By Josh Altic
Voters cast their ballot on almost a thousand more measures in 2012 than in 2011 and bumped up the approval rating.
A total of 4,650 local ballot measures were decided in 2012. 74% of those measures were approved by voters. With nearly a thousand more measures than 2011, which saw 3,778 local measures, the approval rating increased by a little over three percent. 2011's approval rating was 71.7%.
By far the most measures were seen in Ohio. This state featured 1,471 different proposals, out of which voters approved 1,046. This gave Ohio an approval rating of 71.11%, just a little under the overall average approval rating from all states of 71.6%. Ohio's 2012 rate is almost three and a half percent lower than their 2011 approval rate of 75%. Washington, with 407 total measures, had the highest approval rating, 87.71%, showing an almost 15% increase from 2011. Arizona had the lowest approval rating for the year, 57.89%, with a total of 19 measures having been asked on the various ballots across the state.
To compare more detailed numbers in each state and in the different categories specially reported on by the writer, read the full report for 2012 and 2011. These reports feature local ballot measure statistics broken down into key categories including marijuana legalization, property taxes, sales taxes, County and City bonds, election and voting issues and annexation.
Ballotpedia annually reviews local measures in 11 states. Read more about Ballotpedia's coverage here.
Here are the totals for each state in 2012:
Winning percentage above 70% Winning percentage below 50%
|| Approved 2012 (2011)
|| Defeated 2012 (2011)
|| % approved 2012 (2011)
|| 74% (71.7%)
- See also: School bond and tax elections in Ohio
Ohio is one of a handful of states that expresses its property tax cap limit in the amount of mills using the mill rate formula over an mathematical formula. Ohio has a ten mill limit that is protected by the Ohio Constitution since 1953. Also, Ohio requires approval for any new bonding by the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Ohio uses an adjusted valuation per-pupil formula to determine which districts should get bonding. Districts with the lowest ratings are given first consideration in the process of getting a bond issue approved.
Supreme Court justices selection changes
Chief Justice Moyer, Ohio State Bar Association and the League of Women Voters all agree that a change is needed in how the Supreme Court justices are selected. On Friday November 20, the three parties agreed to work together to build a coalition that would support a constitutional amendment that would make it so that justices are appointed and stand for a retention election. Currently statewide elections are held to select justices. Moyer believes that there is a perception that campaign contributions influence judicial decisions. The suggested that early next year they would have a plan set out on how to go about these changes.