On Dec. 17, Ballotpedia published its year-end analysis of the 39 statewide ballot measures voters decided in 2021. Voters in nine states approved 26 measures and defeated 13 on four different election dates. The year-end analysis drills down into the types and origins of the measures, the outcomes, campaign finance and signature-gathering costs, and ballot language readability. It also provides historical context on all of these details.
Here are some highlights from the analysis:
- There were more statewide measures in 2021 than in any odd-numbered year since 2007. On average, there have been 33 in eight states during odd-numbered years since 2011.
- State legislatures referred 32 questions to the ballot, of which, voters approved 25 and rejected seven.
- Four citizen initiatives were on the ballot in 2021. Three were in Colorado and were all defeated. One was in Maine and was approved.
- In 2021, statewide ballot measure campaigns raised $107 million. Support and opposition campaigns for Maine Question 1 raised $99.62 million, which was 93% of the total contributions across statewide measures.
- The campaign opposing Maine Question 1 spent $448.61 for every vote against the measure, which is the highest cost per vote (CPV) of any statewide ballot measure campaign since at least 2016.
- In total, the campaigns behind the three initiatives in Colorado spent $3.33 million on signature gathering, amounting to an average cost per required signature of $8.42.
- The average Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level readability score for the ballot titles of all 39 statewide ballot measures was 18 (second-year graduate school reading level).