2012 ballot measure petition signature costs

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Cost Per Required Signature

Analysis (2012)
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Overview
State by state
Most expensive breakdown
Cost per signature rankings
Category breakdowns
Methodology

August 2013

By Joshua Williams and Damien Gilbert

How much money did initiative sponsors spend per signature to qualify their initiatives in 2012?

This article compares and contrasts signature-collection costs for statewide ballot initiatives based on Cost Per Required Signature, or CPRS. When citizens want to change the law through initiative and referendum, they must start by collecting petition signatures. With enough signatures, the initiative may be placed on the ballot for vote. However, the required number of signatures needed for a state wide ballot ranges from tens to hundreds of thousands, depending on the state. Petition circulation timelines also vary by state for those that have one, but fall into the range of 60 days to 4 years. States also have petition drive deadlines to qualify for elections the same year. The amount of signatures gathered will vary from initiative to initiative. Some committees aim to have rather large cushions if they are afraid of disqualification, while others barely top the requirement.

It is difficult to know exactly how many valid signatures were gathered because the information is not always readily available. This is especially true in states, such as California, where signatures are submitted to each of the state's 58 counties, rather than to one central election office. If it were possible to know exactly how many signatures each initiative sponsor submitted in each state and exactly how many of those signatures are valid, it would be possible to calculate a "cost-per-actual-signature" figure for every initiative in every state, which would allow an apples-to-apples comparison. Instead, this report relies on the "cost-per-required-signature" figure to generate a standardized comparison.

The cost per require signature is a comparison of the amount of money spent on the petition drive in comparison to the number of signatures the state requires for an initiative to make the ballot.

General Disclaimer: All calculations are only as accurate as the data made available through the data sources.

[edit]

In 2012, more than 550 initiatives were proposed, However, only 61 initiatives were voted on.[1] Table 1 below is a general overview of CPRS data broken down by cost range.

QUICK STATISTICS:

  • A total of $51,907,081.64 was identified as having been spent on petition signature gathering.
  • An average of $4.06 was spent per required signature for all initiatives based on available data.
  • The state with the highest CPRS in 2012 was Ohio, with an average cost of $6.05 per required signature. Ohio only had one initiative on the ballot.
  • No data on signature gathering could be reliably identified for any initiatives in four states: Idaho, Maryland, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Campaign finance websites for these states do not list the level of detail required to perform a CPRS analysis.
  • Three additional states had at least one measure where no data on signature gathering could be reliably be identified: Alaska, Michigan, and Montana. Measures without CPRS scores in these states is due to reasons such as they did not use or report in their campaign finance disclosure forms identifiable signature collection companies.
Table 1: Overview Summary of Results
State # of Initiatives Initiative CPRS Range Average CPRS
No Data < $2 $2 - $4 $4 - $6 $6 - $8 $8 - $10 > $10
Alaska 2 1 - 1 - - - - $2.32
Arizona 2 - - 1 1 - - - $3.65
Arkansas 1 - - 1 - - - - $2.06
California 13 - 2 9 - - 1 1 $4.07
Colorado 2 - 1 1 - - - - $1.83
Idaho 3 3 - - - - - - -
Maine 1 - - 1 - - - - $2.63
Maryland 3 3 - - - - - - -
Massachusetts 3 - - 1 2 - - - $4.43
Michigan 6 1 1 - 2 2 - - $5.18
Missouri 2 - - - 1 1 - - $5.46
Montana 2 1 1 - - - - - $1.67
North Dakota 6 6 - - - - - - -
Ohio 1 - - - - 1 - - $6.05
Oregon 7 - - 3 4 - - - $4.11
South Dakota 3 3 - - - - - - -
Washington 4 - 1 1 1 - - 1 $4.80
SUM 61 18 6 19 11 4 1 2 $4.30

Contents
1 States
1.1 Alaska
1.2 Arizona
1.3 Arkansas
1.4 California
1.5 Colorado
1.6 Idaho
1.7 Maine
1.8 Maryland
1.9 Massachusetts
1.10 Michigan
1.11 Missouri
1.12 Montana
1.13 North Dakota
1.14 Ohio
1.15 Oregon
1.16 South Dakota
1.17 Washington

Tables 2A through 2Q below present individual CPRS data for all initiatives in 2012.

