The Tuesday Count: Previous drizzle of ballot-certified measures quickly turns into flood

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May 15, 2012

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Edited by Al Ortiz

Two more ballot measure certifications are needed for Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count to hit the century mark. However, until then the total number of ballot-certified measures stands at 98 measures in 31 states with four ballot additions this week. The states which had a hand in bumping up the total were Alaska, Arizona and Missouri, which all sent legislative referrals to their 2012 general election ballots for voters to decide.

Starting in Arizona, a whopping three ballot measures secured a spot on the ballot, leaving the state with a total of seven measures that are up for a public vote in the fall.

The three measures deal with various topics including government financing, property and taxes.

Proposals in Arizona included House Concurrent Resolution 2056, which would mandate that the annual distribution from the state Permanent Fund be 2.5 percent of the average monthly market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. This would take effect from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2021.

The next proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1001, authorizes the Arizona Legislature to enact a process to exchange trust land if the exchange is related to protecting military installations and managing lands. The last measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1025, would limit the annual growth in the limited property value of locally assessed properties. The limit would begin in 2015.

All three proposals are legislatively-referred constitutional amendments.

A majority vote is required in the Arizona State Legislature to send a constitutional amendment to the ballot. Arizona is one of ten states that allow a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a majority vote in one session of the state's legislature.

Jumping to Alaska, in 2010, two bonding propositions found their way onto the ballot via legislative referral, where they were both approved. This year, state lawmakers added another bonding proposition, this time in hopes of improving the state's public transportation.

Bonding Proposition A would allow for a general obligation bond to be issued for the purpose of transportation projects in the state. The general obligation bond would not exceed $453,499,200. This brings Alaska's statewide ballot measure count to four.

Finally in Missouri, a judicial appointment question survived legislative session to make the ballot in November. The state constitutional amendment, which was certified on May 10, would grant the governor the power to appoint 4 persons to the Appellate Judicial Commission, the body responsible for choosing nominees for the Court of Appeals and the Missouri Supreme Court. The governor currently has the power to chose three of the seven total members.

In other ballot measure news, citizen initiative supporters in Massachusetts will now try to clear their last hurdle in order for their proposals to obtain ballot access this year. Since the state implements an indirect initiated state statute process, initiative organizers who turned in sufficient signatures by the initial November 23 petition drive deadline had their potential ballot measures reviewed by the Massachusetts General Assembly. Four efforts successfully turned in signatures by this deadline, therefore all four were reviewed by the state lawmaking body.

May 2, 2012 was the last day for the assembly to enact legislation similar to any proposed law. However, since the general assembly did not choose to make any of the four ballot proposals a law, supporters must now gather additional signatures to obtain ballot access. Those signatures must be obtained from about 1/2 of 1% of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election and supporters must submit them to local clerks.

Validated signatures must then be turned in by the first Wednesday of July to the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office. Since the deadline falls on a national holiday, July 4, that deadline could be either July 3 or 5.

North Carolina Amendment 1 approved

On May 8, North Carolina Amendment 1 was approved by state voters. The highly-scrutinized measure was enacted with 61.05% of the vote.

Featured campaign quotes:
Oklahoma SQ 762 - Support
Speaker of the State House Kris Steele

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

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.

Oklahoma SQ 762 - Opposition
State Representative Jason Murphey

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

When you take the governor out of [the parole] process [for non-violent crimes] the people of Oklahoma have no one to hold accountable...

The measure will add to the state constitution that the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman, according to the measure's text. Also, the measure will ban any other type of "domestic legal union" such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Official election results will be posted when the North Carolina State Board of Elections website completes those numbers.

To view ballot measure election results, click here.

Quick hits

  • Poll released on North Dakota Measure 2: A Forum Communications poll conducted May 3 to 8 of 500 likely voters found that nearly 3 to 1 of those surveyed oppose Measure 2. Of those who responded, 74% said they would be voting against the measure, while 26% said they would vote for it. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.3 percent and was conducted by Essman/Research of Des Moines, Iowa.[1]
  • Voters may be barred from wearing "Fighting Sioux" related gear at polls: According to Mike Montplaisir, auditor for Cass County, North Dakota, voters who show up at the polls wearing clothing sporting the "Fighting Sioux" logo or nickname could be asked to remove it or cover it up. The county is prohibiting this because the nickname is the subject of Measure 4 and state elections law prevents wearing buttons or other materials designed to promote measures or candidates at a polling place. Montplaisir says, "It’s just a fairness issue. You can’t be campaigning at the polls."[2]
  • Signatures still quite short for Michigan Marijuana Legalization Amendment: On Tuesday, May 15, supporters of the Michigan Marijuana Legalization Amendment are rallying at the state Capitol in Lansing in a late attempt to gather enough signatures to send the measure to the ballot. Proponents need 323,000 signatures by July 9 to qualify for November, but have currently only 25,000 signatures. According to campaign organizer, Matthew Abel, the problem is funding and lack of a major political lobby. In spite of this Abel remains positive, saying, "Our polling has shown that it’s very close to 50-50 and the poll numbers have been moving our way steadily for 40 years. We’re confident that if we can get it on the ballot that it will pass."[3]


Proposals with recent activity


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SPOTLIGHT:Springfield measure given court injunction

In Springfield, Missouri, a local measure which was approved in February has been put under an injunction by a local judge who deemed the measure illegal.

The measure sought to implement an "E-verify system" within the city so that any business who was looking to hire a new employee would have to use the system to verify that the potential employee was not illegally in the country. The Ozark Minutemen, who brought the issue to the ballot, were urging the city officials to fight the injunction and allow the measure to be implemented.

City officials though had noted that the ordinance, if the judge deems it illegal, should not be implemented since it would be against state laws. The ordinance will not be enforced as it stands, though the Ozark Minutemen have stated that they would further fight the injunction.

Also, today in Oregon, resident will go to the polls and decide on several local issues.


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The next petition drive deadline for citizen initiatives is in Montana. True or False? Click here to find out!
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BALLOT LAW UPDATE

Libertarian Party challenges VA residency requirement: On May 14, the Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit challenging Virginia's in-state residency requirement for candidate petition circulators. Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court overturned the state's in-district residency requirement in Lux v. Judd. Although Virginia does not have initiative and referendum, an earlier ruling in Lux  has already had broader implications for ballot measure law.[4]

A new update will be released on May 30, 2012. Click here for past Ballot Law Update reports!

See also

2012 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2012 Scorecard

References