Certified ballot measures lags prior even years at this point in the cycle

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. So far this year, 84 measures have been certified for statewide ballots
  2. Candidate Connection spotlight: More from state legislative candidates in Illinois and Ohio
  3. Seventy candidates filed to run for 15 U.S. House districts in Ohio

Certified ballot measures lags prior even years at this point in the cycle

Eighty-four statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 31 states so far this year, five less than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020. 

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity:

Three new measures were certified for the ballot last week:

  1. Alabama County and Municipality Economic and Industrial Development Financing Amendment (2022)
  2. Alabama Notice to Victim’s Family Required for Commutation or Reprieve of Death Sentences Amendment (2022)
  3. Maryland Requiring Howard County Circuit Court Judges to Serve on Orphan Court Amendment (2022)

Enough signatures were verified for five initiatives in Alaska, Massachusetts, and Ohio to certify them to the legislature: 

  1. Alaska State Recognition of American Indian Tribes Initiative (2022)
  2. Massachusetts App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2022)
  3. Massachusetts Changes to Alcohol Retail Licensing Initiative (2022)
  4. Massachusetts Medical Loss Ratios for Dental Insurance Plans Initiative (2022)
  5. Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2022)

From 2010 to 2020, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an even-numbered year was 164. By this time during even-numbered years from 2010 through 2020, an average of 89 statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 

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Candidate Connection spotlight: More from state legislative candidates in Illinois and Ohio

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey asks candidates for federal, state, and local office to share what motivates them on a personal and political level. We’ll be providing regular updates on races with a 100% survey completion rate in Thursday editions of the Brew this year.

As of April 12, 2022, we’re tracking 27 races with final candidate lists and a 100% Candidate Connection completion rate. Three of those races reached 100% completion in the past week.

What’s new this week

This week, we’re featuring new responses from candidates in two state legislative primaries—one Democratic primary and one Republican primary. Let’s start with the Democratic primary for a seat in the Ohio House.

Two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination for Ohio House of Representatives District 83: Melissa Kritzell (D) and Claire Osborne (D). Incumbent Jon Cross (R) is the only other candidate on the ballot. The last time the seat was up, in 2020, Cross defeated write-in candidate Mary Harshfield (D) 96% to 4%, although Ohio has not yet approved new state legislative district lines and the new District 83 may differ from the old district boundaries. All 99 seats in the Ohio House, currently under a 64-34 Republican majority with one vacant seat, are up for election this year.

Here’s how Kritzell and Osborne answered the question, “Who are you? Tell us about yourself.”


“My name is Melissa Kritzell. In 1976, I was born in Shelbyville, Indiana. My parents raised five children: two brothers, two sisters, and me-the youngest. I grew up in a conservative-Christian household. My father worked full time and my mom stayed home to care for my grandparents.

Throughout my younger years, my family endured several struggles. When my father quit his job in 1989, we moved to Ohio where we survived on my mother’s social security, food stamps, and disability. We did not have running water. . I did not consider my parents very politically active, however, they did vote in Presidential elections. As I got older, I realized how close-minded my parents were. They did not agree with Democratic ideals. It was their treatment of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, in 1992, that helped form my politics. I married at the age of 17 and am still happily married to my husband, Larry, almost 27 years later. Because of my diagnosis of ovarian cancer in September 1995 (at 18 years old), I feel strongly about affordable and accessible women’s healthcare. I’ve served on the Caucus and am also an Advocate Leader with the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. Today, I am happy to say that I am still in remission. In 2000, I received my GED, and in 2005, I became a State Tested Nurse’s Aide. As Senator Warren says, “Dream big, fight hard.” This is a quote that I live by. MY MISSION: I am running to be your next Ohio State 83rd District Representative.”


“I am a Licensed Social Worker and have my master’s in community social work. I was raised in Upper Sandusky, Ohio but now live and work in Findlay, Ohio. My mother was the first in her family to go to college and is a public school teacher knowing first hand how important strong public education is. My father became the first in his family to go to college not by choice but because when the automotive factory he worked at shut down he knew he had to do something different to provide for his family. I know first hand how poor policy decisions at the local and state level hurt communities. Today I work as a Program Manager for a local peer Recovery Community Organization.”

