The Tuesday Count: 2011 ballot measure results give a segue to 2012

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November 15, 2011

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Edited by Al Ortiz

The November 8 elections are over, closing another chapter in ballot measure voting. Overall results from the election showed that 18 of 27 measures on November 8 general election ballots were approved.

For all 33 ballot measures that have so far been decided in 2011, 21 have been approved. That comes to an approval rating of 65% for ballot-certified proposals across the country. To read more about 2011 election results breakdowns, view Ballotpedia's ballot measure election review.

Even though the November 8 election is said and done, one last 2011 ballot measure election remains.

On Saturday, November 19, the state of Louisiana will hold a ballot measure election for the immovable property tax proposal. Also known as Amendment 1 or the "real estate transfer tax." The measure would prohibit levying new taxes or fees upon the sale or transfer of immovable property. The State of Louisiana is currently one of 13 states that does not have real estate transfer taxes.

However, New Orleans is currently the only parish in the state of Louisiana with a transfer tax. If the proposed amendment is approved, the New Orleans tax would be grandfathered and capped at the flat $325 rate for all property transfers. According to reports, the New Orleans tax generated $3.6 million in 2010 and is expected to generate $4.4 million in 2011.

Although Louisiana will hold the last remaining election in 2011, some loose ends are still left to be tied relating to results from November 8.

The New Jersey sports betting amendment appeared on the statewide general election ballot, with voters approving the proposal with 64% of 'yes' votes. Despite being referred to the ballot by the state legislature and calling for a constitutional amendment, the measure was not binding. Sports betting would not be allowed in the state until a federal law that limits sports betting in four states was repealed or overturned.

The effort to overturn that federal law has now surfaced at the right time for sports betting advocates. On November 9, immediately following the election, U.S. House Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. announced that he would introduce legislation in Congress on November 14 in efforts to lift the federal ban on sports betting in Atlantic City casino and New Jersey racetracks.[1][2]

Proposals with recent activity

Specifically, the legislation calls for removing the state of New Jersey from the federal ban and allowing a lottery, sweepstakes or other betting. The bill would not allow wagering on college games. If approved and enacted, the legislation would take effect immediately.

Other impacts made by 2011 ballot measures have been loud enough in some states to possibly echo all the way into 2012.

Already, there have been rumblings about proposed measures across the country similar to Mississippi's personhood measure. Although that measure failed, supporters of the "personhood" movement are marching forward with their proposals. There have been reports of eight different proposed measures that would define the term "person" in the state constitution as the start of biological development. The states with proposed measures are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nevada and Ohio.

Another social issue that could possibly be found often on the 2012 ballot is the issue of same-gender marriage.

In Maine, according to reports, the group Equality Maine collected about 100,000 signatures for their same-gender marriage proposal, with 36,000 of those signatures being collected on Election Day, surpassing the required number. The measure would overturn a voter-approved 2009 ballot measure that banned same-gender marriage in the state. That 2009 measure banned a legislatively approved law that allowed same-gender marriage. Despite the success in signature gathering, the group will decide whether to pursue the measure's ballot access in January 2012.[3]


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SPOTLIGHT:Local Election results for Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Missouri posted
The election held on November 8 hosted a fair number of measures on local ballots. In Arizona, nine counties had information posted on their election sites about measures on their ballots. There was a total of 59 measures reported, and of those, only 25 were approved - an approval rating of just 42.3% overall. There were 47 total measures that were about school issues. 29 of those measures were defeated for an approval rating of 38.3%.

In California, a total of twenty-four counties posted election information and listed 90 measures voted on by residents. Of those 90 measures, 62 were approved by voters; leading to an approval rating of 68.9% overall. Of those, 15 dealt with school parcel taxes and bonds, 11 of the school measures were approved leading to an approval rating of 73.3%.

In Florida, five counties posted election information on their websites with a total of 21 measures being voted on. Of those 21 measures, 14 were approved for a 66.7% overall approval rating.

In Michigan, forty-one counties had election information posted, 172 measures were decided and of those 120 were approved; an approval rating of 69.8%. Of those, 50 measures dealt with school bond and tax issues, 33 were approved with an approval rating of 66%.

In Missouri, just nine counties posted information about the election, a total of 14 measures were voted on and 9 of those were approved for a 64.3% approval rating. Only 1 measure dealt with a school tax. It was defeated.

The election results for Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin will be posted in the coming weeks.

In other news, in California, three counties are having an election today, November 15 where five measures are on the local ballots. In Oakland, the proposal to implement a parcel tax has been getting much debate in recent days. Occupy Oakland protesters were urging people to vote "no" on what they viewed as police brutality from the Oakland police.

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How many ballot measures were defeated during the November 8 election?
Click to find out!


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BALLOT LAW UPDATE
Ohio Referendum Signatures: Proponents of a veto referendum against HB 194 (an election overhaul bill that limits early and weekend voting) have failed to collect sufficient signatures to place the referendum on the ballot. However, under Ohio law, petitioners may submit additional signatures within 10 days of the Secretary of State's determination. Only Ohio and Arkansas allow petitioners to submit additional signatures after an official count. According to the Ohio Democratic Party, part of a coalition opposing the law, 150,000 supplementary signatures have already been collected. Only 10,000 more are needed.[4][5]

Oral arguments in sidewalk case: Last Wednesday, attorneys presented oral arguments in Initiative & Referendum Institute v. United States Postal Service. The US Court of Appeals in DC will decide whether the Postal Service may restrict signature gathering on the interior sidewalks of post office locations.[6]

A new update will be released on November 30. Click here for past Ballot Law Update reports!

See also

2011 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2011 Scorecard

References