Difference between revisions of "Features of official voter guides, compared by state"

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Revision as of 15:31, 6 January 2014

Voter Guides
BallotMeasureFinal badge.png
TitleSummary & Analysis
Fiscal note (impact statement)
Arguments pro and con
Features, compared by state
Publication requirements

This page is a comparative look at official voter guides for state ballot measures.

What is an official voter guide for ballot measures? For the purpose of this analysis, with a few exceptions as noted, a voter guide is defined as:

  • Being produced by a state agency or authority
  • Containing at least part of the information detailed below pertaining to ballot measures
  • Being addressed specifically to voters as a guide for an election
  • Being in a booklet or pamphlet format (unless it is specifically available online only)
  • Referenced or published on state websites

What does not count as an official voter guide for ballot measures?

  • A voter guide by a third party group, such as the League of Women Voters
  • A voter guide describing only candidates for public offices
  • A press release describing a ballot certification

(Updated: July 2013)



[edit]

Contents
1 Overview
1.1 Desirable voter guide features
1.2 Voter guide accessibility
2 Comparison of voter guides
3 Voter guide accessibility survey

Ballotpedia conducts two separate and original analyses of official state voter guide. The first is a periodical look at online voter guide availability and desirable features, last conducted in July 2013. The second is a telephone survey of election offices relating to voter guide availability and cost, last conducted in August 2012.

Click on the tabs above for details about each states' voter guides based on Ballotpedia research.

Desirable voter guide features

As noted, ballot measure voter guides are specific booklets or pamphlets published by state governments to educate voters on the initiatives and referendums they will be voting on in upcoming elections. While ballots between states can variety largely in language and form, voter guides often have common desirable features.

Ballotpedia has ranked each state on a six point scale based on the availability of the desirable features in the state's voter guides. The six desirable features were, or in many cases were not, found in the online voter information materials published by 46 state governments to familiarize voters with statewide ballot measures include:

  • Official ballot language - this may include Ballot title and official ballot summary.
  • Neutral explanation or analysis - this is a short summary by a governmental agency of the key points. Some summaries can run multiple pages, while other only a paragraph or two.
  • Fiscal impact statement - this is generally a detailed explanation on how the measure will affect state finances.
  • Arguments for and against the measure - these are typically statements written by support or opposition detailing their argument, but they may also be general points compiled by the agency publishing the guides. Some states allow comments from the public to be submitted as well.
  • Text of the measure - this is the full text of the statute or amendment that will become law if the measure is approved, and often includes mark-ups to show exactly how the law was changed.
  • Documentation in multiple languages - Official voter guides are always published in English, but some states will publish them in other languages, such as Spanish, and formats, such as audio.

Ballotpedia assigns one point for each of these six areas.

The 46 states included in the study were the 46 states that had at least one statewide ballot measure on their ballot in 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012. The ranking is based on the most recent ballot election the respective state conducted.

How did each state score specifically? Click on the second tab called "Comparison of voter guides."
State Ranking Map
WashingtonOregonCaliforniaIdahoNevadaUtahArizonaMontanaWyomingColoradoNew MexicoAlaskaHawaiiTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaNorth DakotaSouth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiTennesseeAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginiaKentuckyIllinoisWisconsinIndianaMichiganMichiganOhioWest VirginiaMarylandMarylandDelawareDelawareConnecticutPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew JerseyNew YorkVermontNew HampshireRhode IslandMassachusettsMaineVermontNew HampshireMassachusettsConnecticutRhode IslandVoterGuideMap2013.png

For the purposes of this study, only online documents available on the state government websites were evaluated.

The stats

By ranking

12 states have an "excellent" or "very good" ranking:

24 states have a "good" or "fair" ranking:

10 states have a "poor" ranking:

4 states did not have a measure on the ballot between 2009 and 2012:

By feature

Feature How many guides....
Had this feature? Did not have this feature?
Official ballot language 43 3[1]
Neutral explanation or analysis 27 19[2]
Fiscal impact statement 13 33[3]
Arguments for and against the measure 20 26[4]
Text of the measure 31 15[5]
Documentation in multiple languages 11 35[6]

Voter guide accessibility

Voters' pamphlets waiting to be sent out.
Photo credit:Washington Secretary of State.