Alaska

See also: Alaska signature requirements, Alaska 2012 ballot measures
Table 2A: Alaska CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Ballot Measure 1 (August) Taxes -- -- 25,875 --
Ballot Measure 2 (August) Environment -- $60,000[2] 25,875 $2.32
TOTAL: $60,000

Disclaimer:

  • No CPRS data was identified for Measure 1.[3]
  • While no signature collection company was identified for Measure 2, six expenditures were made to Scott Kohlhaas of Anchorage, Alaska, for "signature gathering consult[ation] and logistics."[2]

Arizona

See also: Arizona signature requirements, Arizona 2012 ballot measures
Table 2B: Arizona CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Proposition 121 Admin. of gov't. Riester Consulting Company $883,867.03[4] 259,213 $3.41
Proposition 204 Taxes Riester Consulting Company $691,577.39[5] 172,808 $4.00
TOTAL: $1,575,444.42

Arkansas

See also: Arkansas signature requirements, Arkansas 2012 ballot measures
Table 2C: Arkansas CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Issue 5 Marijuana -- $128,623.43[6] 62,507 $2.06
TOTAL: $128,623.43

Disclaimer:

  • Backers of Issue 5, "Arkansans for Compassionate Care," did not report use of a signature collection company. The CPRS data includes expenditures paid to individual signature gathers ($113,460.41) and the cost of printing petitions ($15,163.02).[6]

California

See also: California signature requirements, California 2012 ballot propositions
Table 2D: California CPRS[7]
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Proposition 28 (June) Term limits Kimball Petition Management $1,424,087[8] 694,354 $2.05
Proposition 29 (June) Taxes Arno Political Consultants $663,867[8] 433,971 $1.53
Proposition 30 Taxes Kimball Petition Management $8,773,490[8] 807,615 $10.86
Proposition 31 Gov't finance Progressive Campaigns (PCI) $2,806,880[8] 807,615 $3.48
Proposition 32 Labor Bader & Associates $1,170,886[8] 504,760 $2.32
Proposition 33 Insurance Arno Political Consultants $1,700,916[8] 504,760 $3.37
Proposition 34 Death penalty Kimball Petition Management $1,418,122[8] 504,760 $2.81
Proposition 35 Law enforcement Progressive Campaigns (PCI) $1,437,523[8] 504,760 $2.85
Proposition 36 Law enforcement Progressive Campaigns (PCI) $1,475,775[8] 504,760 $2.92
Proposition 37 Business Masterson & Wright $1,463,968[8] 504,760 $2.90
Proposition 38 Taxes Arno Political Consultants, 12 others $4,952,513[8] 504,760 $9.81
Proposition 39 Taxes Masterson & Wright $1,796,003[8] 504,760 $3.56
Proposition 40 Redistricting Bader & Associates $584,126[8] 504,760 $1.18
TOTAL: $28,244,069

Colorado

See also: Colorado signature requirements, Colorado 2012 ballot measures
Table 2E: Colorado CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Amendment 64 Marijuana -- $211,369.21[9] 85,853 $2.46
Amendment 65 Elections Work for Progress $103,420[10] 85,853 $1.20
TOTAL: $314,789.21

Disclaimer:

  • Amendment 64 used multiple signature gathers, including Lamm Consulting, Rocky Mountain Voter Outreach, and individual petitioners.[9]

Idaho

See also: Idaho signature requirements, Idaho 2012 ballot measures
Table 2F: Idaho CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Proposition 1 Education -- -- 47,432 --
Proposition 2 Education -- -- 47,432 --
Proposition 3 Education -- -- 47,432 --
TOTAL: --

