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Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count surpasses the 150 mark

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July 13, 2010


By Bailey Ludlam

Ballot measures are continuing to add up, despite continuing litigation of certified measures. According to Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count the count has officially surpassed the 150 mark. As of this week, a total of 153 ballot measures have been certified in 36 states.

Days following last week's report, Florida Circuit Judge James Shelfer removed Amendment 7, a legislatively-referred redistricting amendment, from the November 2 general election ballot. The measure is closely related to a pair of initiatives also proposing to amend the state's redistricting practices. According to reports, the case is expected to be appealed. Another lawsuit by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart is currently pending against Amendment 6, one of the proposed redistricting initiatives. A request to dismiss the lawsuit was denied on July 12 by Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford. The request was made by Secretary of State Dawn Roberts and FairDistricts Florida, proponents of the initiatives. The case is scheduled to heard on July 26.

This year an estimated five measures have been removed from 2010 ballots, some of which were later re-added following court hearings. Check the Tuesday Count for a full play-by-play of this year's ballot measure happenings.

Judges heard arguments in two different ballot measures cases on July 12 and July 13. An initial hearing took place in Maricopa County, Arizona to review the description of a certified measure for the Arizona ballot. The measure in question, Proposition 302, would repeal the First Things First program, which is an early childhood services program, and put it's $324 million into the general fund. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig will review the validity of the measure's ballot language, which opponents are stating persuades voters to vote for the measure during the November elections.

In Missouri, a judge was scheduled to hear arguments on a challenge to the proposed health care measure, also known as Proposition C. The measure, which is scheduled to appear on the August 3 ballot, if maintained on the ballot will be the first challenge via the ballot to the federal health insurance law. The lawsuit, filed in late June 2010 in Cole County Circuit Court, is an attempt to block the measure from appearing on the statewide ballot. Specifically the challenge calls into question the method in which the measure was referred to the ballot - as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment - and argue that it violated the Missouri Constitution.

In contrast to the increasing number of ballot measure challenges, a grand total of five measures were certified for the ballot this past week. The Washington Secretary of State's office announced on July 12 that Initiative 1100, also known as the "Costco Initiative," has qualified for the statewide 2010 ballot. After filing an estimated 396,000 signatures the initiative qualified for the 3 percent random sample check. State officials found that of the 12,124 signatures samples, 10,835 or 89% were accepted, while 1,289 or 11% were found to be invalid. On Tuesday, July 13, the secretary of state also added Washington Workers' Comp Insurance Reform, Initiative 1082 to the ballot following another 3 percent random check.

In Massachusetts, all three initiatives that were submitted to local officials on July 2, 2010 qualified for the ballot following a final deadline for submitting the validated signatures to the secretary of state. The measures scheduled to appear on the November general election ballot include: No Sales Tax for Alcohol Initiative, Sales Tax Relief Act and a Comprehensive Permits and Regional Planning Initiative.

The chart below highlights the number of measures currently certified for the 2010 ballot and the way in which they were placed on the ballot - either by legislative referral or by citizen initiative.
NOTE: Measures referred to the ballot include referred statutes, amendments, referred advisories and automatic measures. Measures petitioned to the ballot include initiated amendments, state statutes and veto referenda.

Type of ballot measure How many on 2010 ballot? Percent of total
Measures referred to the ballot 120 78.43%
Measures petitioned to the ballot 33 21.57%
Total 153 100%

To view ballot measure changes as they happen make sure to check our Official Tuesday Count and our discussion page for retroactive changes.

By Al Ortiz

As stated, the number of measures on the ballot have continued to rise virtually each week in the past few months. As those measures continue to rise, so do the categories in which they are placed in. In the categories that Ballotpedia has measures filed under, the 153 measures that have been certified as of July 13, are placed under 42 different political issues.

The tax issue has the most measures filed under it by Ballopedia, with a total sum of 30, while the second most is Category:Certified, administration of government, 2010, with a total of 21 measures spread out over 12 states. Bond issues came in third with a total of 18 measures filed under that category.

Also to be noted are the four measures that deal with whether or not to hold constitutional convention questions in those particular states. A constitutional convention is a gathering of elected delegates who propose revisions and amendments to a constitution. 233 constitutional conventions to deliberate on state-level constitutions have been held in the United States. Currently, 14 states place a constitutional convention question on the ballot every 10, 16 or 20 years.

Other political issues that had a significant number of ballot measures filed under them included:

By Al Ortiz

In other initiative news, the total count of filed initiatives among states that implement the process stands at 604 total proposed measures as of July. Ballotpedia's official count of filed measures shows that between June 1, 2010 to July 1, 2010, 11 new measures were filed between two states. The previous count on June 1 was 593. The two states that had initiatives rise was Arizona with a total of 6 new initiatives, and Washington, with a total of 5 new initiatives.

The state with the most initiatives filed to date is Colorado at a whopping 98 filed initiatives. At a close second was the state of California, with a total of 96 initiatives filed. Oregon and Washington followed with 83 and 82. Ballotpedia's official count of filed initiatives has grown considerably since the first official count occurred on February 1, 2010, when the count stood at 424. From then until July, the official count increased by an average of 36 measures per month, with the highest increasing coming during the month of March, when 99 new initiatives were filed. The sharpest jump in filed initiatives during that month took place in Colorado and Idaho. Colorado saw its number of filed initiatives jump from 44 to 98 and Idaho saw a rise from 1 to 20. The petition drive deadlines for those states were August 2, 2010 and April 30, 2010, respectively. Colorado had a total of 24 filed initiatives that pertained to state water rafting access alone.

The last count Ballotpedia will conduct will be on August 1, 2010, as the number of filed initiatives will plateau due to petition drive deadlines arriving for almost all states.

Initiatives that Ballotpedia includes in its count include initiatives that were withdrawn or abandoned after they were filed, initiatives that failed to qualify for the ballot because they missed a petition drive deadline, initiatives that were filed in states with a rolling petition deadline that might still qualify for the 2011 ballot or 2012 ballot, multiple versions of what appears to basically be the same initiative, and initiatives that have already qualified for a 2010 ballot.

Ballotpedia's count of filed initiatives does not count ballot measures proposed by a state legislature and initiatives that groups have said they are going to file, but have not actually filed.

By Johanna Herman

On the Local level, elections happen constantly throughout the year building up to the general election in November. Special elections are held on the local level, dealing with various local issues from school bonds and taxes to county or city taxes and bonds. Primary elections then occur followed by the General election in November. Some states also allow special elections to occur during numerous dates throughout the year. Missouri and Michigan are the next states to hold primary elections on August 3, along with Ohio.

Major elections on the local level have occurred in Washington on February 9 and April 27. Arizona and Oregon have had major local elections on March 9 as well as May 18. March 9 was also a major election date for Florida. Illinois had a major election February 2 while Michigan had one on February 23. April 6 was a large election day for Colorado, Missouri and Wisconsin. May 4 was a major election date for Ohio and Michigan, Ohio’s primary election date. Colorado, Washington, Arizona and Florida will hold their Primaries later in August and Wisconsin will hold its Primary in September.

A significant local issue that was voted on was the Fremont Nebraska immigration issue in June 21. While a still contested Anne Arundel Maryland slot issue remains a hotly debated court issue.

See also

2010 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2010 Scorecard
AnalysisIssues on ballot