In August 2012, Ballotpedia contacted all 41 states that featured ballot measures on the ballot from 2009-2011. According to that original research

The Stats

  • 20 states mail voter guides to registered voters.
  • Of the 21 states that do not mail voter guides, 20 offer election information via other avenues, including: state websites, local newspapers, post offices and/or libraries.
  • The cost of mailing voter guides ranges anywhere from $33,000 - $2 million.
  • Roughly, 32 states make voter guide information available online.

Available info

Not all voter guides publish candidate and ballot measure information together. When asked, 12 states said they publish candidates and measures separately, 6 publish together, 11 only publish ballot measures, and 12 did not respond.

Did you know?

  • The state of Hawaii used to mail voter guides but stopped mailing them due to complaints about bias in the guides.
  • Louisiana ballot language used to say "for and against," now it says "yes or no."
  • The state of North Dakota used to publish and mail voters guide but was stopped by the legislature in the 1970s because it was considered wasted money.

Contents
1 Comparison of voter guides
1.1 2013
1.2 2012
1.3 2011
1.4 2010
1.5 2009
The charts below evaluate states that featured state ballot measures on the ballot. Each state was evaluated on six desirable features, specific to ballot measures: a ballot title and official ballot summary, neutral explanation or analysis, fiscal impact statement, arguments for and against the measure, a statement of legal changes, and translations into various languages. Evaluated documents include documents that were found on the state government websites.


2013

See also: 2013 ballot measures
Ballot Measure Chart Official Voter Guide Publisher Official ballot language Explanation or Analysis Fiscal note Pro and Con Arguments/Public Comments Text of statute or amendment Available languages online Notes
Without markup With markup
CO 2013 2013 Colorado State Ballot Information Booklet Colorado Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English & Spanish Too close to calltc


ME 2013 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election Maine Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda (none filed) Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


NJ 2013 New Jersey Secretary of State Public Question Information New Jersey Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English, Spanish & Korean Too close to calltc


NY 2013 New York State Board of Elections Proposed Constitutional Amendments Page New York State Board of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English New York has no voter guide in print. However, municipalities may publish their own, e.g. New York City
TX 2013 Texas Legislative Council Voter Guide Texas Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English & Spanish Too close to calltc


WA 2013 Washington Voters' Guide 2013 General Election Washington Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English & Spanish Too close to calltc


2012

See also: 2012 ballot measures
Ballot Measure Chart Official Voter Guide Publisher Official ballot language Explanation or Analysis Fiscal note Pro and Con Arguments/Public Comments Text of statute or amendment Available languages online Notes
Without markup With markup
AL 2012 Proposed Statewide Amendment September 18, 2012 Ballot[7] Alabama Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Alabama's official "Voter Guide"[8] only provides information about the process of voting, not about candidates or ballot measures.
Proposed Amendments to Appear on the Ballot in the 2012 General Election[7]
AK 2012 State of Alaska Ballot Measures Pamphlet (Primary) Alaska Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda(For bond only) Approveda Defeatedd Approveda[9] English, Spanish, Tagalog Too close to calltc
State of Alaska Official Election Pamphlet (General)[10]
AZ 2012 Arizona's General Election Guide Arizona Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda(Not for all measures)[11] Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish English Audio and English Large Print were made available on order
AR 2012 Arkansas Initiatives & Referenda: Facts and Information for Elections Arkansas Secretary of State Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


CA 2012 California Presidential Primary Election Tuesday, June 5, 2012: Official Voter Information Guide California Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese Large print and audio guides were also available on order
California General Election Tuesday, November 6, 2012: Official Voter Information Guide
CO 2012 Colorado 2012 State Ballot Information Booklet Colorado Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, English Audio, Spanish Too close to calltc


FL 2012 Florida Proposed Constitutional Amendments to Be Voted On November 6, 2012 Florida Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish Basic ballot status is listed on the Florida Division of Elections website
GA 2012 Georgia Proposed Constitutional Amendments General Election November 6, 2012 Georgia Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd English No information regarding the ballot measure was available for the July 31, 2012 election.[12]
HI 2012 Notice of Proposed Constitutional Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii Hawaii Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English, Chinese, Ilocano, and Japanese Too close to calltc


ID 2012 Idaho Voters' Pamphlet Idaho Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


IL 2012 2012 Illinois Ballot Measures Pamphlet Illinois Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd English[13] Too close to calltc


