The Tuesday Count: Hunting and fishing up for public votes

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April 3, 2012

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Click here for the latest Tuesday Count

Edited by Al Ortiz

Nothing seems to be slowing down the ballot measure certifications. This week, two statewide ballot questions secured a spot for public vote in 2012. However, Ballotpedia recently discovered that two automatic ballot referrals will also be appearing on ballots this year.

When all is said and done, the count as of Tuesday, April 3 stands at 80 measures in 29 states. A grand total of three constitutional convention questions will be appearing on this year's ballots. Those states include Ohio, Alaska and New Hampshire. The questions would ask voters whether or not to create a convention to revise, alter or amend the state constitution.

The questions were automatically placed on the ballot in 2012 because of provisions in each state's constitution.

For Alaska: Section 3 of Article 13 of the Alaska Constitution calls for the question of whether to hold a convention to automatically by placed on the ballot every ten years. The last constitutional convention question on the ballot in the state, in 2002, was defeated.

For New Hampshire: Part 2, Article 100 of the New Hampshire Constitution calls for a question about whether to have a convention to appear on the ballot every ten years. The last constitutional convention question that voters decided on, also in 2002, was defeated.

Both measures become the second and third such questions to clinch a spot on the ballot, with Ohio voters getting their say for a possible convention.

The two certifications this week came from Idaho and Nebraska. Residents in both states will get to have their say on whether to include the right to hunt and fish in their state constitutions.

According to reports, the sponsor of the Idaho measure is State Senator Lee Heider, who introduced the measure during 2012 state legislative session. On March 27, 2012, the Idaho State Senate gave final approval for ballot access when the chamber voted 31 to 3 in favor of the proposal. The measure was previously approved by the Idaho House of Representatives.

The last time voters had their say on a hunting measure in the state was in 1996, when Proposition 2 was rejected with 59.8% of the vote. The citizen initiative aimed to prohibit the use of dogs or bait while hunting black bear and to limit the bear hunting season.

The Nebraska hunting amendment was sponsored by State Senator Pete Pirsch. In order to qualify a proposed measure to the statewide ballot, 60% of the members of the unicameral Nebraska State Legislature must vote in approval. On Tuesday, March 27, 2012, the state Legislature voted 41-3 in approval of the amendment, thereby passing the measure to the ballot.

Additionally, the Minnesota Legislature threw a curve ball when the Voter identification amendment was held off the ballot for the time-being. As stated in last week's report, the measure was approved for the ballot with a final senate vote. However, there was also another version of the bill being considered in legislature. Therefore a legislative conference committee drafted a compromise bill, one that would be placed on the ballot should the state legislature approve it. According to reports, the compromise bill was passed unanimously by the committee, sending it one more time to the lawmaking body for ballot approval.

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]

As more developments occur, updates will be made to this page.

Sorting out measure lawsuits

With the advent of an election year come large amounts of political activity, including ballot measure proposals. As a result, an increase in lawsuits seeking to suppress those measures may occur. This year is a prime example.

Keeping track of legal challenges to ballot proposals across the country, Ballotpedia broke down each ballot measure lawsuit, by state and type, to give a comprehensive and in-depth look at litigation across the nation. This special report is the first of a series of forthcoming quarterly reports intended on tracking and analyzing such lawsuits.

Some of the findings for this quarter, include:

  • Number of lawsuits: 15
  • Number of measures under lawsuits: 14
  • Lawsuits against measures on the ballot: 8
  • State with the most ballot measure lawsuits: Missouri

Click here for the entire lawsuit breakdown report!

Quick hits

  • Judge strikes summary from Missouri Voter ID Amendment ballot language: On March 27, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled in a lawsuit over the measure's ballot language and struck the current summary from the ballot, finding the statement to be unfair and insufficient. Judge Joyce was, reportedly, especially troubled by the phrase "Voter Protection Act" in the summary, though it never actually appears in the amendment itself. The measure was sent back to the Legislature with Judge Joyce saying, "Because significant changes are required here and policy choices may need to be made as to how to reallocate the words in a revised summary statement, the court chooses to vacate the summary statement and to provide the General Assembly an opportunity to revise it."[3]
The complete ruling can be found here.
  • Chances at making the ballot worsen for Minnesota "Right to Work" Amendment: When first proposed the "Right-to-Work" amendment seemed like it would quickly move through the Legislature in time for this year's November ballot. However, the amendment appears to have stalled in the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and with the state's legislative session ending in May the measure's chances at making the ballot this year lessen each day. According to David Schultz, a professor who specializes in law and politics at Hamline University, the state lawmakers do not want to alienate and overload voters[4]

Proposals with recent activity


SPOTLIGHT:Four states host election today, Missouri has the most issues to be decided
Today, April 3, 2012, local issues will be decided in Missouri, Colorado, Florida and Wisconsin.

Thirty-seven counties have posted election information in Wisconsin, while Missouri has thirty-six counties with issues on the ballot. By contrast, Florida only has one county with a local measure on the ballot and Colorado has two up for a vote.

Twenty-nine school issues will be decided throughout Missouri. In Missouri, an additional eighty-three measures will also be decided in the state.

The town of Dundee Florida will decide on three proposed charter amendments and the towns of Williamsburg and Berthoud, Colorado will decide on election changes and amendments to publishing ordinance.

In Wisconsin, thirty different school issues will be decided. There are only an additional thirty measures which will be decided in Wisconsin outside of the school issues, with twenty-four of those being in Milwaukee County alone. The questions will ask twelve municipalities two questions about the county board - whether to make positions part time and whether or not the board should be reduced by half.

The next election will be in California on April 6 where one county will have a local ballot measure election.

Check back here for results from April 3, 2012's elections.
Quiz logo 2.png
In all, since 2010, how many states saw proposed "health care freedom" measures that later failed to make the ballot?
Click here to find out!
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Pennsylvania in-district residency requirement: In 2002, a federal court issued an injunction blocking the enforcement of Pennsylvania's in-district residency requirement on independent and third party candidates. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed that ruling, holding that the injunction blocks state officials from enforcing the law. Several lower courts had held that the federal decision was not binding.[5][6]

A new update was released on March 28, 2012. Click here for past Ballot Law Update reports!

See also

2012 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2012 Scorecard