Ballot measure campaign contributions top $1 billion

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 1, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Ballot measure campaign contributions top $1 billion
  2. Previewing Arizona’s toss-up gubernatorial election
  3. Under Louisiana’s unique voting system, primaries are on Nov. 8

One week until election day! We hope you had a great Halloween last night and that your sugar intake didn’t affect your sleep. Here at Ballotpedia, we’re hoarding our candy until election night.

Ballot measure campaign contributions top $1 billion

As of Oct. 28, supporters and opponents of the 150 statewide measures certified for the ballot this year have raised a total of $1.01 billion. Voters have already decided five of those measures and 132 are slated for Nov. 8. Three in Louisiana are up on Dec. 10.

In 2020, supporters and opponents raised $1.24 billion through Dec. 31 for 129 ballot measures.

  • Most of this year’s contributions have gone to measures in California (71%), followed by Michigan (9%), and Massachusetts (6%).
  • In 2020, the top three states were California (62%), Illinois (10%), and Massachusetts (5%).
  • In 2018, they were California (31%), Nevada (11%), and Florida (11%).

The chart below compares total contributions between 2018, 2020, and 2022, along with the amount going to campaigns in California.

California’s Proposition 27 alone accounts for 41% of all ballot measure contributions nationwide, with $418.5 million raised between supporters and opponents. Proposition 27 would legalize online and mobile sports betting in the state.

Outside of California, Michigan’s Proposal 3 has had the most contributions at $63.1 million, making it the most expensive measure in Michigan since we began tracking campaign finance data in 2014. Proposal 3 would create a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, defined to include abortion, contraceptives, and other pregnancy-related matters.

The chart below shows the 10 ballot measures that have received the most contributions so far:

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Previewing Arizona’s toss-up gubernatorial election

Next in our preview of battleground elections this year is Arizona’s gubernatorial election. Click here for our coverage of other gubernatorial battlegrounds.

Katie Hobbs (D), Kari Lake (R), and seven write-in candidates are running. Incumbent Doug Ducey (R), first elected in 2014, is term-limited.

Hobbs is the current secretary of state, first elected in 2018. That was the first election cycle since 2008 when a Democrat had won statewide office. Earlier, Hobbs served in the state House from 2011 to 2013, and the Senate from 2013 to 2019.

Hobbs said, “Arizonans … want someone who will put the politics aside and get the job done,” adding that she is “committed to protecting women’s reproductive freedom, investing in our public schools … finally addressing our water crisis … and lowering costs on everything from housing to groceries to school supplies.”

Lake is a former news anchor for Fox10 News Phoenix.

In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Lake said she is “a voice for the silent majority suffering at the hands of cancel culture, critical race theory, and the devastating effects progressive policies are piling up on America’s formerly great cities.” Read Lake’s full survey responses here.

Three election forecasters rate this election as one of the nation’s six toss-up gubernatorial contests. An average of five recent polls showed Lake leading Hobbs 49% to 45%.

Democrats currently control 22 governorships to Republicans’ 28. Arizona is one of six governorships Republicans are defending in a state President Joe Biden (D) won in 2020. 

In 2020, Biden defeated former President Donald Trump (R), 49.4% to 49.1%, the second-narrowest statewide margin behind Georgia, and one of three states decided by less than one percentage point.

Republicans have controlled the governorship since Jan Brewer (R) assumed office in 2009 after Janet Napolitano (D) resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. 

Since 2010, Republicans have defeated Democrats in Arizona’s gubernatorial contests by an average of 54% to 42%.

Write-in candidates in this race include Steph Denny (R), Alice Novoa (R), Liana West (G), William Pounds (Independent-Green), Mikaela Lutes-Burton (L), Anthony Camboni (I), and Rayshawn Merrill (I).

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Under Louisiana’s unique voting system, primaries are on Nov. 8

Today is the 46th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Louisiana, the Pelican State!

Technically, the elections on Nov. 8 are primaries rather than general elections.

Louisiana uses a majority-vote system, in which all candidates running for local, state, or federal office appear on the same primary ballot regardless of their partisan affiliations. That’s what’s happening on Nov. 8.

If a candidate wins a majority vote in the primary, they win the election outright. If nobody meets that threshold, the top-two finishers advance to a general election on Dec. 10.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Ohio
Week Six: South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee
Week Seven: Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Alabama, Utah
Week Eight: Mississippi, Maryland, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Maine
Week Nine: Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida
Week Ten: Missouri

On the ballot in Louisiana

At the federal level, Louisianans will elect one U.S. Senator and six U.S. Representatives.

Louisiana is one of four states—along with Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia—that hold most state executive and state legislative elections in odd years, but the state is electing two public service commissioners this year and holding two special state legislative elections to fill vacancies.

One state supreme court justice and 22 intermediate appellate court judges must stand for re-election, though the state supreme court race was canceled after Justice John Weimer ran unopposed.

We are also covering local elections in New Orleans and school board elections in six districts.

Redistricting highlights

The number of U.S. House districts in Louisiana remained the same at six following the 2020 census.

Congressional and elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what Louisiana’s congressional map looked like before and after the 2020 census:

You can interact with our map comparison tools by visiting our Louisiana redistricting page here.

Partisan balance

  • Both of Louisiana’s U.S. Senators—Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy—are Republicans
  • Democrats represent one U.S. House district and Republicans represent five.
  • Louisiana has had a Democratic governor since John Bel Edwards (D) assumed office in 2015.
  • Republicans hold a 26-11 majority in the Senate and a 68-34 majority in the House.
  • With a Democratic governor and Republican majorities in both legislative chambers, Louisiana is one of 13 states with a divided government, a status it has held since 2016.

Key races

  • State Senate District 5: state Reps. Royce Duplessis (D) and Mandie Landry (D) are running to fill a vacancy. Since only two candidates are running, voters will decide this race on Nov. 8.
  • School Board Conflicts: the school board contests in Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, and St. Tammany Parishes are five of the more than 400 school board races we are tracking this November where candidates or local media have brought up issues relating to race in education, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and/or sex and gender in schools. Forty-six seats are up for election across these five districts. Learn more about our school board conflicts coverage here.

Ballot measures

Eleven statewide measures were certified to appear on the ballot this year, eight on Nov. 8 and three on Dec. 10, including:

  • Amendment 2 (Nov. 8), which would expand property tax exemptions for certain veterans with disabilities and extends certain exemptions for their spouses;
  • Amendment 7 (Nov. 8), which would remove language in the state constitution that allows slavery and involuntary servitude as a punishment for a crime, except as it may be applied lawfully in the administration of criminal justice; and,
  • Amendment 1 (Dec. 10), which would add a section to the state constitution saying “No person who is not a citizen of the United States shall be allowed to register and vote in this state.”

Between 1985 and 2021, 272 measures appeared on statewide ballots. Voters approved 190 (70%) and defeated 82 (30%).


  • Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Louisiana requires voters to present photo identification while voting. Voters without accepted IDs may complete an identification affidavit to vote. Learn more here.
  • Early voting began on Oct. 25 and ends today, Nov. 1.
  • Only certain voters are eligible to vote absentee/by-mail. Requests must be made by Nov. 4 and completed ballots returned by Nov. 7. Learn more about requirements here and check the status of your ballot here.
  • The in-person and mail-in voter registration deadlines passed on Oct. 11 and Oct. 18.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

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