ICYMI: Top stories of the week

Each week, we bring you a collection of the most viewed stories from The Daily Brew, condensed. Here are the top stories from the week of July 31-August 4.

Ballotpedia Report: states are making it harder for campaigns to qualify and pass initiatives and referendums

Between 2018 and 2023, state legislators introduced 1,787 pieces of legislation related to initiative, referendum, and recall processes. Legislators passed 194 (10.9%) of those bills and resolutions. 

Of these, 42 (21.7%) made the initiative, referendum, and recall processes more difficult—an average of seven per year.

By comparison, legislators passed 13 bills or resolutions (6.7%) to make the processes less difficult—an average of two per year. 

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Texas becomes ninth state to resign from ERIC

On July 20, Texas became the ninth state to resign from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), and the eighth this year.

ERIC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization composed of state election officials. ERIC’s website says the organization “[helps] election officials maintain more accurate voter rolls and detect possible illegal voting.” Officials in states that have left the organization have expressed concerns about protection of personal data, partisanship, and strategic disagreements as contributing factors to their respective resignations.

The Texas State Senate approved SB1070, which effectively withdraws the state from ERIC, by a vote of 26-4 on April 12, and the Texas House of Representatives passed the bill 85-61 on May 23. The withdrawal will become effective on Oct. 19.

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Maine voters to decide on eight ballot measures in November—the most since 2010

Maine voters will decide eight ballot measures in November—the most since 2010. Between 1985 and 2022, the average number of ballot measures on the Maine ballot was 5.3. Last year, no measures made the ballot in Maine.

Of the 249 ballot measures Maine voters decided between 1985 and 2022, 186 (74.7%) measures were approved, and 63 (25.3%) were defeated.

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