Disclaimer:

  • No data related specifically to petition drives and signature collection could be reliably identified.[11]

Maine

See also: Maine signature requirements, Maine 2012 ballot measures
Table 2G: Maine CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Question 1 Marriage None $150,468.75[12] 57,277 $2.63
TOTAL: $150,468.75

Disclaimer:

  • The CPRS data for Question 1 includes the cumulative expenditures on hourly canvassers, salaried canvass staff, and printing/website costs ($115,759.51, $28,232.03, and $6,477.21 respectively). Expenditures on salaried field staff added to $57,906.96, but are not included in the above total due to the uncertainty of the responsibilities of these workers. Adding these expenditures to the above chart would bring the total cost to $208,375.71 and the CPRS to $3.64.[12]

Maryland

See also: Maryland signature requirements, Maryland 2012 ballot measures
Table 2H: Maryland CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Question 4 Education -- -- 55,736 --
Question 5 Redistricting -- -- 55,736 --
Question 6 Marriage -- -- 55,736 --
TOTAL: --

Disclaimer:

  • No expenditures relating to the petition drive or signature gathering could be reliably identified for Questions 4, 5, or 6.[13]

Massachusetts

See also: Massachusetts signature requirements, Massachusetts 2012 ballot measures
Table 2I: Massachusetts CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Question 1 Business Spoonworks, Inc. $345,000.00[14] 80,396 $4.29
Question 2 Assisted death Spoonworks, Inc. $291,250.00[14] 80,396 $3.62
Question 3 Marijuana Spoonworks, Inc. $433,000.00[14] 80,396 $5.39
TOTAL: $1,069,250.00

Disclaimer:

  • Massachusetts follows an indirect initiated state statute system. As is such, in 2012 initiative backers needed 68,911 signature to have their initiative sent to the legislature for consideration. After that, when the legislature failed to approve the proposal, initiative backers needed an additional 11,485 signatures to have it sent to the ballot for voter consideration.
  • Question 1 required an average of $4.28 per signature for the first petition, and an additional $4.35 per signature for the second petition.[14]
  • Question 2 required an average of $2.99 per signature for the first petition, and an additional $7.40 per signature for the second petition.[14]
  • Question 3 required an average of $5.08 per signature for the first petition, and an additional $7.23 per signature for the second petition.[14]

Michigan

See also: Michigan signature requirements, Michigan 2012 ballot measures
Table 2J: Michigan CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Proposal 1 Admin of Gov't -- -- 161,304 --
Proposal 2 Labor -- $447,025.59[15] 322,609 $1.39
Proposal 3 Energy PCI Consultants Inc. $1,597,179.12[16] 322,609 $4.95
Proposal 4 Labor PCI Consultants Inc. $1,657,336.37[17] 322,609 $5.14
Proposal 5 Taxes Silver Bullet LLC $2,200,694.62[18] 322,609 $6.82
Proposal 6 Transportation Silver Bullet LLC $2,445,529.51[19] 322,609 $7.58
TOTAL: $8,347,765.21

Disclaimer:

  • CPRS data for Proposition 1 are based on campaign finance reports from Stand Up For Democracy. No information was found related specifically to petition signature gathering.[20]
  • CPRS data for Proposition 2 are based on campaign finance reports from Protect Working Families. A fraction of a percent of the cost above was attributed to an entity separate from the main signature collection company for petition storage.[15]
  • CPRS data for Proposition 3 are based on campaign finance reports from Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs. A fraction of a percent of the cost above was attributed to an entity separate from the main signature collection company for petition printing.[16]
  • CPRS data for Proposition 4 are based on campaign finance reports from Citizens For Affordable Quality Home Care. Approximately 7% of the value listed above was designated to entities separate from the main signature collection company for signature gathering and petition printing.[17]
  • CPRS data for Proposition 5 are based on campaign finance reports from Michigan Alliance For Prosperity. A little under 2% of the value listed above was designated to entities separate from the main signature collection company for signature gathering and petition printing.[18]
  • CPRS data for Proposition 6 are based on campaign finance reports from The People Should Decide. Approximately 3% of the cost above was attributed to Silver Bullet for consulting. A fraction of a percent of the cost above was attributed to other entities for signature gathering.[19]