KS 2012 None identified Kansas Secretary of State Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Too close to calltc No specific ballot measure information for 2012 could be found.
KY 2012 State Board of Elections Kentucky Secretary of State Approveda[14] Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English The Kentucky "Voter Information Guide provides information about voting, but not about candidates or ballot measures.
LA 2012 Louisiana 2012 Constitutional Amendments For Consideration Louisiana Secretary of State Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


ME 2012 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election Maine Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda[15] Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


MD 2012 2012 General Election Ballot Questions Maryland Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English, Audio[16] Too close to calltc


MA 2012 Massachusetts 2012 Information for Voters Massachusetts Secretary of State Approveda Approveda[17] Defeatedd Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English, English Audio, Spanish Too close to calltc


MI 2012 Michigan Ballot Proposals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Michigan House Fiscal Agency Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English The Michigan Secretary of State also provided information to voters on ballot language and measure text to voters.
MN 2012 Minnesota Constitutional Amendments and the 2012 General Election Minnesota Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda[18] Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


MO 2012 Missouri 2012 Ballot Measures Missouri Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English The reference applies to both the August 7 and November 6 elections.
MT 2012 2012 Montana Voter Information Pamphlet Montana Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English
NE 2012 Nebraska Proposed Amendments Nebraska Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Nebraska defers to outside sources for much of the voter information process.[19]
NV 2012 Nevada Statewide Ballot Questions Nevada Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


NH 2012 2012 New Hampshire Election Information New Hampshire Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


NJ 2012 New Jersey Amended Certification of the General Election Public Questions[20] New Jersey Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English, Korean, Spanish Too close to calltc


NM 2012 2012 General Election Voter Guide New Mexico Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English and Spanish Too close to calltc


NC 2012 Primary 2012, official explanation of constitutional amendment (not included in voter guide) North Carolina State Board of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd[21] Approveda English Only available voter guide was for candidates covered by North Carolina public funding programs
ND 2012 North Dakota Ballot Measures Portal (For June 12) North Dakota Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda(Initiatives only) Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Publication per North Dakota Century Code 16.1-01-17
North Dakota Ballot Measures Portal (For November 6)
OH 2012 Proposed Amendment to the Ohio Constitution Ohio Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda(Issue 2 only) Approveda(Issue 2 only) Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


OK 2012 Oklahoma State Questions for General Election Oklahoma Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


OR 2012 Guide Cover Oregon Voters' Pamphlet Oregon Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish Also available in English audio, large print, and braille upon request.
RI 2012 Rhode Island Voter Information Handbook Rhode Island Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda[22] Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


SC 2012 2012 South Carolina Constitutional Question Amendments South Carolina Secretary of State Approveda Approveda[23] Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


SD 2012 South Dakota 2012 Ballot Questions South Dakota Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


UT 2012 Utah Voter Information Pamphlet Utah Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


VA 2012 Virginia Proposed Constitutional Amendments Virginia Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


WA 2012 State of Washington Voters' Pamphlet Washington Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese A Video Voter's Guide with pro and con argument is also available for some measures
WV 2012 West Virginia Constitutional Amendments West Virginia Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


WY 2012 Wyoming 2012 General Election Ballot Issues Wyoming Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


Note: 2012 measures prior to July of 2012 were accessed in July of 2012. Measures after July of 2012 were accessed in July of 2013.

Notable changes

  • In 2012, Alaska added a third language to its voter guide list: Spanish
  • In 2012, California added three languages to its large list of languages the voter guide is available in: Hindi, Khmer, and Thai.
  • In 2012, Idaho added the text of statute or amendment with mark up to it's voter guide.
  • In 2012, Maryland added an audio file of each ballot question.
  • In 2012, Nevada added the text of statute or amendment with mark up to it's voter guide.
  • In 2012, Washington made its voter guide available online in three additional language: Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

2011

See also: 2011 ballot measures
Ballot Measure Chart Official Voter Guide Publisher Official ballot language Explanation or Analysis Fiscal note Pro and Con Arguments/Public Comments Text of statute or amendment Available languages online Notes
Without markup With markup
AR 2011 Arkansas 2011 election sample ballot (from Benton County)[24] Arkansas Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


CO 2011 Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) Colorado Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, English Audio, Spanish A separate detailed fiscal impact statement is also available
LA 2011 Oct. primary and Nov. general ballot summaries only. Louisiana Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


ME 2011 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Maine Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda (None filed) Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


MS 2011 2011 Constitutional Initiatives Mississippi Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


