160 ballot initiatives have been filed for the 2023 election cycle as of Jan. 1

As of Jan. 1, proponents have filed 160 ballot initiatives in four states for elections in 2023. Washington leads with 151 ballot initiatives. The three other states include Colorado (one initiative), Maine (six initiatives), and Ohio (two initiatives).

Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 161 ballot initiatives were filed for odd-numbered-year ballots. The highest number of initiatives filed during that period was 296 measures in 2021. The average number of initiatives certified for ballots during that period was five.

Washington had the highest average number of initiatives filed during that period with 125 initiatives, but it had the lowest certification rate at 1.7%, which amounts to an average of two measures over the 10-year period. The state with the highest certification rate for odd-numbered year ballots was Mississippi with 27.7%. The average number filed in Mississippi was eight. 

The number of initiatives filed for odd-numbered year ballots is comparatively lower than the number filed for even-numbered year ballots. Between 2010 and 2022, the average number of initiatives filed for even-numbered-year ballots was 781 with an average of 57 initiatives making the ballot.

One initiative has already qualified for a statewide ballot in 2023. Oklahomans will decide on a recreational marijuana legalization initiative on March 7, 2023. Proponents initially targeted the 2022 ballot and submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. However, due to legal challenges and statutory deadlines for ballot inclusion, the measure could not be placed on the 2022 ballot and was set to be voted on at a later election date. On Oct. 18, 2022, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) ordered the measure to be placed on the March ballot.

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