Missouri

See also: Missouri signature requirements, Missouri 2012 ballot measures
Table 2K: Missouri CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Proposition A Law enforcement National Petition Management $628,295.60[21] 146,907 $4.28
Proposition B Tobacco Fieldworks, LLC $675,843.40[21] 91,818 $7.36
TOTAL: $1,304,139.00

Disclaimer:

  • Due to the structuring of Missouri signature requirements, the CPRS is based on lowest possible district combination of required votes.
  • CPRS data for Proposition A are based on campaign finance reports from A Safer Missouri. Approximately 8% of the value listed above was designated to National Petition Management outside of the normal petition drive dates.[21]
  • CPRS data for Proposition B are based on campaign finance reports from Missourians For Health And Education.[21]

Montana

See also: Montana signature requirements, Montana 2012 ballot measures
Table 2L: Montana CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
IR-124 Marijuana M+R Strategic Services $40,668.77[22] 24,337 $1.67
I-166 Elections -- -- 24,337 --
TOTAL: $40,668.77

Disclaimer:

  • CPRS data for IR-124 are based on campaign finance reports from Patients for Reform not Repeal. 95% of the value of listed above is attributed to M+R Strategic Services for "petition drive support, "paid signature gathers" and "committee public relations." The other 5% is attributed to other entities for "printing petitions reimbursement."[22]
  • CPRS data for I-166 are based on campaign finance reports from Stand with Montanans_Corporations Aren't People-Ban Corporate Campaign Spending. While M+R Strategic Services was likely the group helping with petition efforts, available information is not conclusive enough to attribute any particular costs to the petition drive.[22]

North Dakota

See also: North Dakota signature requirements, North Dakota 2012 ballot measures
Table 2M: North Dakota CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Measure 2 (June) Taxes -- -- 26,904 --
Measure 3 (June) Religion -- -- 26,904 --
Measure 4 (June) Motto and symbols -- -- 13,452 --
Measure 3 Animal rights -- -- 26,904 --
Measure 4 Smoking bans -- -- 13,452 --
Measure 5 Treatment of animals -- -- 13,452 --
TOTAL: --

Disclaimer:

  • North Dakota campaign finance disclosure forms are not detailed enough to distinguish petition drives and signature collection costs.[23] Furthermore, North Dakota laws prohibit paying by the signature.
  • Groups searches for the six measures above are as follows: Empower The Taxpayer, Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment Committee, Committee for Understanding and Respect, The Feeding Families Committee, Smoke Free North Dakota and North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty'.'

Ohio

See also: Ohio signature requirements, Ohio 2012 ballot measures
Table 2N: Ohio CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Issue 2 Redistricting Fieldworks, LLC $2,329,034.00[24] 385,247 $6.05
TOTAL: $2,329,034.00

Disclaimer:

  • CPRS data for Issue 2 is based on filings from Voters First, the main backers of the petition drive. However, other groups such as We Are Ohio, were also reported as having helped with the petition drive.[25]

Oregon

See also: Oregon signature requirements, Oregon 2012 ballot measures
Table 2O: Oregon CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Measure 79 Taxes -- $289,205.30[26] 116,283 $2.49
Measure 80 Marijuana -- $216,332.17[27] 87,213 $2.48
Measure 81 Animal rights NW Democracy Resources $388,166.50[28] 87,213 $4.45
Measure 82 Gambling -- $589,582.74[29] 116,283 $5.07
Measure 83 Gambling -- $442,190.85[29] 87,213 $5.07
Measure 84 Taxes Voice of the Electorate, LLC $508,728.54[30] 87,213 $5.83
Measure 85 Taxes Democracy Resources $436,449.57[31] 116,283 $3.75
TOTAL: $2,870,655.67

