of January 6 and proposals are pouring in to the Washington Secretary of State's office. Supporters of those initiatives have until July 6 to turn in a minimum of 241,153 valid petition signatures to qualify an Initiative to the People for the 2012 statewide ballot.

Washington has been no stranger to a flood of filed initiatives. In 2010 and 2011, an average of 81 ballot measure proposals were filed with the secretary's office. However, during that same time, only 6% of initiatives made the ballot.

Quick hits

  • 2011 campaigns get money-happy: A final total of $85,726,675.61 was contributed to ballot measures in 2011, compared to $43,706,549.62 in Ballotpedia's pre-election contribution report, according to official reports filed as of December. According to the report, the state with highest contributions from all campaign sides from all ballot measures was from the state of Ohio, with the least coming from Arkansas, with only $100,000 in contributions. Read more here.[2]
  • Oklahoma redistricting initiative falls: A redistricting initiative will not appear on the statewide 2012 ballot, as proponent Sen. Jim Wilson said he obtained an estimated 20,000 signatures but fell shy of the 82,782 signatures required as of the official deadline.
Proposals with recent activity


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SPOTLIGHT:Multnomah County, Oregon looks to add two library measures to 2012 ballots
In Multnomah County, Oregon, officials have agreed with local library officials to place a library taxing issue on the May 15, 2012 ballot and then a district creation issue on the November 6, 2012 ballot, if the May question is approved.

Library officials had been seeking a permanent levy for the libraries in order to ensure funding for projects and operation costs, the county agreed to place a renewal of their current tax on the May ballot with the understanding that a taxing district creation question would be asked later if the renewal was first approved. Library officials said they want their own taxing district because it would mean the library would have a dedicated tax source and would not need to worry about future funding, as they are now. Also, if the taxing district is created, the library would be able to increase its levy, from the current rate of $0.89 to $1.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value.[3]


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In which state did four initiatives recently get sent to the legislature for consideration?
Click here to find out!
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BALLOT LAW UPDATE

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall: In past recall efforts, Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board has presumed petition signatures valid unless opponents can produce evidence to the contrary. However, after the petitions began circulating in the recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker, his legal team challenged this practice. On January 5, a state court ruled that the GAB must be more proactive in discovering duplicate or fictitious signatures. Walker's attorneys cited, among other things, another recall petition in which the signature "Bugs Bunny" was accepted. Representatives for the board say the cost of checking the signatures, in both time and money, is too high.[4]

A new update will be released on January 25, 2012. Click here for past Ballot Law Update reports!

See also

2012 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2012 Scorecard

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  2. Ballot measure campaign contribution numbers were found from official state election websites. Numbers were obtained from officially filed records published on the site, and not from campaign organizers.
  3. The Portland Tribune, "County agrees to send new library levy to voters," January 5, 2012
  4. Journal-Sentinel, "Judge rules for Walker campaign in case against state election officials," Jan. 5, 2012