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Virginia ballot measures were consistent over the last decade

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July 12, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

RICHMOND, Virginia: Despite the fact that Commonwealth of Virginia has one of the hardest to amend constitutions in the nation, the Commonwealth has had more than a fair number of statewide ballot measures in the last decade.

From 2000 to 2006, a total of 11 ballot measures were presented to the Commonwealth's citizens. The last time Virginians saw a ballot measure was in 2006. That year, there were three ballot measures dealing with a gay marriage, allowing incorporation for churches, and creating tax incremental financing districts for local governments. All three measures passed by comfortable margins.

During the 2004 election cycle, Virginians were presented two ballot measures aimed at improving state election laws. The first measure asked voters to approve a line of succession to the Governor if in the event he or she resigns, dies, or is removed from office. The other measure was to clarify state laws governing redistricting for seats in the General Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives. Both questions were approved by the voters with hardly any opposition.

2002 was the last time Virginians saw a bond measure presented on the statewide ballot. There were two bond proposals asking voters to approve bond issues for funding capital improvements at colleges and parks owned by the Commonwealth. Both bond measures were approved by the voters with a large margin of victory.

Also, two constitutional amendments were on the ballot in 2002. The first amendment would guarantee those convicted of a crime to prove their innocence by the basis of DNA or other forensic evidence. The other would clarify which types of property can be exempt from taxes. Both amendments were approved by the voters with minimal opposition.

Virginians began the decade with two constitutional amendments in 2000. The first amendment would create a proceeds fund for the Commonwealth's lottery along with stipulating how the Commonwealth can spend money received from lottery games. The other amendment would guarantee the Commonwealth's citizens the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wild game. Both constitutional amendments won large approval from the voters.

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