Disclaimer:

  • CPRS data for Measure 79 are based on campaign finance reports from Protect Our Homes 2012 specifically labeled as "Petition Circulators." However, the organization related to this expenditure, the Oregon Association of Realtors, had at total of $776,877.83 in various expense, much of which was not clearly labeled.[26]
  • CPRS data for Measure 80 are based on campaign finance reports from Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012. The group appears to have organized the signature collection drive themselves, and the data are based on all entries labeled as for the purpose of "Petition Circulators," "Petition Supplies," or to people with an occupation described as "Petitioner" or "Circulator."[27]
  • CPRS data for Measure 81 are based on campaign finance reports from Protect Our Salmon Committee. Data are based on all expenditures paid to NW Democracy Resources, of which approximately 1% was not labeled as for "Petition Circulators."[28]
  • CPRS data for Measure 82 and Measure 83 are based on campaign finance reports from Vote Yes for Oregon Jobs and Schools. Costs were calculated based on "in-kind contributions" from Portland Entertainment Group and Oregon Entertainment Center in relation to petition circulation. As data between the two measures are not separated, costs were divided proportionally between the two measures. Any small fraction of costs required for the related local measure in Wood Village City were not separated out.[29]
  • CPRS data for Measure 84 are based on campaign finance reports from Death Tax Phase-Out Committee. The vast majority of costs are calculated from expenditures made to the main signature collection company, Voice of the Electorate, LLC, but approximately 2% is from other organizations.[30]
  • CPRS data for Measure 85 are based on campaign finance reports from Protect Oregon's Priorities. The majority of costs are calculated from expenditures made to the main signature collection company, Democracy Resources, but approximately 26% of the money is from "in-kind contributions" labeled for the purpose of "Petition Circulators" from related initiative committees.[31]

South Dakota

See also: South Dakota signature requirements, South Dakota 2012 ballot measures
Table 2P: South Dakota CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Referred Law 14 Taxes -- -- 15,855 --
Referred Law 16 Labor -- -- 15,855 --
Initiated Measure 15 Taxes -- -- 15,855 --
TOTAL: --

Disclaimer:

  • South Dakota campaign finance disclosure forms are not detailed enough to distinguish petition drive or signature collection costs.[32] Furthermore, South Dakota laws prohibit paying by the signature. Paying signature collectors an hourly wage and bonuses is acceptable, however.

Washington

See also: Washington signature requirements, Washington 2012 ballot measures
Table 2Q: Washington CPRS
Ballot measure Subject Signature collection company Cost Signatures required CPRS
Initiative 1185 Taxes Citizen Solutions, Inc. $623,324.99[33] 120,577 $5.17
Initiative 1240 Education PCI Consultants, Inc. $2,589,395.78[34] 241,153 $10.74
Referendum 74 Marriage -- $57,183.81[35] 241,153 $0.24
Initiative 502 Marijuana PCI Consultants, Inc. $778,182.60[36] 241,153 $3.23
TOTAL: $4,048,087.18

Disclaimer:

  • Backers of Referendum 74 reported expenses relating to signature gathering made up of petition printing services ($41,764.96 between two companies) and signature gathering services ($15,418.85 to a "Vanalstine Enterprises"). However, the petition drives for the referendum are believed to have been largely collected at churches and other such locations.[37][35]
  • Backers of Initiative 502 also paid $328 to a single individual that was listed as signature gathering. That amount was included in the above total.[36]

By CPRS

Table 3A below indicates which individual initiative in each state spent the most per signature.

