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Writing:Ballot measure types

From Ballotpedia
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When creating an article about a ballot measure, picking the proper type can be a trick.

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Common ballot measure types

The most common types of ballot measures are:

  • legislatively-referred constitutional amendment:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek to make amendments to the state constitution. They were placed on the ballot after a successful vote from the state legislature. No citizen petitions were involved.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{lrca}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{lrcafull}}
  • legislatively-referred state statute:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek to make new laws/statutes or change old laws/statutes. They were placed on the ballot after a successful vote from the state legislature. No citizen petitions were involved.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{lrss}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{lrssfull}}
  • initiated constitutional amendment:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek to make amendments to the state constitution. They were placed on the ballot after a successful petition drive by the state's citizens. The state legislature was not involved.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{ica}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{icafull}}
  • initiated state statute:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek to make new laws/statutes or change old laws/statutes. They were placed on the ballot after a successful petition drive by the state's citizens. The state legislature was not involved.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{iss}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{issfull}}
  • veto referendum:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek to ask states citizens whether they approve or reject of a law or amendment passed by the state legislature during legislative sessions. veto referendum were placed on the ballot after a successful petition drive by the state's citizens. The state legislature was not involved.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{vr}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{vrfull}}

Notes

Points to be aware of when picking a category.

  • A ballot that is labeled as an amendment is not necessary a constitutional amendment. It may be an amendment to a previous law. For examples, Nevada often has amendments to it's Tax Act of 1955 on the ballot. These ballots are LRSS, not LRCA. Nevada Sales and Use Tax Amendment, Question 3 (2010)
  • veto referendum are often asked to citizens in the form of "Do you approve or reject State Statute ABC?" Approve is generally a Yes vote, and Reject is generally a No vote. So, successful veto referendum often result in a No votes winning.

Uncommon ballot measure types

Less frequent types of ballot measures are:

  • advisory question:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek to know the voter's opinion on a particular topic. These questions are not-binding, meaning there is no guarantee that they will result in a change in a law or the state constitution, regardless of whether they are approved. advisory question are placed on the ballot by the State Legislature.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{aq}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{aqfull}}
  • automatic ballot referral:
    • These are questions on the ballot which can either be regarding a constitutional amendment, or a state statute. The difference between these and LRCAs and LRSSs is that they were placed on the ballot automatically by constitutional law after a certain period of type, such as 10 years. One of the most common types of automatic ballot referral is the Constitutional convention.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{abr}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{abrfull}}
  • legislatively-referred bond question:
    • These are questions on the ballot which seek voter approval on the use of bonds to fund various large projects. These are generally placed on the ballot by state legislatures.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{bi}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{bifull}}

Notes

State specific ballot measure types

Some state have specialized ballot measures currently defined:

Arizona

California

  • legislatively-referred bond act:
    • This is similar to a BI, but specific to California
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{cabm}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{cabmfull}}

Florida

  • commission referral:
    • The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, which meets once every twenty years, has the authority to place question regarding various state processes on the ballot. The committee met for the first time in 2007, place questions on the 2008 ballot. Another committee, the Constitution Revision Commission, will meet for the first time in 2017.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{cr}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{crfull}}

Nevada

  • Statute affirmation:
    • This unique type of ballot measure could be seen as a reverse veto referendum. With a Statute affirmation, if a majority of voters affirm the law being question, the state legislature is then barred from ever amending it.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{sa}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{safull}}

Rhode Island

    • This is similar to a BI, but specific to Rhode Island
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{ribq}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{ribqfull}}

Washington

  • Initiative to the People
  • This type of ballot measure is similar to an initiated state statute, but is unique to the State of Washington.
    • Short template code for year ballot measure charts: {{witp}}
    • Long template code for articles: {{witpfull}}

The following list is the standard types of ballot measures seen in each state. It is not currently all-inclusive.

Alabama

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Alaska

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Arizona

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Arkansas

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California

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Colorado

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Connecticut

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Delaware

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Florida

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Georgia

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Hawaii

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Idaho

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Illinois

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Maine

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Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Michigan

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Minnesota

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Mississippi

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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New Jersey

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New Mexico

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New York

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Ohio

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Oklahoma

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Oregon

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Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Vermont

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Virginia

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Washington

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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Wyoming

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