Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count holds steady as campaigns get into full swing (UPDATED)
By Bailey Ludlam
Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count is holding steady. With only a month left to go, the Tuesday Count is reporting a total of 179 certified ballot questions. Voters in 37 states will cast their votes on a grand total of 155 measures this November 2nd. The majority of those measures, according to our analysis, will be fiscal issues. Social topics (such as abortion, marriage, immigration, gambling) have dominated ballots in the past but this year make rare appearances.
The last of the primary ballot issues for 2010 was decided by voters in Louisiana this last weekend. Both measure gained approval, though as reported by the Louisiana Secretary of State, unofficial voter turnout was only around 19 percent. The first amendment, which sought to start legislative sessions a month earlier was approved with 370,353 people in favor, 63 percent. The second amendment, which sought to unclassify homeland security job status was approved with 305,996 votes in favor, 52 percent. Voters in the Southern state will cast their ballots yet again on November 2 where they decide on a 10 proposed amendments.
In Colorado, Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt dismissed a challenge to the state's Blue Book, also known as a voter guide. Supporters of the proposed Amendment 62, also known as the "Fetal Personhood Amendment," argued that the Blue Book misleads voters and misstates facts about the measure. On September 30, 2010, however, Judge Hyatt dismissed the filed lawsuit. According to the court's ruling the courts do not have a say in the matter. Judge Hyatt concluded that it is simply too late to make any changes to the state's voters guide. Proponents said they are likely to file an appeal.
In other legal developments, four lawmakers among eleven were indicted relating to the Alabama electronic bingo amendment. The proposed amendment faced a long debate in the 2010 legislative session, as the bill reached a milestone on March 31, 2010 after the Senate approved the proposal with a vote of 21-13. It then headed to the Alabama House of Representatives, where it required a similar vote in order to be placed on the ballot for voter approval. However, the legislative session ended before lawmakers could refer it to the ballot. The measure is now pending for the 2011 statewide ballot. According to reports, 11 people have been charged as part of a 39-count indictment in the federal corruption case, which includes four state senators.
SPOTLIGHT: Voters to decide fate of felons for office; good behavior or not
Former convicted felons in office are causing some debate in both Michigan and North Carolina. Voters in both states will have their say this November on allowing former convicted felons to take office.
Specifically, in Michigan, Proposal 2 calls for preventing any officeholder convicted of a felony involving deceit and fraud from holding public office for 20 years. According to reports the amendment would extend an existing 20-year ban on election of legislative officials who have been convicted of felonies involving "breach of public trust." The proposed amendment would broaden the ban to local and state elective offices and would specify "break of public trust" as including dishonesty, deceit and fraud.
|Regional Breakdown of 2010 ballot measures: Northwest|
In North Carolina, however, the proposed ban is narrowed to prohibiting felons from becoming sheriff in the state. The measure was introduced by Senator Stan Bingham during the week of May 17, 2010, in light of the Davidson County sheriff race where candidate Gerald Hege ran as a former convicted felon. Hege was running for the position five years after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges. His bid for the position failed.
THE BREAKDOWN BEGINS
Looking for a simplified breakdown of what's on the ballot in your state? Look no further. In the upcoming weeks to the election, Ballotpedia is publishing a series of Regional Breakdown articles that give you a quick snippet of this year's issues and measures. So keep a look out for these weekly updates.
With five regions in five weeks, last week Ballotpedia began it's breakdown with the Northwest region. Take a peek here. State's highlighted in the latest report include: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. Last but not least, local measure stats in the above stated states are also featured.
UPDATE: On October 6, Ballotpedia staff identified four measures in the state of New Mexico that were missed in the Tuesday Count. This bumps the number of measures on the upcoming November ballots to 159 questions. All four recently identified measures relate to bond issues and were legislatively-referred to the ballot on March 3, 2010.
| 2010 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2010 Scorecard|
|Analysis • Issues on ballot|
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2010
- Ballot initiatives filed for the 2010 ballot
- 2010 ballot measures
- Petition drive deadlines, 2010
- Local ballot measure elections in 2010