Examples of supermajority requirements:
- Parcel tax elections in California. Local parcel tax ballot measures must win a 2/3rds supermajority in order to pass.
- School bond elections in California. Local school bond ballot propositions require a 55% supermajority vote to pass.
Enact state budgets
Several states require a supermajority vote to pass their state's budget:
- Arkansas. 75% of the Arkansas State Legislature must vote in favor of the state's budget for it to pass.
- California. In California, 2/3rds of the California State Legislature must vote in favor for a budget to be enacted. Proposition 25 on the November 2, 2010 ballot might overturn this requirement.
- Rhode Island. In California, 2/3rds of the Rhode Island State Legislature must vote in favor for a budget to be enacted.
Voters in the State of Washington passed I-960 in 2007, which imposed a 2/3rds requirement on the Washington State Legislature for tax increases. The state legislature overturned this initiative through the process known as legislative tampering and its supporters then qualified I-1053 for the state's 2010 ballot. I-1053 was approved.
Per the Nevada Constitution, tax increases and any bill that includes them must be passed by a supermajority in each house and the governor's signature. Due to a lack of funds for education, in 2003, the Judgepedia:Nevada Supreme Court ruled in Governor v. State Legislature that the legislature's job to fund education was more important than adhering to the constitution's supermajority requirement. However, this ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2006 in Governor v. Legislature.
Changing vote requirements
Measure that propose changing vote requirements require a supermajority vote. Passed in 1998, Oregon Ballot Measure 63 amended the state constitution to require that:
- "Any measure that includes any proposed requirement for more than a majority of votes cast by the electorate to approve any change in law or government action shall become effective only if approved by at least the same percentage of voters specified in the proposed voting requirement."
This provision also applies to legislatively-referred ballot measures.
Votes on constitutional amendments
In some states, voters must approve a proposed constitutional amendment by more than a simple majority.
In Louisiana, a simple majority vote is required to approve an amendment, unless the amendment affects five or fewer parishes, in which case it has to be approved by a majority statewide vote and by a majority vote in the parishes it affects. The same thing is true for an amendment that affects five or fewer municipalities in the state.
- Illinois. For a referred amendment to win in Illinois, it must win a supermajority vote of 60% of those voting on the question or a majority of those who cast a ballot for any office in that election.
- Florida. For a referred (or initiated) amendment to win in Florida, it must win a supermajority vote of 60% of those voting on the question, according to Section 5 of Article XI. This change was made via Amendment 3 in 2006.
- New Hampshire: A proposed amendment must be approved by 2/3rds of those voting in order to become part of the state's constitution.
Several states require a so-called double majority vote on proposed amendments. This means that the ballot question must win not just a majority of all votes cast on that particular proposal, but a majority of the vote of everyone voting in that election, even if not all voters cast a vote for or against a proposed amendment.
- In Hawaii, a proposed amendment is considered to be approved if:
- It is approved by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question if this majority constitutes at least 50% of the total vote cast at the election, or,
- If approved at a special election by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question, if this majority consists of at least 30% of the total number of registered voters in the state at that time.
- Tennessee. A proposed amendment in Tennessee must earn a majority of those voting on the amendment, and "a majority of all the citizens of the state voting for governor."
- Utah. A proposed amendment in Utah requires a vote of at least a "majority of the electors of the State voting at the next general election." This means that more voters can vote "yes" on a particular amendment than "no" and it still might lose, depending on how many voters altogether vote in that election.
- In Massachusetts, a proposed amendment can be passed by majority vote, provided that the total number of votes cast on the initiative equals at least 30% of the total votes cast in the election.
- In Mississippi, an amendment is considered approved if it receives a majority vote, provided that the total number of votes cast on the initiative equals at least 40% of the total votes cast in the election.
- In Nebraska, a proposed amendment becomes part of the Nebraska Constitution if it wins a majority vote and it wins the votes of at least 35% of those voting in the election for any office.
- See also: Constitutional convention
Forty-four states have rules that govern how, in their state, a constitutional convention can be called. In most (but not all) of these states, the voters have to weigh in on the question. In one state, Maryland, a double majority is required to earn approval: the number of people voting "yes" needs to be more than 50% of the total number of Marylanders who vote overall; not just a simple majority of those voting on the question. This came into play in Maryland in 2010, when the Constitutional Convention Question, Issue 1 did win a majority of votes of those voting on the measure itself, but was defeated because that number of affirmative votes was less than 50% of those voting in the election overall.
- San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco Chronicle editorial: Yes on Proposition 25, No on Proposition 26", September 19, 2010
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Policy Basics: State Supermajority Rules to Raise Revenues," April 22, 2013
- Tax Foundation, "Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Course on Tax Supermajority Requirement," September 13, 2006