NJ 2011 2011 Election Information Archive + certifications (constitutional amendment) New Jersey Division of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English, Spanish Too close to calltc


OH 2011 Ohio Issues Report: State Ballot Issues Information for the November 8, 2011 General Election Ohio Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd[25] Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


TX 2011 Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments November 8, 2011, Election Texas Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English The analysis is not specifically address to voters
WA 2011 2011 General Election Voter Pamphlet Washington Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English Online edition only; Video Voter's Guide with pro and con argument is also available

2010

See also: 2010 ballot measures
Ballot Measure Chart Official Voter Guide Publisher Official ballot language Explanation or Analysis Fiscal note Pro and Con Arguments/Public Comments Text of statute or amendment Available languages online Notes
Without markup With markup
AL 2010 Alabama 2010 Certification of Proposed Constitutional Amendments Alabama Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


AK 2010 State of Alaska Ballot Measures Pamphlet: August 24, 2010 Alaska Division of Elections Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English and Tagalog Also contains information on candidates
State of Alaska Official Ballot Measures Pamphlet: November 2, 2010 Alaska Division of Elections Approveda Approveda Approveda (For bonds only) Approveda (For amendment only) Defeatedd Approveda
AZ 2010 State of Arizona Special Election May 18, 2010 Ballot Proposition Guide Publicity Pamphlet & Sample Ballot Arizona Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English and Spanish Too close to calltc
State of Arizona General Election November 2, 2010 Ballot Propositions & Judicial Performance Review Publicity Pamphlet Arizona Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda (Not for all measures) Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Too close to calltc


AR 2010 Election Information: 2010 Ballot Issues Arkansas Secretary of State Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Online version only
CA 2010 California Statewide Direct Primary Election Tuesday, June 8, 2010: Official Voter Information Guide California Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese Large Print and Audio guides were also available on order
California Statewide General Election Tuesday, November 2, 2010: Official Voter Information Guide California Secretary of State
CO 2010 2010 State Ballot Information Booklet and Recommendations on Retention of Judges Colorado Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish Too close to calltc


FL 2010 2010 Proposed Constitutional Amendments Booklet Florida Division of Elections Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd[26] Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish Basic ballot status is listed on the Florida Division of Elections website
GA 2010 Proposed Constitutional Amendments and State-Wide Referendum Question Georgia Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


HI 2010 Notice of Proposed Constitutional Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii Hawaii Office of Elections Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English, Chinese, Japanese, Ilocano Online version is in English.
ID 2010 2010 Idaho Voters’ Pamphlet Idaho Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd English
IL 2010 Illinois Voters Guide Illinois State Board of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd English and Spanish Available online only at vote.illinois.gov.[27]
IN 2010 Sample Ballot for November 2, 2010 general election (from Floyd County, Indiana)[28] Indiana Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


IA 2010 General Election Public Measures Election Document (from Floyd County, Iowa)[29] Iowa Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


KS 2010 Constitutional Questions for 2010 General Election document Kansas Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish Too close to calltc


LA 2010 Constitutional Amendments for consideration in 2010 House of Legislative Services Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


ME 2010 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Maine Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc
Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election Tuesday, November 2, 2010 Maine Secretary of State
MD 2010 2010 General Election Ballot Questions Maryland State Board of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Online version only
MA 2010 Massachusetts Information for Voters 2010 Ballot Questions: State Election Tuesday, November 2, 2010 Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Approveda Approveda[30] Defeatedd Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English and Spanish Too close to calltc


MI 2010 2010 State of Michigan, Statewide Ballot Proposal Status Michigan Secretary of State Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


MO 2010 Missouri 2010 Ballot Measures Missouri Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


MT 2010 Voter Information Pamphlet Your Guide to the 2010 Ballot Issues Montana Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd[31] Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Montana allows for support and opposition to submit rebuttals to the initial arguments of the opposite side
NE 2010 Primary sample ballot not found Nebraska Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English and Spanish Too close to calltc
Nebraska sample ballot, general election 2010, constitutional amendments Nebraska Secretary of State
NV 2010 Questions to Appear on the 2010 General Election Ballot Nevada Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd English Available online only at Nevada Secretary of State
NM 2010 Voter Guide: Constitutional Amendments and General Obligation Bonds New Mexico General Election 2010 New Mexico Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English and Spanish Voter guide no longer available online
NJ 2010 2010 Election Information Archive + certifications
(constitutional amendment)
New Jersey Division of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


