2009 ballot measures

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32 statewide ballot measures were on 2009 ballot in 7 states. This was the lowest number of statewide ballot measures since 1989.

Three states -- Maine, Ohio and Washington -- of the several dozen states with initiative or referendum offer this option in odd-numbered years. In each of the three states, the petition process was used to qualify measures for the ballot that are traditional hot-button issues, including marriage, taxes, casinos, school consolidation, and marijuana.

The less-well-known veto referendum process took center stage in 2009, with R-71 in Washington and Question 1 and Question 3 in Maine. (In the off-year election of 2007 in Utah, voters used their right of veto referendum to toss out a school choice law.)

Comparison to other years

There are typically far fewer statewide ballot measures on the ballot in odd-numbered years than in even-numbered years. This is because:

Comparing 2009 just to other odd-numbered years, there are fewer statewide measures on the ballot than has been the case for at least the last 20 years.

Year # of states with measures # of measures on ballot
2013 6 31
2011 9 34
2009 7 32
2007 9 43
2005 12 45
2003 14 67
2001 9 39
1999 16 71
1997 7 41
1995 7 33
1993 10 44
1991 5 34
1989 8 36
Averages: 9.2 42.3

Summary of November 2009 ballot measure election results

The charts below includes election results of all statewide ballot measures in 2009.

Approved Defeated Total
21 (81%) 5 (19%) 26
Ballot measures initiated by the voters
Type of ballot measure Approved Defeated Total
Citizen-initiated constitutional amendment 1 0 1
Citizen-initiated statute 1 4 5
Veto referendum 2 0 2
Total 4 (50%) 4 (50%) 8
Legislative and other referrals
Type of ballot measure Approved Defeated Total
Legislatively-referred constitutional amend 2 0 2
Legislatively-referred statute 15 1 16
Total 17 (94%) 1 (6%) 18

November statewide


See also: Maine 2009 ballot measures

November 3

Type Title Subject Description Result
VR Question 1 Marriage & Family Repeals an act allowing same-sex marriages Approveda
IndISS Question 2 Taxes Reduces excise taxes on vehicles that meet certain energy efficiency requirements Defeatedd
IndISS Question 3 Education Repeals the law mandating school district restructuring Defeatedd
IndISS Question 4 Taxes Limits increases in government spending to inflation and population increases Defeatedd
IndISS Question 5 Marijuana Creates nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and identification cards Approveda
BI Question 6 Bonds Issues $71.25 million in bonds for transportation programs and improvements Approveda
LRCA Question 7 Direct Democracy Increases the amount of time for municipalities to certify initiative petition signatures Defeatedd

New Jersey

See also: New Jersey 2009 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Status
LRSS Open Space Bonds Bond issues $400 million for open space, farmland, historic areas Approveda

New York

See also: New York 2009 ballot measures
Type Title Subject Description Status
LRCA Proposal 1 Environment Retroactively approve power line along State Route 56 on six acres of forest preserve lands Approveda
LRCA Proposal 2 Admin of gov't Allow prisoners to perform volunteer work for nonprofit organizations Approveda


See also: Ohio 2009 ballot measures

November 3

Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Issue 1 Veterans Authorizes $200 million to provide bonuses for veterans of Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Approveda
LRCA Issue 2 Animals Establishes board to set livestock care standards Approveda
CICA Issue 3 Gambling Allows casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo Approveda


See also: Texas 2009 ballot measures

November 3

Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Proposition 1 Gov't finances Authorizes the acquisition of open spaces adjacent to military installations Approveda
LRCA Proposition 2 Taxes Provides for the taxation of a residence on basis of value Approveda
LRCA Proposition 3 Property Provides for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property Approveda
LRCA Proposition 4 Education Establishes the national research university fund Approveda
LRCA Proposition 5 Taxes Authorizes a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities Approveda
LRCA Proposition 6 Bonds Issues bonds in amounts equal to or less than previously authorized Approveda
LRCA Proposition 7 Admin of gov't Allows members of the state militia to hold other civil offices Approveda
LRCA Proposition 8 Veterans Authorizes the state to give money to veterans hospitals Approveda
LRCA Proposition 9 Property Protects the right of the public to access public beaches Approveda
LRCA Proposition 10 Term limits Provides that members of board of emergency service districts have four year term limits Approveda
LRCA Proposition 11 Eminent domain Limits the taking private property for public use Approveda


See also: Washington 2009 ballot measures

November 4

Type Title Subject Description Result
ITP Initiative 1033 Taxes Limits growth of certain state, county and city revenue to annual inflation and population growth Defeatedd
VR Referendum 71 Marriage Expands the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded to state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses Approveda

May statewide


See also: May 19, 2009 ballot measures in California

In order to free up $5.8 billion to help close the state's $42 billion budget gap, a special election took place on May 19 where voters statewide voted on a package of constitutional amendments.[1]

Type Title Subject Description Result
LRCA Proposition 1A Taxes Prop 1A combines a 4-year tax hike of about $16 billion with a state spending cap Defeatedd
LRCA Proposition 1B Budget Modification of California Proposition 98 (1998) to free up money for state's budget overruns. Defeatedd
LRCA Proposition 1C Budget Sell rights to future lottery proceeds as a way of raising some cash now for state budget. Defeatedd
LRSS Proposition 1D Budget Asks voters to approve taking money from Prop 10 in 1998 for purposes not allowed in that 1998 vote. Defeatedd
LRSS Proposition 1E Budget Asks voters to take money from Prop 63 for purposes not allowed in that 2004 vote. Defeatedd
LRCA Proposition 1F Budget No pay raises for state legislators in years when there is a state budget deficit Approveda

Hundreds of local measures

See also: Local ballot measure elections in 2009

Local ballot measures were on the November 3, 2009 ballot in at least 29 states.

See also

External links

Additional reading