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Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count plateaus at 170 ballot questions
By Bailey Ludlam
In just a couple of more weeks the final deadlines for measures to be referred or removed will pass and voter guides will be set. This week Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count saw absolutely no changes. The count remains at 170 certified ballot questions in 36 states.
Three initiatives remain pending certification by state officials. Colorado is waiting on two measures, while North Dakota is waiting on one. Signatures on a proposed Colorado health care amendment and an initiative to amend the criteria for setting bail and bond are still being reviewed. In order to qualify for the ballot, both initiatives must have at least 76,047 valid signatures. In North Dakota, the proposed fenced hunting ban initiative must have a minimum of 12,844 signatures.
Although deadlines have passed and most secretaries of state have already reported the initiatives that qualified for 2010 ballots, some petitioners are taking their challenges to court. This past week, a Missouri Cole County Circuit judge heard arguments regarding the validity of the Missouri Real Estate Taxation Amendment signatures that were not counted.
Following a denial by North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger to reconsider his decision to disqualify the proposed North Dakota Pharmacy Ownership Repeal Initiative, supporters filed a legal challenge. Jaeger rejected the initiative after supporters failed to submit a list of sponsoring committee members with the petition sheets. The case is scheduled to heard on by the North Dakota Supreme Court on September 1.
In Montana, the state supreme court ruled that the Montana interest rate limit measure, I-164, could stay on the November ballot, after The Montana Consumer Finance Association requested that the court remove it from the general election. The measure was allowed to stay on the ballot after a 4-2 vote by the court to allow the measure to be decided by voters, but to alter the for and against statements and the statement of purpose on the ballot. However, that court's ruling didn't put the matter to rest. A second challenge is being pursued by opponents. Opponents argue that the change in the language should void petitions signed by state voters because they saw different versions of the initiative.
Despite the ongoing ballot challenges, at least one case came to an end this week. Oregon supporters of a constitutional amendment to establish a non-tribal casino in Wood Village announced on August 23 that they had dropped their challenge. The initiative was Part I of a two part initiative effort. Part II, which calls for creating a gaming tax of 25%, is scheduled to appear on the ballot. Supporters concluded that the constitutional amendment was not necessary to move forward with their plans for the Wood Village Casino should voters approve Part II on November 2 ballot. The group's attorney argues that the state ban on non-tribal casinos only applies to the legislative assembly. However, opponents argue that the initiative process does not circumvent the law because it is an exercise of the legislative process and is thus subject to the same restrictions as the legislature.
Local ballot measure news:
Last week Washington State saw a number of levy and tax questions on it's local ballots. Absolutely no ballot measures were defeated in Adams, Clallam, Grays Harbor, Kitsap, Klickitat, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Skamania, Spokane and Thurston counties. For specific details and results, make sure to check the August 17 local ballot measure page.
| 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