As 2010 comes to a close, Ballotpedia wraps up ballot measure analysis

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December 15, 2010

By Bailey Ludlam and Al Ortiz:

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January 2011 marks the beginning of a new year for ballot measures, as Ballotpedia will turn to a new batch of election dates, legislative sessions, proposals and campaigns. Before 2010 ends, however, Ballotpedia has completed the last section of the 2010 ballot measure analysis, which breaks down election percentages by ballot measures' political issue.

As part of Ballotpedia's analysis following the November 2, 2010 general election a comprehensive chart was created to take a closer look at election result percentages by political category and how the country voted on certain issues. Only categories with 5 or more ballot measures on the ballot were included in the analysis.

The chart breaks down the number of measures per issue in all 2010 elections, as well as the number of measures per issue, the percentage of measures that failed and passed in each issue and the average margin of defeat and victory of rejected and approved measures in a given issue.

In analyzing the chart, it was found that the categories with the highest average margin of defeat was state budgets at 40%, while the highest average margin of victory was found in the hunting category at 56%. The category with both the lowest average margin of defeat and victory was bond issues at a 4% margin of defeat, and an 18% margin of victory.

With this final component of 2010 ballot measure analysis completed, Ballotpedia presents a rundown of what was completed over the course of the process. The main page of Ballotpedia's 2010 ballot measure analysis can be found here:

Statistical summary

This component includes election results of measures on all 2010 election ballots, including November 2. Some of the measures included are currently considered very close and may change results subject to official election counts. Also included is a breakdown of how many citizen initiatives were approved and defeated as well as legislative referrals. A section breaking down ballot measure results from the November 2, 2010 general election only was completed as well.

Initiative and Legislative referral changes

Citizen initiatives played a significant part in 2010, as a total of 50 appeared for certain state voters to decide on. A chart was compiled by Ballotpedia depicting the changes in the number of citizen initiatives on statewide ballots when comparing 2008 and 2010. All 26 initiative and referendum states were listed in the chart. Also included on the chart page was a chart showing the changes in the number of legislative referrals on statewide ballots when comparing 2008 and 2010.

Political issues on the ballot

In addition to the final component that was completed concerning political issues, a complete analysis was conducted before the general election on all political issues on the ballot. A complete chart of this breakdown was also constructed by Ballotpedia.

Initiative activity

Before initiatives can be certified for a statewide ballot, they must endure a lengthy process beforehand. With this in mind, Ballotpedia conducted a closer look at each initiative and referendum state, observing how many total initiatives were filed, how many of those initiatives were certified by state, reasons why rejected initiatives failed to make the ballot, and the grand total of initiatives filed across the country. The final number of certified initiatives turned out to be 51, however, one was removed from the ballot.

Measures this past decade

A brief look at the past decade's ballot measures was included in this part of the analysis, as measures that appeared on the ballot from 2000 through 2010 were highlighted by the numbers. This included all citizen initiatives (initiated state statutes, initiated constitutional amendments and veto referendums) , legislative referrals (legislatively-referred constitutional amendments and legislatively-referred state statutes), and advisory measures.

Campaign contributions

Campaign contributions were taken into account when putting together the 2010 ballot measure analysis, as campaign contributions for each ballot measure that appeared on a 2010 ballot was examined. Total contributions were calculated for: each state with ballot measures, supporting and opposing ballot measure campaigns in each state, each individual ballot measure on the ballot, and political issues. Ballot measures were also ranked from highest to lowest contribution total.

Main analysis article

Full chart pages

See also

Ballotpedia News