Voters decided 264 local ballot measures in 29 different states in the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and state capitals

There were 264 local measures in 29 different states within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and state capitals.

Of the 264 measures, 219 (82.95%) were approved, and 45 (17.05%) were defeated. Eleven (4.16%) were citizen initiatives and 253 (95.83%) were referred to the ballot by city councils, school districts, or other local governing bodies.

In 2023, Ballotpedia covered local measures that appeared on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and in the state capitals not among the 100 largest cities. This included citywide measures and countywide, special district, and school district measures. Ballotpedia also covered all local measures in California and all statewide ballot measures in the country. California local ballot measures are not included in this report aside from those included in the top 100 largest cities. You can read an analysis of California’s local ballot measures here.

Texas had the most local ballot measures within the scope with 80, 62 of which were approved and 18 of which were defeated. Arizona had the second-highest number of ballot measures with 26 approved and six defeated for a total of 32 measures.

The 264 local measures on the ballot in the top 100 largest cities and capitals addressed a variety of topics from bond issues and taxes to local marijuana, abortion, elections, and housing. Bond issues were the most prevalent topic, with 93 measures related to bonds (35.23%). Sixty-three measures (23.86%) concerned local taxes. Thirty-four (12.88%) concerned city, county, or district governance; local budgets; and public officials.

There were 93 local ballot measures to issue bonds in the top 100 largest cities and capitals in 2023 (including city, county, and school district bonds). The measures proposed a total of $18.54 billion in bonds. Voters approved 79 of the measures, amounting to $17.16 billion. Voters rejected 14 ballot measures, amounting to $1.37 billion.

The number of local measures in 2023 (264) is about a 31% increase from the number of local measures voters decided in 2021, when voters in the top 100 cities and state capitals decided on 202 local ballot measures, approving 141 and rejecting 61.

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