NC 2010 North Carolina 2010 constitutional amendment notice North Carolina Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


ND 2010 Ballot Measures to be Considered[32] North Dakota Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd[33] Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Online edition only
OH 2010 Ohio Issues Report: State Issue Ballot Information for the May 4, 2010, Primary Election Ohio Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd[25] Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


OK 2010 Oklahoma state questions for general election November 2, 2010 Oklahoma Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


OR 2010 Voters’ Pamphlet: Oregon Special Election January 26, 2010 Oregon Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Spanish, and English Audio Too close to calltc
Voters’ Pamphlet: Oregon Primary Election May 18, 2010 Oregon Secretary of State
Voters’ Pamphlet: Oregon General Election November 2, 2010 Oregon Secretary of State
RI 2010 Rhode Island Voter Information Handbook 2010: November 2, 2010 - A Guide to State Referenda and Voting Procedures Rhode Island Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English (Secretary of State's site was in Spanish but no online Spanish voter guide currently available.)[34] Too close to calltc


SC 2010 2010 Constitutional Amendment Questions South Carolina State Election Commission Approveda Approveda[35] Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


SD 2010 South Dakota 2010 Ballot Questions South Dakota Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd English, English Audio, Braille Too close to calltc


TN 2010 Tennessee Constitutional Amendment Issue 2010 Tennessee Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd[36] Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


UT 2010 Constitutional Amendments: 2010 General Election Utah Lieutenant Governor Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English Online version only; Utah allows for support and opposition to submit rebuttals to the initial arguments of the opposite side
VT 2010 Statewide Candidate Information Publication Vermont Secretary of State Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English The Statewide Candidate Information Publication contains information on candidates and a sample ballot, but no separate documentation on the ballot measure was listed
VA 2010 Virginia, Proposed Constitutional Amendments To Be Voted on at the November 2, 2010, General Election Virginia State Board of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


WA 2010 2010 General Election Voter Pamphlet Washington Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English Online edition only; Video Voter's Guide with pro and con argument is also availabl.

Notable changes

  • In 2010, Oregon published the Citizens’ Review Statement. The statement is a set of unofficial opinions created by the Oregon Citizen Initiative Review, a process approved by the legislature in 2009 to allow an independent citizen panel to review statewide initiatives.[37]

2009

See also: 2009 ballot measures
Ballot Measure Chart Official Voter Guide Publisher Official ballot language Explanation or Analysis Fiscal note Pro and Con Arguments/Public Comments Text of statute or amendment Available languages online Notes
Without markup With markup
CA 2009 California Statewide Special Election Tuesday, May 19, 2009: Official Voter Information Guide California Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese Large Print and Audio guides were also available on order
ME 2009 Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 Maine Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda (None filed) Defeatedd Approveda English Too close to calltc


NJ 2009 Sample ballot of 2009 general election (Kingwood Township, New Jersey)[38] New Jersey Division of Elections Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd Defeatedd English Sample ballot published by local clerks.
NY 2009 In New York it remains up to the individual municipalities to publish voter guides at their discretion; New York City published a voter guide Too close to calltc Approveda
(NYC)
Approveda
(NYC)
Defeatedd
(NYC)
Defeatedd
(NYC)
Defeatedd
(NYC)
Defeatedd
(NYC)
English
(NYC)
Too close to calltc
OH 2009 Ohio Issues Report: State Issues Ballot Information for the November 8, 2011 General Election Ohio Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Defeatedd[25] Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English Too close to calltc


TX 2009 Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments November 3, 2009, Election Texas Legislative Council Approveda Approveda Defeatedd Approveda Defeatedd Approveda English The analysis is not specifically address to voters
WA 2009 2009 General Election Voter Pamphlet Washington Secretary of State Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Approveda Defeatedd English Online edition only; Video Voter's Guides for Referendum-71 and I-1033 with pro and con argument are also available

Notable changes

  • In 2009, Washington added a video voter's guide specifically for ballot measures. They had previously been available only for state offices.[39]


The chart below highlights details about state voter guide distribution, cost of mailing guides and information available on state guides. All 41 secretary of state offices were contacted in August 2012. As of September 11, 2012 one state, South Carolina, did not return e-mail and phone inquiries.

Note: Blank sections below indicate no response by the secretary of state's office.

