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Nicole Fisher

Nicole Fisher is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Pennsylvania’s two-session vote requirement for constitutional amendments and party control of the state House

Democrats won control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on November 8 for the first time in 12 years. The Associated Press called 102 seats for Democrats and 101 seats for Republicans. The change in party control may affect a package of constitutional amendments passed earlier this year by Republicans in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

In Pennsylvania, for the state Legislature to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot, the amendment must receive a simple majority vote in each legislative chamber during two successive sessions.

On July 8, 2022, a package of five constitutional amendments was passed by both the Republican-controlled House and Senate. These amendments are:

  • An amendment that would allow a political party’s candidate for governor to choose their own candidate for lieutenant governor
  • An amendment that would say that constitution grants no right to an abortion
  • An amendment that would require voters to present a voter ID when casting their ballots
  • An amendment that would provide for the auditing of elections and election results by the Auditor General or, when the Auditor General stands for election, an independent auditor
  • An amendment that would allow the legislature to pass concurrent resolutions, which the governor cannot veto, to disapprove regulations

The amendments passed by a 28-22 vote in the Senate and a 107-92 vote in the House. In the Senate, 26 Republicans, one Democrat, and one independent passed the legislation, while 20 Democrats and two Republicans opposed the package. In the House, 106 Republicans and one Democrat voted to approve the amendments, while 84 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted against the amendments.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Senate consists of 28 Republicans, 21 Democrats, and one independent; while the House consists of 113 Republicans and 88 Democrats (with two vacant seats). Heading into the 2023 legislative session, the Senate will consist of 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats. Democrats won 102 seats in the House, but two members will be resigning. Rep. Austin Davis was elected lieutenant governor, and Rep. Summer Lee was elected to Congress. In October, Rep. Tony DeLuca died. Until special elections occur for these three seats, Republicans will hold 101 seats and Democrats will hold 99 seats.

When it comes to passing a constitutional amendment through the state legislature, most states (36 of 49) require legislatures to approve the amendments during one legislative session. Thirteen states, however, require the constitutional amendment to pass through two legislative sessions before being put on the ballot, or, in four of those states, that amendment may be passed in one session if the amendment has a supermajority rather than a simple majority of the votes.

The two-session requirement to pass a constitutional amendment through the state legislature decreases the likelihood of the amendment making it on the ballot. Between 2010 and 2022, 66 constitutional amendments were referred to the ballot within the thirteen states that require two legislative sessions or a supermajority. However, 40 other constitutional amendments did not make it through the second session in these states. If each of these states had a single session requirement, there would have been 106 constitutional amendments referred to the ballot during this time period, meaning that 37.7% of these constitutional amendments failed to make the ballot because they failed during the second legislative session.

When there was a change in party control between legislative sessions during this same time period, 79% of the constitutional amendments (11 out of 14) failed in the second legislative session.

In Pennsylvania, between 2010-2022, half of all constitutional amendments failed in the second session. Out of the 14 amendments that passed in the first session, seven passed the second session, while the other seven failed to pass.

Additional reading



Campaigns for two Maine initiatives submit signatures for 2023 ballot

In Maine, two campaigns submitted signatures for initiatives this week to make the ballot for November 7, 2023. The signatures were submitted to the secretary of state. If the minimum valid signature requirement is met, the initiatives with enough signatures will go to the Legislature, which has the option to approve them. If the Legislature does not act on them by the end of the session, they would appear on the ballot.

The initiatives were submitted ahead of the January 2023 deadline and before the November 8 general election.

On October 31, the Our Power campaign announced that it submitted more than 80,000 signatures to the Secretary of State for an initiative that would create a consumer-owned electric transmission and distribution utility called the Pine Tree Power Company to replace Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant.

The other initiative concerns election spending by foreign governments. On November 1, the Protect Maine Elections campaign announced that it submitted over 80,000 signatures to the Maine secretary of state for an initiative that would prohibit election spending by foreign governments. This includes entities under partial (5% or more) foreign government or control.

Sen. Nicole Grohoski (D-7), who supports the proposal, said, “I think it’s clear that special interest groups and foreign governments are spending a lot of money to influence our elections and Maine people are sick and tired of having their voices drowned out by all this money, all these advertisements, especially right now, as we wind down on election season, it’s clear that it’s time to take control of our elections and make sure that Maine people’s voices are heard.”

