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The Tuesday Count: 2013 Pre-election coverage

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October 1, 2013

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Edited by Brittany Clingen

The statewide ballots are officially set in five states - Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington - for the general election on November 5, 2013. Going forward throughout the weeks preceding the election, Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count will be providing various reports and analyses of the measures that will appear on the ballot. For ongoing pre-election coverage, please see here.

Measures throughout the years

See also: 2013 ballot measures

The chart below on the left highlights the number of measures that appeared on the ballot from 2000 through 2013. This includes all citizen initiatives (initiated state statutes, initiated constitutional amendments and veto referendums) , legislative referrals (legislatively-referred constitutional amendments and legislatively-referred state statutes), and advisory measures.

2013 turned out to be a year with an unusually low number of measures on the ballot. Historically, elections on odd-numbered years see approximately 45 measures on average, as evidenced by the chart below on the right; there were 34 in 2011. Going back to 1989, the average number of measures on the ballot in an odd-numbered year is slightly over 43, with about 9 states featuring ballot measures. With only 26 statewide measures on the ballot in 5 states, 2013 will have less than half the average number of measures on the ballot.

2013 is also a historically low year for the number of measures that were petitioned onto the ballot. In 2013, there are only three such measures on statewide ballots: Colorado Amendment 66, Washington I-517 and Washington I-522. This compares to an average of 7.1 such measures from 1993 through 2011.[1]

Year Initiatives Legislative referrals Other measures TOTAL
2013 3 18 5 26
2012 63 122 3 188
2011 12 22 0 34
2010 50 130 4 184
2009 8 24 0 32
2008 74 92 8 174
2007 4 39 1 44
2006 83 140 3 226
2005 19 26 0 45
2004 65 107 1 173
2003 7 60 1 68
2002 55 162 6 223
2001 4 35 0 39
2000 82 151 2 235

Year Number of states with measures Number of measures on ballot
2013 6 31
2011 9 34
2009 7 32
2007 9 43
2005 12 45
2003 14 67
2001 9 39
1999 16 71
1997 7 41
1995 7 33
1993 10 44
1991 5 34
1989 8 36

Signature collection costs

See also: 2012 ballot measure petition signature costs

Signatures had to be collected to qualify each of the three initiatives on the 2013 ballot. Below is a summary of the Cost per Required Signature (CPRS), which is based on how much money was spent by the support campaigns to gather enough signatures to land each measure on the ballot. The "Cost Per Required Signature" metric was used to determine the ultimate costs.

According to Ballotpedia's 2012 CPRS Report, nationally, the most expensive signature collection effort in 2012 was in California, where $10.86 was spent to qualify California Proposition 30 for the ballot. California's Proposition 30 was also a tax increase to boost educational funding. The average CPRS in 2012, nationally, was $4.06.

Colorado Amendment 66

  • The CPRS for Amendment 66 - given that $779,046 was spent on signatures versus a minimum requirement of 86,105 signatures - comes to an astounding $11.05 per required signature.

Washington I-517

  • The CPRS for I-517 - given that $305,454 was spent on signatures versus a minimum requirement of 246,372 signatures - comes to $1.24 per required signature.

Washington I-522

  • Signatures to qualify Initiative 522 for the ballot were collected by Peoples Petitions LLC, among other groups.[7]
  • The CPRS for I-522 - given that $407,747 was spent on signatures versus a minimum requirement of 246,372 signatures - comes to $1.66 per required signature.



Phoenix activists announce the launch of a new initiative to overhaul the city pension system again:

Phoenix, AZ
As the city of Phoenix sees its unfunded pension liabilities grow to $2.4 billion and its annual payments into the public pension system balloon from $28 million in 2000 to $110 million in fiscal year 2012, followed by $283 million a year later, some citizens are worried that the pension reform that was approved in 2012 will not be enough to get a handle on the city's retirement fund debt. Propositions 201 and 202, which established higher employee contributions and a higher age of retirement, were referred to the March 2013, ballot by the city council and overwhelmingly approved by voters. But recently a group called Citizens for Pension Reform announced that they are beginning circulation of signature petitions to put an initiative before voters that would entirely change the pension system for public employees going forward. The initiative would focus on two things:[8][9][10]
  • first, it would change the city's retirement system from a defined benefit system, in which retirees are guaranteed payments despite investment performance, to a 401(k) style defined contribution plan, in which the city contributes a set amount and the retiree's benefits depend on his or her own contributions and investment performance.
  • second, it would take steps to put a stop to pension spiking by implementing limits on the pension benefits available to current employees.

Citizens for Pension Reform must collect 25,480 valid, voter signatures to get their initiative on the 2014 ballot, and any one signature cannot be over 6 months old when the petitions are turned in.[11]

See also

2013 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2013 Scorecard