State Voter guide distribution
(Mail, website, other)
Cost of mailing guides Voter guide info
(Measures and candidate info published together? separate? Other?)
Alabama Website or request. Not mailed. Published separately.
Alaska Mail. $302,468.00 Published separately.
Arizona Mail. approx. $750,000 Published separately.
Arkansas Website. Not mailed.[40] Published separately.
California Mail. Published separately.
Colorado Mail. $400,000 Ballot measures only. Candidates are not included in the voter guide.
Florida Some counties mail out voter guides and some mail out sample ballots. Also available via the state website.[41]
Georgia Website and newspapers. Not mailed.
Hawaii Website. Not mailed.
Idaho Mail. $136,000 Ballot measures only.
Illinois Mail, newspapers. $2 million[42] Ballot measures only.
Indiana Website. Not mailed. Published separately.
Iowa Website and newspapers. Not mailed. Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Kansas Website. Not mailed.
Louisiana Website, phone app, newspapers and by request. Not mailed.[43]
Maine Website, public libraries and by request. Not mailed. Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Maryland Mail and website. Published separately.
Massachusetts Mail, website and town offices. Currently unknown[44]
Michigan News media and counties. Not mailed. Published separately.
Mississippi Website, by request at circuit clerk's offices and other public buildings, newspapers, radio, and television. Published separately.[45]
Missouri Mail, website, local election authorities and newspapers. Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Montana Mail, website, county offices and libraries. 2012 bid is pending.
In 2010, 440,000 guides (2010's guide was considered short). 2010 print cost was $33,550.
Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Nebraska Website. Not mailed. Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Nevada Mail.
New Jersey Website. Not mailed. "New Jersey sends out sample ballots. We do not have 'Voter Guides' and yes the questions and candidates both appear on the sample ballot."
New York Abstract published in newspapers. Not mailed. Published separately.
New Mexico Available at county clerk offices. Not mailed.
North Carolina Website. $650,000 total cost to mail the guides. Ballot measures and political candidates are published together.
North Dakota Website. Not mailed. "No guides"
Ohio Website, public libraries and newspapers. Not mailed. 2012's costs are pending.
2011 was considered an unusual year because Issue 2 was a 300+ page bill. It cost a total of $2,117,911.12 for the advertising.[46]
Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Oklahoma Website. Not mailed. "No publishing either one [candidates or ballot measures]."
Oregon Mail, website, town offices, county offices and libraries. 2010 cost - $635,054 (general) + $408,496 (primary).[47] Published together.
Rhode Island Mail, website, city and town offices. 2012: an estimated $92,000 for both printing [$77,000] and mailing [$11,000])[48] Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
South Carolina
South Dakota Website, county offices, state library, county auditors, universities, city offices, and newspapers. Not mailed. Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Tennessee Mail, website and newspapers. Ballot measures only. The only candidate info that is listed is name and contact.
Texas Mail and website. 2011: the cost for postage was $314,366 and the cost for printing was $53,800. Ballot measures only. No candidate info.
Utah Mail (postcard with link to website), website, colleges, county clerks, senior centers, libraries and post offices. Published together Congressional, federal, and statewide candidates have position statements.
Vermont Newspapers and website. Not mailed. Published together.
Virginia Website, sent to registrars and newspapers. Not mailed. Published separately.
Washington Mail, website, schools, county auditors and post offices. $1.5 million (estimate for 2012), but according to officials, could be as low as $600,000. Published together.

