Edited by Brittany Clingen
With one month still to go in 2013, next year's ballots are already shaping up to be rife with hot-button issues. Though similar measures have been defeated at the polls during the past two election cycles, advocates for mandatory GMO labeling are preparing to put yet another measure before voters (see the Quick hits section below). Abortion measures are certified in north Dakota and Tennessee and have the potential to land on ballots in Alaska, Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin. And though signatures to qualify a measure for the Washington 2014 ballot are not due until January 3, 2014, supporters of two "diametrically opposed" gun initiatives have already turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures. Initiative 594 would ask voters to mandate background checks on every person purchasing a gun in the state of Washington, even those who are doing so via private sales, though some exemptions apply. Initiative 591 would ask voters to prevent the government from confiscating firearms without due process and implementing background checks deemed more stringent than those at the federal level.
50 measures for 2014
Supporters of I-594 submitted approximately 250,000 signatures in October and are reportedly close to reaching 325,000 signatures total. Meanwhile, the I-591 campaign submitted approximately 340,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office on Thursday, November 21. Both of the measures, which are both initiatives to the legislature, require at least 246,372 valid signatures in order to make the ballot. Though the secretary of state has not yet begun to validate any of the signatures, the high number that each campaign has collected makes it likely that both measures will face off on the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot. If both measures make the ballot - realistically, even if only one makes it - a multi-million dollar spending war is likely to ensue. The last time Washington saw a gun-related initiative was 1997, when voters rejected I-676, a measure that would have would have criminalized the transfer of any handgun not equipped with a trigger-lock and would have mandated the licensing of firearms.
| 2014 Count
|| 50 measures
|| Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming
Though not necessarily a hot-button ballot issue, in California, a gambling measure was certified for the November 4, 2014 ballot, bringing the total number of measures certified for 2014 statewide ballots to five. The most recently certified measure is a veto referendum on Indian gaming compacts; this is not the first time that Indian Gaming Compacts have been approved by the state legislature and then subjected to a veto referendum. In California, a "yes" vote upholds the contested legislation, while a no vote repeals it.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Washington Post, "Dueling gun initiatives likely to make 2014 ballot in Washington," November 22, 2013
- ↑ Kirotv.com, "Washington voters will be asked to approve stiffer gun controls," April 28, 2013
- ↑ The Columbian, "Gun-rights activists take aim at 2014 ballot," June 20,2013
- ↑ California Secretary of State, "Referendum to Overturn Indian Gaming Compacts," November 20, 2013