QUICK STATISTICS

  • The state with the most expensive CPRS was California with $10.86
Table 3A: Most expensive initiative per state by CPRS
State Most expensive CPRS Signature collection company
Alaska Ballot Measure 2 (August) $2.32 -
Arizona Proposition 204 $4.00 Riester Consulting Company
Arkansas Issue 5 $2.06 -
California Proposition 30 $10.86 Kimball Petition Management
Colorado Amendment 64 $2.46 -
Idaho - - -
Maine Question 1 $2.63 -
Maryland - - -
Massachusetts Question 3 $5.39 Spoonworks, Inc.
Michigan Proposal 6 $7.58 Silver Bullet LLC
Missouri Proposition B $7.36 Fieldworks, LLC
Montana IR-124 $1.67 M+R Strategic Services
North Dakota - - -
Ohio Issue 2 $6.05 Fieldworks, LLC
Oregon Measure 84 $5.83 Voice of the Electorate, LLC
South Dakota - - -
Washington Initiative 1185 $10.74 PCI Consultants, Inc.

By total cost

Table 3B below presents the most expensive initiative by total amount spent on a petition drive by state.

QUICK STATISTICS

  • The state with the most expensive initiative by total amount spent on a petition drive was California with $10.86 $8,773,490.
Table 3B: Most expensive initiative per state by total cost
State Most expensive $$$ Signature collection company
Alaska Ballot Measure 2 (August) $60,000 -
Arizona Proposition 121 $883,867.03 Riester Consulting Company
Arkansas Issue 5 $128,623.43 -
California Proposition 30 $8,773,490 Kimball Petition Management
Colorado Amendment 64 $211,369.21 -
Idaho - - -
Maine Question 1 $150,468.75 -
Maryland - - -
Massachusetts Question 3 $433,000.00 Spoonworks, Inc.
Michigan Proposal 6 $2,445,529.51 Silver Bullet LLC
Missouri Proposition B $675,843.40 Fieldworks, LLC
Montana IR-124 $40,668.77 M+R Strategic Services
North Dakota - - -
Ohio Issue 2 $2,329,034.00 Fieldworks, LLC
Oregon Measure 84 $508,728.54 Voice of the Electorate, LLC
South Dakota - - -
Washington Initiative 1185 $2,589,395.78 PCI Consultants, Inc.

Note: No data on signature gathering could be reliably identified for any initiatives in four states: Idaho, Maryland, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Campaign finance websites for these states do not list the level of detail required to perform a CPRS analysis.

Table 4 below presents a ranking of initiatives, from highest to lowest, by the cost per required signatures. Initiatives that did not hire an identifiable signature collection company were not included in the chart.

