California had the fewest propositions this decade in the state’s history

This decade featured the fewest California ballot propositions in the state’s history

Since California has finalized its 2019 general election ballot, I wanted to share the results of our analysis of the number of ballot measures in the state this decade. 

  • Between 2010 and 2019, there were 69 statewide ballot measures in California, which means this decade featured the fewest number of measures since voters adopted the initiative process in 1911. 
  • The number of citizen-initiated measures—51—was the third-most over the previous 11 decades.
  • Over the last ten years, the state legislature passed fewer constitutional amendments, referred statutes, and general obligation bonds decided by voters. 

After peaking at 142 ballot measures in the 1970s, the number of ballot measures appearing on the ballot in California has decreased each decade. The average decade featured 116 ballot propositions, of which 39 were citizen-initiated.

In 1912, California voters decided the first citizen-initiated measures. Since then, there have been 1,271 ballot measures. Of those, 428—or 34%—were put on the ballot through citizen petitions which came either through the initiative or the veto referendum process.

The approval rate for all ballot measures in California—citizen-initiated measures and legislative referrals—from 1912 to 2019 is 57%. The approval rate for citizen initiatives during this time is 36%. 

California propositions by decade

Due to turnout in California’s 2018 gubernatorial election—which determines the number of signatures required for the two successive general elections—signature requirements increased by 70.3%. During the next two cycles—2020 and 2022—citizen-initiated measures will require the largest number of signatures to make the ballot in the state’s history. An initiated constitutional amendment will require 997,139 valid signatures and an initiated statute or veto referendum will require 623,212 valid signatures. 

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Louisiana’s 94 contested legislative elections this fall outpaces 2011 and 2015

Louisiana voters head to the polls October 12 (yes, this Saturday) to cast their ballots in the state’s legislative primaries. There are 94 contested legislative elections this year — more than there were in either the 2011 or 2015 election cycles.

There are 11 state Senate and 39 state House races that are uncontested in 2019, which is less than the number in the last two election cycles. In 2015, 21 Senate and 53 House races had a single candidate, while in 2011, 20 Senate and 43 House races had one candidate. In addition to elections for governor, six other statewide executive offices, and eight seats on the state board of education, Louisiana voters will elect all 39 members of the state Senate and 105 representatives in the state House. These are the first state legislative elections since 2015.  

Louisiana uses what’s known as a blanket primary, where all candidates in any race appear on the ballot Oct. 12—regardless of party. A candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the primary vote. If not, then a general election for the top two finishers will be held Nov. 16.

Here’s how many races were decided in the primary versus the general election in the last two cycles:

  • There were 18 contested elections for state Senate seats in 2015. Fourteen races were decided in the primary and four in the general election. 
  • There were 19 contested state Senate elections in 2011—with 15 races decided in the primary and four in the general election.
  • Fifty-two state House seats featured contested elections in 2015 with 37 races decided in the primary election and 15 in the general election.
  • Of the 62 contested state House elections in 2011, 41 were decided in the primary election and 21 in the general election.

Republicans currently hold a 25-14 majority in the state Senate. There are 60 Republicans, 39 Democrats, and five independents—with one vacancy in the state House. Heading into the elections, Louisiana is under a divided government; Gov. John Bel Edwards is Democratic while Republicans control both legislative chambers.

Click the link below to learn more about Louisiana’s 2019 elections.

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Warren leads Democratic presidential candidates in Ballotpedia pageviews for second consecutive week

As part of our coverage of the presidential race, we track and report the number of views the candidates’ 2020 presidential campaign pages receive to show who is getting our readers’ attention. 

For the week ending Oct. 5, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 3,071 pageviews, more than any other Democratic candidate. This was the second consecutive week Warren’s page received the most pageviews among the Democratic field. 

Andrew Yang’s page had the second-most pageviews during this week and Joe Biden’s page was third.  The only Democratic candidate to receive more pageviews last week than the week before was Tom Steyer, whose pageviews increased by 33.6%.

Andrew Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews among Democratic presidential candidates in 2019 with 124,790. He is followed by Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, and Warren. Those five candidates have each had more than 100,000 pageviews this year.

See the full data on all presidential candidates below.