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The Tuesday Count: A look at notable citizen initiated measures

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October 9, 2012

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By Eric Veram

In keeping with current post-legislative session patterns, no new measures have been added to the ballot this week. The count still stands a at 186 measures in 38 states. Already this year, 12 of those measures have been decided on by voters, leaving the fates of 174 left to be determined on in 37 states by the end of the day on November 6.

Last week, we turned our focus to notable legislative referrals and discussed some of the year's related statistics. This time around we are going to highlight some citizen initiatives give them a similar rundown. Though not every state allows measures to appear on the ballot via a citizen petitioning process, this kind of ballot question is often what comes to mind when people hear the words "ballot measure." Like legislative referrals, citizen initiated measures can propose either constitutional amendments or state statutes.

In total, 50 citizen initiated measures have been sent to the ballot in 2012. Of those 50, 44 will appear on general election ballots in November.

Starting with CICAs, there are 20 total on ballots across the country, with 17 slated for the fall ballot. So far, one has been approved, and two have been defeated.

Notable initiated constitutional amendments on the ballot include:

  • Arizona Proposition 121: Would implement a top-two style open primary system. In a top-two open primary, candidates for a government position run on the same primary ballot regardless of party affiliation.
  • Michigan Proposal 5: Would require that increases in state taxes must be approved by either a 2/3 majority in the Legislature or by a statewide vote
  • California Proposition 30: Raises California’s sales tax to 7.5% from 7.25%, a 3.45% percentage increase over current law.

Continuing with CISSs, there are 30 total on ballots across the country, with 27 slated for the fall ballot. So far, two have been approved, and one has been defeated. Citizen initiated statutes seek to alter state laws rather than amend the state constitution. Notable initiated state statutes on the ballot include:

  • California Proposition 38: Increase state income tax rates for most Californians. The state income tax increase would end after 12 years, unless voters reauthorize it.
More about 2012 ballot measures can be found out in Ballotpedia's exclusive 2012 ballot measure preview here.

Quick hits

Former Oregon governors come out against casino measures: Former Oregon governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski have all joined the opposition to both Measure 82 and Measure 83. They argue that building new non-tribal casinos in the state will lead to an increase in crime cause harm to Native American tribes that depend on casino revenues. They argue that crime and other problems will stem form the new casinos being located in big cities rather than remote tribal land.[1]

New Public Policy Polling study sees Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment losing support: A poll conducted October 5-8, by Public Policy Polling, shows the amendment losing support of some Minnesota voters. The poll found that 46% of voters currently support the ban, 49% oppose it, and the remaining 5% are undecided. The survey was given to 937 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/-3.2%. The amendment would add a ban on same-sex marriage to the state constitution.[2]

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Voters in Multnomah County will see a separate casino question this November

One local measure appearing on Multnomah County's ballot this fall is whether or not to allow a entertainment and casino complex to be built on the location of the former Multnomah County Kennel Club. The measure will only take effect however, if both Measure 82 and Measure 83 pass the statewide vote. If all the measures pass and developers open a casino at the location, they would be required to pay 25% of adjusted gross revenues to the state.

The Tuesday Count Spotlight highlights notable developments from local ballot measures across the country as well as international ballot measures.


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BALLOT LAW UPDATE
Lawsuit filed against Georgia public school districts: Attorney and charter school advocate Glenn Delk has filed a lawsuit against 180 school districts in Georgia and claiming that they have been carrying on a "coordinated campaign and conspiracy" aiming to defeat Georgia Amendment 1. The lawsuit further alleges that a collection of groups, referred to as the "Education Empire," are using taxpayer money in a campaign to defeat the measure. The lawsuit lists the Education Empire as consisting of "the teachers unions, the Georgia School Boards Association, the Georgia School Superintendents Association and others." The first hearing is scheduled for October 10.[3]

Citizenship question removed from Michigan ballots: Following a preliminary injunction ordered by judge Paul Borman on Friday, October 5, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has dropped the controversial citizenship question from the state's ballots. The decision came from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU claiming that the question prove to be an unnecessary obstacle to voters and causing problems at polling places. The ACLU successfully argued that voters are already required to confirm U.S. citizenship when they register to vote in the state of Michigan, thus rendering the question redundant.[4]


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Kansas has a statewide measure on the ballot this fall regarding what kind of tax? Click here to find out!



A new update will be released later this month. Click here for past Ballot Law Update reports!

See also

2012 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2012 Scorecard

References