Our list of 2019’s Top 10 ballot measures

10 ballot measures we’re watching closely on Nov. 5 

Yesterday, our ballot measures team published its ranking of the Top 10 measures that voters will decide on Nov. 5. There are 32 statewide ballot measures across eight states. The average number of statewide measures on the ballot in odd-numbered years from 2009 through 2017 was between 30 and 31. Ballotpedia is also covering 141 local measures in jurisdictions in 17 states within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. This includes covering all local ballot measures in California and North Carolina.

Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s report:

Washington Referendum 88, Vote on I-1000 Affirmative Action Measure

Washington voters will be asked to approve or reject Initiative 1000—which would expressly allow the state to implement affirmative action policies without the use of preferential treatment or quotas (as defined in I-1000) in public employment, education, and contracting. Washington Initiative 200, which voters approved in 1998, prohibited public institutions in the state from discriminating or granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting. Initiative 200 did not define preferential treatment.

Washington Initiative 976, Limits on Motor Vehicle Taxes and Fees Measure

This citizen-initiated measure would limit annual license fees for vehicles weighing under 10,000 pounds in Washington to $30, except for voter-approved charges. It would also base vehicle taxes on the Kelley Blue Book value and repeal authorization for certain regional transit authorities to impose motor vehicle excise taxes.

Colorado Proposition CC, Retain Revenue for Transportation and Education TABOR Measure

This measure would allow Colorado to retain revenue above the state spending cap to provide funding for transportation and education. Without the approval of this measure, the state would be required to refund the revenue to taxpayers under the provisions of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). Since 1992—when TABOR was adopted—through 2018, Colorado voters have decided 19 ballot measures that would have increased revenue for the state, and thus, required voter approval. During that period, voters approved four measures and rejected 15. 

The other seven items on the list include three statewide and four local ballot measures in seven states. Click the link below to read about the rest of the Top 10! Subscribe to our State Ballot Measures Monthly newsletter to stay up-to-speed in realtime on all of the ballot measure news we cover.

Mississippi voters to elect new governor

Mississippi voters will decide the only open-seat gubernatorial race of 2019 as Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election. State Attorney General Jim Hood (D), Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R), Bob Hickingbottom (Constitution), and David Singletary (I) are competing to succeed Bryant. 

Hood was first elected state attorney general in 2003 and describes himself as a moderate, saying that he is a firearms owner and that he supports restrictions on abortion. Reeves—who was first elected lieutenant governor in 2011 after serving eight years as state treasurersays that he has lowered taxes while decreasing Mississippi’s debt.

Reeves defeated former state Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller (R) in a runoff August 27 after no candidate won a majority of the vote in the Republican primary. Hood won the Democratic primary over seven other candidates. Three separate race tracking outlets have rated the race Leans Republican.

Through September 30, Reeves had spent $13.0 million on his campaign and Hood spent $3.2 million. As of that date, Reeves had $3.3 million in cash on hand to Hood’s $1.3 million. A mid-October poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy had Reeves leading Hood within the margin of error—46% to 43%—with 11% of voters undecided.

Candidates running for statewide office in Mississippi must win both a majority of the statewide vote and a majority of the 122 state House districts in order to win the election outright. If no candidate does both, the state House votes to decide the winner. 

Mississippi voters will also elect all 174 members of the state legislature Nov. 5. Heading into the elections, Republicans currently hold a 74-44 majority with two independent members and two vacancies in the state House and a 31-18 majority with three vacancies in the state Senate.

Mississippi is currently one of 22 Republican state government trifectas. If Republicans maintain their legislative majorities in Tuesday’s elections, a victory for Reeves would preserve their Republican trifecta while a victory for one of the other candidates would break it. In order to gain a trifecta, Democrats would need to take the governor’s office and win majorities in both legislative chambers.

Local Roundup

At Ballotpedia, we provide election coverage of all officeholders in the nation’s 100 largest cities—including mayors, city council members, and other municipal officers. We also cover every election on the ballot in these cities, such as county officials, school board members, and local ballot measures.

There’s only a handful of days left before the polls close across the country Nov. 5. I hope you’re as excited as I am to follow these election results and learn who’ll be serving on city councils and school boards and other positions after the 2019 elections. Our team is gearing up to follow thousands of candidates. They’re resting up to be fully charged for next week. But it got me wondering – how many candidates will we watch on Tuesday?

So I checked with our data team. They ran some queries and here’s what they told me:

  • 3,529 candidates in local and county elections in 20 states;
  • 48 candidates for seats in special districts in 5 states;
  • 451 school board candidates in 16 states.

I hope you’ll visit us all next week starting Nov. 5 to track election results for those local races that matter to you!