Ballotpedia's 2011 Ballot Measure Breakdown: All states
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By Al Ortiz
ALL STATES, United States: In the past month, alphabetical breakdowns by state of ballot measures for 2011 have given a view what's exactly on the ballot by state, who supports or opposes those proposals, and what impacts those measures may have.
In all, there are 34 ballot measures in 9 states slated for statewide votes this year.
The following is a quick summary of what has been covered in each state in each Ballotpedia breakdown article.
|State||Number of measures in 2009||Number of measures in 2011||Change between the two years|
Arkansas and Colorado
|Breakdown of 2011 ballot measures: Arkansas and Colorado|
It is uncommon to find a measure on an Arkansas statewide ballot in an odd-numbered year. Dating back to 1991, according to Ballotpedia's database of Arkansas ballot measures, there have been no statewide proposals for voters to vote on in odd-numbered years.
The state of Colorado, unlike Arkansas, has seen ballot measures in odd-numbered years in the most recent decade. In 2005, voters saw two measures on the ballot, both legislatively-referred state statutes. Previously, in 2003, Colorado residents defeated all three questions on the ballot. Two were initiated constitutional amendments, while the other was a legislative referral.
In November 2011, votes will be cast for the controversial Proposition 103 initiative. The initiated state statute would increase the state income and sales tax. Specifically, it would increase the state income tax to 5 percent and the sales tax to 3 percent.
Louisiana and Maine
|Breakdown of 2011 ballot measures: Louisiana and Maine|
The election for five out of the six measures on the ballot in Louisiana came and went. The election was held on October 22, 2011, where residents had a chance to vote on three state budget measures, one health care proposal and one tax question. See the results here.
Jumping to the November 19 statewide election, voters will get to decide on one constitutional amendment. Amendment 1 would prohibit levying new taxes or fees upon the sale or transfer of immovable property.
Although the state of Maine's 2011 ballot is three questions smaller than in 2009, controversy continues to hover around the election. Two of the four measures deal with gambling, and they have gained the most attention in the state, one relating to racinos, another regarding slot machines. Question 2 would allow a racino facility at a harness racing track in Biddeford and at a harness racing track in Washington County. Question 3 would allow a casino with table games and slot machines in Lewiston, Maine.
Mississippi and New Jersey
|Breakdown of 2011 ballot measures: Mississippi and New Jersey|
Mississippi residents haven't seen any ballot measures in seven years, and the last decided measure was a legislative referral, not a citizens' initiative like this year's proposals. However, similarly to that measure, which dealt with marriage in the state, the citizen initiatives scheduled for the November 8, 2011 election offer contentious political topics to be discussed.
The three ballot proposals this year offer what is being called by reports a "trifecta" of ballot measures backed by Republican supporters. Topics include: abortion, voter identification, and eminent domain.
In the past two years, residents in New Jersey have voted on one ballot measure per election. This year is no different. New Jersey voters will head to the polls on November 8 to decide on a lone ballot measure dealing with sports betting - Public Question 1.
However, the effects of the measure, if enacted by a majority vote, can be confusing due to federal mandates that are currently in effect.
Despite being referred to the ballot by the state legislature and calling for a constitutional amendment, the measure is not binding. Sports betting would not be allowed in the state until a federal law that limits sports betting in four states is repealed or overturned.
Ohio and Texas
|Breakdown of 2011 ballot measures: Ohio and Texas|
The Ohio ballot has 3 measures that have gained attention across the state, but not one has been greater than Issue 2. The measure could be the biggest statewide ballot measure across the country in terms of campaign contributions, possible impacts, controversies surrounding ballot text and campaign advertisements, and the multiple endorsements both in favor and in opposition to the measure.
This veto referendum against the Senate Bill 5 collective bargaining bill were on the November 2011 ballot. Voters will decide whether or not to repeal SB 5, legislation signed in March 2011 that would limit collective bargaining for public employees in the state.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the state's ballot measure count. Texans will get a chance to vote on 10 ballot measures referred by the state legislature, one less than 2009's ballot. A small theme of this year's ballot, a direct result of the ongoing drought in the region, is the state's water supply. Lawmakers seeking solutions to ever-worsening shortages have placed two water-related constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Four other measures in the state deal with the administration of government topic. For example, Proposition 9 grant power to the Governor allowed to grant pardons related to deferred adjudication community supervision.
To view the Texas-sized ballot measure list that will face voters at the polls, click here.
|Breakdown of 2011 ballot measures: Washington|
Big developments have been quickly materializing in the state of Washington. Not only are there 5 ballot measures on the ballot, three more questions than there were in 2009, but campaign activity and contributions have been on a fast track this year.
Five questions are on the ballot for November 8, and one in particular has dominated headlines more so than others - Initiative 1183. The initiative would close state liquor stores and allow state licensing of private parties. Privately owned stores would be required to have at least 10,000 square feet of retail space to sell and distribute liquor. According to reports, the proposal has received a total of $34 million worth of contributions, from both supporters and opponents.
This makes Costco Wholesale the largest single donor to a ballot measure in state history, as previous reports stated the second largest donation made was $16.7 million by the American Beverage Association in 2010 to support Initiative 1107.
- 2011 ballot measures
- Ballotpedia:Analysis of the 2011 ballot measures
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2011
- Ballot Measure Scorecard, 2011