Vermont bumps Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count to 175

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September 21, 2010

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By Bailey Ludlam

Election day is only six weeks away and already voters are beginning to cast their votes on absentee ballots. Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count had an unexpected bump to a total of 175 ballot measures for the 2010 election year. This includes 151 measures that will be voted on this November 2, 2010.

Vermont Voting Age Amendment, Proposal 5 or as it is has been called by the media, the "little-known amendment," was quietly added to the ballot in early January 2010 and has recently began to cause waves in the state. According to the text of the proposal it would allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election provided they turn 18 before the general election. Proposal 5 is the only certified measure in the state of Vermont.

In other parts of the country, court cases continue to fill the headlines. In Oklahoma this week, supporters of State Question 751 and 746 breathed a sigh of relief as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed with the Tulsa County District Court dropped their challenge. The dismissal, however, may only last until after the general election. Plaintiffs argue that the measures are both unconstitutional.

In light of the impending November 2nd elections and ballot deadlines, more and more cases are being dismissed or postponed until after election day. In Missouri the Earnings Tax Initiative, Proposition A is officially scheduled to appear on the ballot following a September 20 ruling by a Cole County Circuit judge. Judge Jon Beetem ruled that any allegations regarding the measure should be raised in a lawsuit following the November elections and rejected the challenges raised by Kansas City officials. Kansas City officials had challenged that the measure violated the state's single-subject rule, failed to make necessary distinctions between personal and business versions of the tax and mandates elections without funding them.

The lawsuit against Florida Class Size, Amendment 8 will be moving forward to the Florida Supreme Court, however, the measure is still scheduled to appear on the ballot. According to reports, it is too late to remove Amendment 8 from the ballot but opponents want the court to prevent the cast votes from being counted.


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SPOTLIGHT: Extraterrestrial initiative lands on the Denver ballot

It isn't everyday we see a measure about UFO sitings. This November, voters in Denver County, Colorado, will be voting on just that. Formally known as Initiative 300 the measure seeks to create a commission to keep track of UFO sitings and activities in the area. According to reports, one of the driving forces behind the campaign is to increase transparency within the government. For example, supporters hope that the proposed committee will force the government to disclose previous UFO sitings and encounters. Campaign efforts include a rap song titled, "Pink UFO," by Chris Steele of the hip-hop duo Calm.


ANALYSIS: A deeper look at 2010's ballot proposals

A total of 175 measures in 37 states are slated for statewide ballots and up for voter approval. Given that an average of 220 ballot questions were on statewide ballots in the even-numbered years from 1990-2008 this provides notable changes to consider. As all petition drive deadlines in 2010 ended and state legislatures concluded their sessions, all signs pointed to a comparatively lower ballot measure count than in previous years' averages, as much as 23% lower.

A closer look at the most recent even-numbered year elections confirms that a decrease in measures can be seen not only generally in the last decade but in the number of certified citizen initiatives for 2010. For starters, of the 605 initiatives filed for 2010, an estimated 8% were certified for the ballot. A closer look at 2008 and 2010 legislative referrals and citizen initiatives validated this finding. Read more about it here.

For more on our in-depth look at 2010's ballot measures stay posted for upcoming weekly reports!

See also

2010 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2010 Scorecard
AnalysisIssues on ballot