QUICK STATISTICS

  • 43 measures had identifiable details regarding petition drives.
  • 33 measures received help from identifiable signature collection companies.
Table 4: Initiatives ranked by CPRS
Rank State Measure Topic Signature collection company CPRS
1 California Proposition 30 Taxes Kimball Petition Management $10.86
2 Washington Initiative 1240 Education PCI Consultants, Inc. $10.74
3 California Proposition 38 Taxes Arno Political Consultants, 12 others $9.81
4 Michigan Proposal 6 Transportation Silver Bullet LLC $7.58
5 Missouri Proposition B Tobacco Fieldworks, LLC $7.36
6 Michigan Proposal 5 Taxes Silver Bullet LLC $6.82
7 Ohio Issue 2 Redistricting Fieldworks, LLC $6.05
8 Oregon Measure 84 Taxes Voice of the Electorate, LLC $5.83
9 Massachusetts Question 3 Marijuana Spoonworks, Inc. $5.39
10 Washington Initiative 1185 Taxes Citizen Solutions, Inc. $5.17
11 Michigan Proposal 4 Labor PCI Consultants Inc. $5.14
12 Oregon Measure 82 Gambling -- $5.07
13 Oregon Measure 83 Gambling -- $5.07
13 Michigan Proposal 3 Energy PCI Consultants Inc. $4.95
15 Oregon Measure 81 Animal rights NW Democracy Resources $4.45
16 Massachusetts Question 1 Business Spoonworks, Inc. $4.29
17 Missouri Proposition A Law enforcement National Petition Management $4.28
18 Arizona Proposition 204 Taxes Riester Consulting Company $4.00
19 Oregon Measure 85 Taxes Democracy Resources $3.75
20 Massachusetts Question 2 Assisted death Spoonworks, Inc.[11] $3.62
21 California Proposition 39 Taxes Masterson & Wright $3.56
22 California Proposition 31 Gov't Finances Progressive Campaigns (PCI) $3.48
23 Arizona Proposition 121 Admin of Gov't Riester Consulting Company $3.41
24 California Proposition 33 Insurance Arno Political Consultants $3.37
25 Washington Initiative 502 Marijuana PCI Consultants, Inc. $3.23
26 California Proposition 36 Law enforcement Progressive Campaigns (PCI) $2.92
27 California Proposition 37 Business Masterson & Wright $2.90
28 California Proposition 35 Law enforcement Progressive Campaigns (PCI) $2.85
29 California Proposition 34 Death penalty Kimball Petition Management $2.81
30 Maine Question 1 Marriage -- $2.63
31 Oregon Measure 79 Taxes -- $2.49
32 Oregon Measure 80 Marijuana -- $2.48
33 Colorado Amendment 64 Marijuana -- $2.46
34 Alaska Ballot Measure 2 (August) Environment -- $2.32
35 California Proposition 32 Labor Bader & Associates $2.32
36 Arkansas Issue 5 Marijuana -- $2.06
37 California Proposition 28 (June) Term limits Kimball Petition Management $2.05
38 Montana IR-124 Marijuana M+R Strategic Services $1.67
39 California Proposition 29 (June) Taxes Arno Political Consultants $1.53
40 Michigan Proposal 2 Labor -- $1.39
41 Colorado Amendment 65 Elections Work for Progress $1.20
42 California Proposition 40 Redistricting Bader & Associates $1.18
43 Washington Referendum 74 Marriage -- $0.24

Table 5 below presents a breakdown of the main signature collection companies used by all initiatives in 2012. In some cases other services were also used in relation to the petition drive.

QUICK STATISTICS

Table 5: CPRS breakdown by petition management company
Signature collection company # of petition drives managed Average CPRS States involved
PCI Consultants Inc. 7 $4.19 California, Michigan, Washington
Arno Political Consultants 3 $5.07 California
Kimball Petition Management 3 $5.79 California
Spoonworks, Inc. 3 $4.43 Massachusetts
Bader & Associates 2 $1.74 California
Fieldworks, LLC 2 $6.30 Missouri, Ohio
Masterson & Wright 2 $3.23 California
Riester Consulting Company 2 $3.65 Arizona
Silver Bullet LLC 2 $7.20 Michigan
Citizen Solutions, Inc. 1 $5.17 Washington
Democracy Resources 1 $3.75 Oregon
M+R Strategic Services 1 $1.67 Montana
National Petition Management 1 $4.28 Missouri
NW Democracy Resources 1 $4.45 Oregon
Voice of the Electorate, LLC 1 $5.83 Oregon
Work for Progress 1 $1.20 Colorado

Table 6 below presents a breakdown of initiatives by political topic. Only political categories with two or more initiatives with CPRS data were included in this table.

QUICK STATS

  • The topic of taxes had the most initiatives and the highest CPRS data.
  • The topic of marijuana had the second most initiatives, but Gambling had the second highest CPRS.
Table 6: CPRS breakdown by topic
Political topic Number of initiatives relating to topic Average CPRS
Taxes 10 $6.57
Marijuana 6 $3.11
Law enforcement 3 $3.06
Labor 3 $2.85
Gambling 2 $5.07
Business 2 $3.60
Redistricting 2 $3.27
Marriage 2 $0.70

This analysis uses the following general methodology:

  • All data are compiled from data made available through each states respective campaign finance website.
  • Individual initiative data are obtained from available reports from the main committee believed to have been in charge of the petition effort.
  • All costs that could be directly related to petitions, including petition gathering and petition printing, were accumulated. When a petition company is used, the company is listed even though all costs may not be directly associated.
  • All averages are calculated using only available data. When an initiative did not have available data, it is excluded from such calculations.
  • All averages are averages of totals, not averages of averages.

