The Tuesday Count: changes loom as legislators vote on proposed measures
By Bailey Ludlam
The first of March kicks off the Tuesday Count with a total of 6 certified ballot questions in Maine, Mississippi and New Jersey for 2011 elections. Although 2012 is still nine months away, certifications continue to roll in. In the last month the Tuesday Count has seen the certification of one measure bumping the total to 7 certified questions in four states.
However, those totals may be changing soon. An estimated three measures are currently being reviewed by state legislators and may qualify for the ballot later this week.
In Arizona, a proposed election funding amendment cleared the Senate following a 20-9 vote of approval. However, before it is referred to the 2012 ballot, the measure must also gain approval in the House. The measure would disallow the use of public money to fund political campaigns.
Election-related measures have also become a point of discussion in Colorado. A proposed initiative process amendment would require more than simple majority of voters to approve any future amendments to the state constitution. Statutory amendments would still require a simple majority of voter approval. Additionally, the measure would also make statutory measures harder for state legislature to amend following an approval of the people. Legislators would have to have a 60% approval in each chamber in order to amend, or repeal, a voter-approved statute within three years that the law becomes enacted.
In the last week, the proposed measure received the final vote for referral to the 2012 statewide ballot. According to reports, the measure has not yet been certified and is pending minor revisions.
Colorado's amendment isn't the only pending measure. On Monday, February 28, the Wyoming Hunting Rights Amendment received approval from the House following a 56-3 vote. Previously, the Senate voted 23-7. According to the filed text, the proposal aims to preserve citizens' rights to hunt and fish.
- Kansas Right to Life Amendment (2012) - would end abortion throughout the state and recognize "the right to life of every human being."
- Missouri Voter ID Amendment (2012) - would require voters to show photo identification prior to casting a ballot. On February 24 the Missouri State Senate approved the proposed measure following a 26-7 vote. The measure now remains pending in the House.
- Montana Supreme Court Partisan Elections Amendment (2012) - would require candidates for District Court and the Supreme Court in Montana to run on partisan labels instead of as nonpartisan office seekers as they do now.
- North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage, Amendment 1 (May 2012) - would define marriage in the state as between one man and one woman.
SPOTLIGHT: the 51st state?
There's a long way to go but Pima County in Arizona has started a campaign to change the country's state count from 50 to 51. The group Start our State is the group behind the efforts to have Pima County secede from Arizona and become it's own state.
Paul Eckerstrom the sponsoring group's co-chairman commented about the efforts: "We're tired of the extremism that's been portrayed to the rest of the country and we feel that we're different down here. We're tired of being last in education funding. We're tired of our tax money disappearing into Maricopa County with very little benefit coming back."
- California: Columbia Fire Protection District parcel tax (March 2011)
- Florida: Tampa City Business Property Tax Exemption Question (March 2011)
| 2011 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2011 Scorecard|