Less than 10% of all bills introduced to change ballot initiative processes passed in 2022

Welcome to the Friday, January 20, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Less than 10% of all bills introduced to change ballot initiative processes passed in 2022
  2. 18% of last year’s congressional elections were decided by fewer than 10 percentage points
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many people have filed with the FEC to run for president in 2024?

Less than 10% of all bills introduced to change ballot initiative processes passed in 2022

In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked 232 bills that would change the citizen-initiated ballot measure processes, the most since 2014.

Twenty-three proposals were enacted into law, representing 9.9% of those 232 bills, the lowest percentage over that timespan.

Since 2014, lawmakers have introduced an average of 189 bills affecting ballot measure processes. Twenty-seven tend to pass, with an average passage rate of 14.2%.

Examples of bills passed in 2022 include:

  • Florida House Bill 921 would have prohibited out-of-state donors from giving more than $3,000 to support or oppose an initiative during the signature-gathering phase. A U.S. district court declared the law unconstitutional last June.
  • Washington House Bill 1876 requires ballot language to include a statement describing how an initiative might affect state revenue.

In addition to these bills, voters also decided an increased number of legislatively referred ballot measures on the initiative process in 2022. 

There were six such measures on the ballot in four states: five constitutional amendments and one referred statute. This is up from two in 2018 and four in 2020. Voters approved two and rejected three:

  • Arkansas Issue 2 would have required a 60% vote to approve future ballot measures instead of a simple majority. Voters rejected this measure with 59% of the vote.
  • Arizona Proposition 128 would have allowed the Legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures containing provisions the Arizona or U.S. Supreme Courts rule unconstitutional. Voters rejected this measure with 64% of the vote.
  • Arizona Proposition 129 requires citizen-initiated ballot measures to cover a single subject. Voters approved this measure with 55% of the vote.
  • Arizona Proposition 132 requires a 60% vote to pass ballot measures affecting taxes. Voters approved this measure with 51% of the vote.
  • Colorado Proposition GG adds a table to ballot titles for initiatives showing changes in income tax owed for average taxpayers in certain brackets. Voters approved this measure with 72% of the vote.
  • South Dakota Amendment C would have required a 60% vote to approve future ballot measures that increase taxes or fees or increase appropriations by $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years. Voters rejected this measure with 67% of the vote.

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18% of last year’s congressional elections were decided by fewer than 10 percentage points

Of the 470 congressional elections held in 2022, 18.1% (85) were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer. 

Ten of those races were for the U.S. Senate, where 35 seats were up for election. Seventy-five were in the House, where all 435 districts were on the ballot.

The percentage of races decided by fewer than 10 percentage points decreased in 2022 compared to 2018 and 2020 but was higher than in 2014 and 2016.

But when looking at races decided by five percentage points or fewer, the figure in 2022 is actually the second-highest since 2014 at 9.8% (46), behind only 2018 with 10.6% (50).

The closest Senate race in 2022 was in Nevada, where incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) defeated Adam Laxalt (R) by a margin of 0.50 percentage points (48.70% to 48.20%).

The closest House race was in Colorado’s 3rd District, where incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) defeated Adam Frisch (D) by a margin of 0.17 percentage points (50.06% to 49.89%).

The list below shows the five offices with the narrowest margins of victory in 2022, along with the winning candidate and margin of victory. Of these five races, incumbents won re-election in two, one incumbent—Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.)—lost, and the two races in California and Michigan were for open seats.

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#FridayTrivia: How many people have filed with the FEC to run for president in 2024?

In Thursday’s Brew, we looked at the most recent presidential candidate filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). As of Jan. 17, the number of people who have filed to run is already at its third-highest level in 40 years. To run for president, you must be a natural-born citizen of the U.S., at least 35 years old, and a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years.

As of Jan. 17, how many people have filed with the FEC to run for president in 2024?

  1. 1,212
  2. 314
  3. 859
  4. 531



About the author

Douglas Kronaizl

Douglas Kronaizl is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.