State Ballot Measures around the U.S.

Ballotpedia’s latest edition of the State Ballot Measure Monthly is here! It covers certifications and notable ballot measure news from June 16 through July 14. In that time, four statewide ballot measures were certified for the ballot—three will be voted on Nov. 5. The other will appear on the 2020 ballot. Twenty-two statewide measures have been certified for the 2019 ballot so far. Thirty-seven measures have been approved for 2020.

  • Three statewide measures were certified for 2019 ballots in Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • One measure to give state and local governments the power to pass campaign finance laws was certified for the 2020 ballot in Oregon.
  • All four statewide measures certified last month were proposed constitutional amendments referred to the ballot by state legislatures.
  • Proponents of a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment in Florida designed to state that onlycitizens of the United States are qualified electors announced that they had collected 1.5 million signatures; proponents need to submit 766,200 valid signatures and have them verified prior to a deadline on February 1, 2020.
  • Proponents of a measure that would make Tucson, Arizona, a sanctuary city submitted signatures for verification. If enough signatures are verified, it will appear on the November 2019 ballot.

 

States with 2019 measures
State Number # last month
Colorado 2 +0
Kansas 1 +0
Louisiana 4 +4
Maine 1 +1
New Jersey 1 +1
Pennsylvania 1 +1
Texas 10 +8
Washington 2 +0
Total 22 +3

 

States with 2020 measures
State Number # last month
Alabama 5 +4
Arkansas 3 +0
California 3 +0
Colorado 1 +0
Illinois 1 +1
Iowa 1 +0
Louisiana 1 +1
Michigan 1 +0
Missouri 1 +1
Montana 3 +0
Nebraska 2 +0
Nevada 5 +3
New Mexico 1 +0
North Dakota 2 +0
Oregon 1 +1
Utah 4 +0
Wisconsin 1 +0
Wyoming 1 +0
Total 37 +1

Number of certifications in past years:

Odd-numbered years

Even-numbered years

  • At this point in the year from 2012 through 2018 election cycles, an average of 41 measures were certified for the next even-numbered year. From 2012 through 2018, an average of 169 measures were ultimately certified to appear on the general election ballot.

2019 certifications

See also: Ballotpedia’s Tuesday Count for 2019 and Ballot measure petition deadlines and requirements, 2019

From June 16, 2019, to July 14, 2019, three 2019 statewide ballot measures were certified for the ballot:

June 18:

  • Maine Allow for Alternative Initiative Signatures for Persons with Disabilities Amendment (2019) – This amendment would authorize legislation allowing persons with physical disabilities that prevent them from signing their own names to use an alternative signature to sign petitions for citizen-initiated ballot measures. Maine’s constitution currently requires people to sign petitions for citizen-initiated ballot measures with their original signature. The state constitution does not have a similar requirement for candidate petitions. The constitutional amendment was introduced as Legislative Document 1437 (LD 1437). On June 3, 2019, the state House approved LD 1437. On June 18, 2019, the state Senate approved LD 1437.

June 19:

  • Pennsylvania Marsy’s Law Crime Victims Rights Amendment (2019) – This amendment would add specific rights of crime victims, together known as a Marsy’s Law, to the Pennsylvania Constitution. In Pennsylvania, a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot. The state legislature approved the amendment unanimously in 2018. On June 20, 2019, the state House approved the amendment 190-8. The state Senate approved it unanimously on June 19, 2019. Marsy’s Law is a type of crime victims’ rights legislation. Twelve states have voted on Marsy’s Law constitutional amendments, and voters approved each measure. The supreme courts of Kentucky and Montana or invalidated the amendments.

June 20:

2020 certifications

See also: Ballotpedia’s Tuesday Count for 2020 and Ballot measure petition deadlines and requirements, 2020

From June 16, 2019, to July 14, 2019, one statewide ballot measure was certified for the 2020 ballot in Oregon:

June 30:

  • Oregon Campaign Finance Amendment (2020) – This amendment was referred to the 2020 ballot by the Oregon State Legislature. It would authorize the state legislature and local governments to (1) enact laws or ordinances limiting campaign contributions and expenditures; (2) require disclosure of contributions and expenditures; and (3) require that political advertisements identify the people or entities that paid for them. It was approved 22-5 in the state Senate and 43-11 in the state House. All 18 Democratic state senators voted in favor of the amendment. In the House, 36 of 38 Democrats voted for it, one voted against it, and one did not vote. Republicans were split on the amendment. Four Republican senators voted in favor, five against, and three did not vote. In the House, seven Republicans voted in favor of the amendment, 10 against it, and four did not vote. Currently, Oregon allows unlimited contributions to candidates and ballot measures

Proponents report collecting 1.5 million signatures for 2020 initiative to require Florida voters to be U.S. citizens

See also: Florida Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative (2020)

On July 11, 2019, Florida Citizen Voters announced having collected more than 1.5 million signatures to qualify its initiative for the 2020 ballot. To make the ballot, 766,200 valid signatures must be submitted and verified by February 1, 2020.

This measure would amend the Florida Constitution to state that only citizens of the United States are qualified electors in Florida.

  • The state constitution as it presently exists: Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.
  • The proposed change under the ballot measure: Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.

A similar amendment is certified to appear on the ballot in Alabama in 2020.

Voters in North Dakota approved a similar measure in 2018.

Proponents submit signatures for Tucson sanctuary city initiative

See also: Tucson, Arizona, Sanctuary City Initiative (November 2019)

On July 3, 2019, proponents of an initiative to make Tucson the first sanctuary city in Arizona submitted 18,155 unverified signatures to election officials. They needed to submit 9,241 valid signatures by July 5, 2019, to qualify the initiative for the November 5 ballot.

The initiative would add into the city code a declaration of the city’s sanctuary status and add a new section to the code that includes provisions:

  • restricting law enforcement officers from actions to determine a person’s immigration status under certain conditions;
  • prohibiting officers from contacting federal law enforcement agencies to determine a person’s immigration status; and
  • prohibiting city employees from inquiring about a person’s immigration status, among other policies.

People’s Defense Initiative (also referred to as Tucson Families Free and Together) sponsored the petition drive.

Ballotpedia’s August 2017 review of municipal immigration policies found that 32 of the nation’s 100 largest cities by population self-identified as sanctuary cities or maintained sanctuary policies. As of 2017, 30 of the 32 cities identified as sanctuary jurisdictions had Democratic mayors. The other two had Republican mayors.

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