Next, let’s turn to Illinois House of Representatives District 36, where two candidates are running for the Republican nomination: Robbie Segina (R) and David Sheppard (R). The only other candidate on the ballot is incumbent Kelly M. Burke (D). The last time there was a contested general election for this seat was in 2012; no Republicans ran for the seat between 2014 and 2018. That year, Burke defeated Bob Shelstrom (R) 68% to 32%. All 118 seats in the Illinois House, currently under a 73-45 Democratic majority, are up for election this year.

Here’s how Segina and Sheppard answered the question, “Who are you? Tell us about yourself.”


“Patriotic American, mother of 3. Grew up on SW side of Chicago and have lived in Oak Lawn for last 27 years. Worked as a Workers Compensation Specialist supervising staff and managing Workers Compensation claims. Robbie did this for 3 0 years and retired. I’m retired and currently serve as an Independent Avon Representative. Robbie believes in Parents rights/school choice, Law and Order/More police in high crime areas/Violent criminals belong behind bars/stop No bail laws, Election Integrity/voter ID laws, Constitutional rights, fiscal responsibility, Lower Taxes and I’m Pro Life.”


“Welcome, my name is David Sheppard. I’m a father, son, and husband. I love my family and I love this great state, Illinois. As a veteran, I served the United States in the Navy. In Illinois, I served my Community as a Police Officer for almost three decades. I now want to serve Illinois as your next State Representative in the 36th District. When I am elected, I will serve every Illinois resident, regardless of race, religion, or political party. We all love our children and family. Our neighbors and friends. We have seen too many of them flee this state after the governor shutdown this state, causing businesses to fail and residents to lose their jobs and homes. As a Police Officer, I have seen what crime has done to our families and communities. It’s time for leadership that will not criminalize Police work, but instead hold criminals accountable for their actions. I will create civil and criminal liabilities for those who release dangerous criminals, only for them to later commit murder and other hideous crimes. We need to combat the criminals and take back our streets.”

About Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

We use the term race to describe a primary, runoff, or general election for a single office or seat or for a single set of seats that are elected as a batch. For example, a school board general election for three at-large seats where each voter selects three candidates would be one race, while a school board general election for three seats elected by district where each voter is voting for one candidate would be three separate races.

Some other details about the 27 races with a 100% response rate:

  • As of this week, there are nine states with at least one race with a 100% response rate.
  • Thirteen of the 27 races are taking place in Texas.
  • Three of the 27 races are general elections.
  • Of the 24 primaries and runoffs, 15 are for the Democratic nomination and nine are for the Republican nomination.
  • Thirteen of the 27 are races for U.S. House.

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Seventy candidates filed to run for 15 U.S. House districts in Ohio

The filing deadline for candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio was March 4, 2022. This year, 70 candidates filed to run in Ohio’s 15 U.S. House districts, including 39 Republicans, 29 Democrats, and two independents. That’s 4.7 candidates per district, more than the 4.4 candidates per district in 2020 and fewer than the 5.5 in 2018.

So far, Ballotpedia staff have completed post-filing analysis on 15 states where U.S. House filing deadlines have passed. Across those 15 states, an average of 5.7 candidates have filed per seat, up from 5.3 in 2020 and 5.4 in 2018.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved a redrawn congressional map on March 2 in a 5-2 vote along party lines, meaning the map will last for four years. On March 18, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to overturn the map as part of the legal challenge that overturned the initial congressional map. The revised map will be in effect for Ohio’s 2022 congressional elections unless a court rules otherwise in response to a legal challenge.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Ohio was apportioned 15 seats in the House of Representatives, one less than it received after the 2010 census.
  2. Although Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) originally filed for re-election, he announced on April 6 that he was retiring. Early voting has already begun, and his name will still appear on the ballot.
  3. Ohio’s 13th Congressional District is also an open-seat race. Rep. Tim Ryan (D) is running for election to the U.S. Senate. Seven candidates are running for the Republican nomination to face state Rep. and former House minority leader Emilia Sykes (D), who is unopposed for her party’s nomination.
  4. There are 19 contested U.S. House primaries —10 Republican and nine Democratic —this year in Ohio.
  5. The two open U.S. House seats this year is the same number as in 2018. All U.S. House incumbents in Ohio ran for re-election in 2020.
  6. Six incumbents do not face primary challengers.
  7. All 15 U.S. House districts will be contested in the general election, as every district has both Democratic and Republican candidates.

Ohio’s primary for U.S. House districts is scheduled for May 3, 2022. The Ohio Supreme Court announced on March 29 that it will not decide challenges to the state’s congressional map until after that date.

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