See also

Ballot measures

CPRS

References

  1. 63 initiatives were voted on if one includes two Arkansas measures that were not tallied due to litigation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 State of Alaska, "Alaska Sea Party: Restoring Coastal Management" Group Disclosure, Accessed July 3, 2013
  3. State of Alaska, "'YES on Issue 1' Campaign Disclosure: Expenditures", Accessed July 3, 2013
  4. Arizona Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance - Filer Details: Open Government Committee Supporting Prop 121," Accessed July 2, 2013
  5. Arizona Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance - Filer Details: Quality Education and Jobs Supporting Prop 204," Accessed July 2, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Arkansas Ethics Commission, "Ballot/Legislative Question Committee Filing: Arkansans for Compassionate Care," Accessed July 3, 2013
  7. CPRS data for California is based directly on research imported from California ballot initiative petition signature costs.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 Ballotpedia, California ballot initiative petition signature costs, Accessed: July 1, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Colorado Secretary of State Election Division, "Committee Detail: Coalition to End Marijuana Prohibition," Accessed July 11, 2013
  10. Colorado Secretary of State Election Division, "Committee Detail: Fair Share Committee to Get Big Money Out of Politics," Accessed July 11, 2013
  11. Idaho Secretary of State Election Division, "Campaign Finance," Accessed July 12, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, "PAC Reports For EqualityMaine PAC," Accessed July 12, 2013
  13. Maryland State Board of Elections, "Maryland Campaign Report Information System," Accessed July 12, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, "Ballot Question Reports," Accessed July 6, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 State of Michigan Department of State, "Michigan Committee Statement of Organization: Protect Working Families" Accessed July 6, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 State of Michigan Department of State, "Michigan Committee Statement of Organization Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs" Accessed July 6, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 State of Michigan Department of State, "Michigan Committee Statement of Organization: Citizens For Affordable Quality Home Care" Accessed July 6, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 State of Michigan Department of State, "Michigan Committee Statement of Organization: Michigan Alliance For Prosperity" Accessed July 6, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 State of Michigan Department of State, "Michigan Committee Statement of Organization: The People Should Decide" Accessed July 6, 2013
  20. State of Michigan Department of State, "Michigan Committee Statement of Organization: Stand Up For Democracy" Accessed July 6, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Missouri Ethics Commission, "Campaign Finance, Accessed July 6, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Commissioner of Political Practices, "Campaign Report Search," Accessed July 6, 2013
  23. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Campaign Disclosure," Accessed July 5, 2013
  24. Ohio Secretary of State, "File Transfer Page: PAC-VOTERS FIRST-2012 EXPENDITURE," December 14, 2012
  25. The Columbus Dispatch, "We Are Ohio pushes for redistricting reform," May 21, 2012
  26. 26.0 26.1 Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee: Protect Oregon Homes 2012," Accessed July 5, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee: Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012," Accessed July 5, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee: Protect Our Salmon Committee," Accessed July 5, 2013
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee: Vote Yes for Oregon Jobs and Schools," Accessed July 5, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee: Death Tax Phase-Out Committee," Accessed July 5, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee: Protect Oregon's Priorities," Accessed July 5, 2013
  32. South Dakota Secretary of State, "Donation Search," Accessed July 3, 2013
  33. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Expenditures for: VOTERS WANT MORE CHOICES - SAVE THE 2/3RDS (MIKE FAGAN)," Accessed July 3, 2013
  34. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Expenditures for: YES ON 1240 WA COALITION FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS," Accessed July 3, 2013
  35. 35.0 35.1 Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Expenditures for: PRESERVE MARRIAGE WA," Accessed July 3, 2013
  36. 36.0 36.1 Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Expenditures for: NEW APPROACH WA," Accessed July 3, 2013
  37. Batchgeo.com, "Regional Petition Centers for Referendum 74," Accessed July 3, 2013