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Initiative activity in 2011 produces small percentage of certified proposals

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October 11, 2011

Portal:Ballot Measures

By Al Ortiz

Initiatives in odd-year elections historically dip in numbers, and 2011 is no exception. A Ballotpedia analysis showed that in 2011, 137 ballot initiatives were filed among 5 states, whereas 606 initiatives were filed among the 26 initiative and referendum states in 2010. In the analysis, we took a deeper look at 2011 filed initiatives, those that were certified, and the reasons behind the failure of proposals that were not placed on the ballot.

The 137 initiatives that were filed this year were spread out among the states of Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio and Washington. Interestingly, like 2010, the percentage of filed initiatives certified for the ballot in 2011 was around 8%; 2010 saw 8.42% of filed initiatives make the ballot, compared to 8.76% in 2011.

Of the 2011 initiatives that were filed, only 12 made it on the ballot. Those 12 include two veto referendums - Maine and Ohio. More information on the analysis can be found below.

It must be noted that this analysis did not include legislative proposals or referrals to the ballot.

A quick rundown of Ballotpedia's findings showed:

  • Of the 5 states, Washington had the most filed initiatives at 80.
  • The state with the second most filed initiatives was Colorado at 36.
  • Maine had the highest percentage of filed initiatives certified for the ballot at 50%.
  • Maine had 6 filed initiatives, with 3 making the ballot.
  • The lowest percentage of filed initiatives to make the ballot was Colorado at 3%, with one certified initiative out of 36.

NOTE: The chart below specifically details the number of proposed initiatives per state and the number/percentage of successfully certified initiatives for 2011 ballots.


     Highest percent certified for 2010      0% certified for 2010

I&R State # of initiatives proposed # initiatives certified in 2011  % certified
Colorado 36 1 3%
Maine 6 3 50%
Mississippi 7 3 43%
Ohio 8 2 25%
Washington 80 3 4%
Totals: 137 12 8.76%
For more information on the analysis of 2011 initiative activity, click here for a complete summary, and here for statistical charts that were compiled.

See also

2011 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2011 Scorecard