References

  1. States that did not the official ballot language included: Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas.
  2. States that did not have a neutral explanation or analysis included: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming.
  3. States that did not feature a fiscal impact statement included: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  4. States that did not have arguments for and against the measure included: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  5. States that did not have the text of the measure (with or without markup) included: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
  6. States that did not provide documentation in multiple languages included: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Alabama Secretary of State offered the amendment certificate as the information regarding ballot measures in 2012.
  8. Alabama Secretary of State, "Alabama Voter Guide 2012", Access July 15, 2013
  9. The Alaska 2012 general election voter guide did not comply with this category, though it is not completely applicable as neither measure was a statute or an amendment. Regardless, potential specific legal language regarding the bond or convention could theoretically have been included.
  10. Alaska provides a distinct voter guide for each of its four geographical regions, which also contains information on candidates.
  11. The Arizona Election Guide notes: "State law requires the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Staff to prepare a summary of the fiscal impacts of certain ballot measures."
  12. Georgia Secretary of State, "Elections Division," accessed: July 31, 2012 (via Archive.org)
  13. The Illinois Voter Guide previously had a Spanish language option. This has been replace with Google translate, which does not work with the pdf explanation of the measures.
  14. Kentucky 2012 ballot language was available on the Kentucky Secretary of State website through sample ballots.
  15. The 2012 Maine Citizen's Guide had space for public comments, but none were submitted for any of the measures.
  16. Maryland has audio files of the 2012 ballot questions, but not of any other available information.
  17. The explanation in Massachusetts was also printed on the ballot itself in 2012.
  18. Instead of explicitly listing the supporting and opposing arguments, Minnesota's 2012 guide links to the websites of groups both supporting and opposing the measures, in accordance with Minnesota Statute 10.60.
  19. "Nebraska General Voter Information"
  20. New Jersey advertised their certification as their ballot information on the Department of State election website in 2012.
  21. The 2012 measure in North Carolina was a new amendment and thus did not require mark-up.
  22. Fiscal information in Rhode Island in 2012 is only given in relation to borrowing and bond financing.
  23. The explanation in South Carolina was also printed on the ballot itself in 2012.
  24. State sample ballot or voter guide not found, as of July 2012.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 After the Secretary of State receives the approved proposal, he or she transfers the measure to the Office of Budget and Management (and/or Tax Commissioner if the measure involves a tax). The office (and/or commissioner) then estimates the fiscal impact of the measure. This estimate (or joint estimate) is ultimately posted on the Secretary of State's website 30 days prior to the election.
  26. After preliminary signatures have been collected and proponents have submitted a ballot title and summary, the Secretary of State must submit the proposal to the Financial Impact Estimating Conference. The Conference, after allowing for public input, must draft a concise statement of the effect of the proposed measure on revenue and expenditures. The Conference must also draft a more detailed financial statement of the measure's predicted effects and the methods used in the analysis.Read more here.
  27. Confirmed information is available only electronically by Ballotpedia staff with the Illinois State Board of Elections via phone on July 10, 2012
  28. A state sample ballot or voter guide were not found, as of July 2012.
  29. A state sample ballot or voter guide were not found, as of July 2012.
  30. The explanation in Massachusetts was also printed on the ballot itself in 2010.
  31. During the Attorney General's review, he or she must determine if the bill affects state revenues or expenditures. If so, the budget director must prepare a short fiscal note for inclusion on the petition and ballot.
  32. North Dakota's ballot information page is no longer accessible as of July 2012.
  33. The North Dakota Legislative Council prepares a fiscal analysis of each measure after certification and prior to the election. This information is made available to the public by the Secretary of State.
  34. A 2010 Spanish voter guide was e-mailed to Ballotpedia by the Rhode Island Secretary of State's office on Sept. 25, 2012. An online link is unavailable.
  35. The explanation in South Carolina was also printed on the ballot itself in 2010.
  36. On April 6, 2012 the office of the attorney general released an opinion statement that included an analysis. Available here.
  37. Oregon Secretary of State, "Voters’ Pamphlet: Oregon General Election November 2, 2010"
  38. A state sample ballot or voter guide was not found, as of July 2012.
  39. TVW, "Search Results"
  40. Arkansas: According to state officials, issue groups in the state of Arkansas send out informational packets prior to the election.
  41. Florida: According to state officials, Florida relies on newspapers and local issue groups for most distribution of information.
  42. Illinois: $2 million includes the budget for translation into many different languages and publication in newspapers)
  43. Louisiana: According to state officials the private, non-profit Public Affairs Research Council provides information about constitutional amendments.
  44. Massachusetts: Will be available once all of the mailing has been completed for 2012.
  45. "Candidate Info is posted on page after qualifying. When we have measures to be placed on the ballot, the guides are posted here."
  46. Ohio:In addition to this, according to state officials "we elected to send the insert (we printed overruns of the same thing that ran in the newspaper) to public libraries, county boards of elections, county departments of job and family services – all places where voters might look for the information." That additional cost was a little more than $8,900.
  47. Oregon: 2008 cost - $1,153,223 (general) + $436,191 (primary). 2006 cost - $1,226,040(general) + $368,221 (primary).
  48. The 2012 estimate was updated after e-mail communication with Chris Barnett on September 25, 2012. Previous estimate was = "Roughly $150,000 for printing and mailing."