The current signature requirement in Maine for a citizen initiative is 63,067 valid signatures. This number is calculated as 10% of the total votes cast for the previous gubernatorial election. Signatures go through a validation process, and if enough valid signatures have been submitted, the initiative is sent to the legislature. If the legislature approves the initiative, it becomes law. If the legislature does not act on the initiative or rejects it, the initiative goes on the ballot.

Because the two campaigns submitted initiatives prior to the November 8 gubernatorial election, the current signature requirement will be applied. However, for the campaigns that submit signatures after the November 8 election, the signature requirement will change to equal 10% of the total votes cast in the 2022 gubernatorial election. 

The 2023 filing deadline for other initiative petitions currently circulating is 50 days into the legislative session, or around January 26, 2023.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said three campaigns submitted signatures. The third campaign, the Maine Affordable Energy Coalition, reported collecting 92,000 signatures but had not yet submitted the signatures as of Nov. 5.



Kentucky voters will decide an abortion-related constitutional amendment on November 8

On November 8, Kentucky voters will decide on two statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. Amendment 2, if approved, would amend the Kentucky State Constitution to say that nothing in the constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion. These types of amendments are designed to address previous and future state court rulings on abortion that have prevented or could prevent legislatures from passing certain abortion laws.

In 2022, six statewide ballot measures address abortion. Five of them—in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont—will be decided on November 8. Another abortion-related ballot measure, in Kansas, was rejected by voters in August.

The Kansas amendment is similar to Amendment 2. If the Kansas constitutional amendment had been approved, it would have said that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion, as well as stating that the legislature has the authority to pass laws regarding abortion. Kansas voters rejected the amendment by a vote of 58.97%-41.03%.

“We were looking at Kansas as a sort of bellwether for how things could potentially go here in Kentucky,” said Heather Ayer, the campaign coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky.

Organizations like the ACLU of Kentucky, Human Rights Campaign PAC, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the League of Women Voters of Kentucky are opposing Amendment 2. The campaign opposing the amendment, Protect Kentucky Access, has reported $5.30 million in contributions and $4.48 million in expenditures.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure this issue is front and center when people go into the voting booths Nov. 8,” said Rachel Sweet, the campaign manager for Protect Kentucky Access, “I think we have the opportunity to make a really compelling case as to why this policy is bad for Kentucky and why it should be rejected.”

The campaign supporting Amendment 2, Yes for Life, has reported $1.00 million in contributions and $557,525 in expenditures. Organizations like Kentucky Right to Life, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, the Commonwealth Policy Center, and The Family Foundation of Kentucky are supporting the amendment.

“The constitutional amendment is very clear,” said Addia Wuchner, the executive director of Kentucky Right to Life and chair of the Yes for Life Alliance, “It protects taxpayer dollars, and it makes sure there is not an interpreted right of abortion in the constitution. It allows the lawmakers to be the lawmakers and make the laws that reflect the values of the people of Kentucky.”

Kentucky state lawmakers met on October 27 to discuss Amendment 2. Rep. Nancy Tate (R-27) said that the amendment does not ban abortion. She said, “The amendment does not allow abortion or does not outlaw abortions. It does not outlaw abortions in all cases. Under current Kentucky law, abortion is legal if necessary to preserve the life or health of a pregnant woman.”

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said that Amendment 2 would keep Kentucky’s current abortion laws in place. He said, “Constitutional Amendment 2 would protect and keep in place the most extreme law in the country when it comes to abortion services.”

Courts in at least nine states—Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, and New Jersey—have ruled that a right to abortion exists under the state constitution. Four states—Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia—have constitutional amendments stating that no right to abortion exists under the state constitution. 

In August, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that two laws banning abortion would remain in place while it reviews the arguments challenging both laws. One law bans abortion at six weeks, and the other bans abortion except to prevent serious risk to the health of the mother or to save the mother’s life. The Kentucky Supreme Court is scheduled to review the case on November 15, 2022.

Additional reading:

https://ballotpedia.org/History_of_abortion_ballot_measures



Ten statewide measures are on the ballot in Arizona

On November 8, Arizona voters will decide on 10 statewide ballot measures. This is the highest number of measures on the Arizona ballot since 2010, when there were 11 measures on the ballot. In 2020, the previous even-year election, there were two measures on the ballot, both of which were approved.

This year’s measures are below:

  • Proposition 128: Allows the Legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures that contain provisions ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the state or federal supreme court.
  • Proposition 129: Requires citizen-initiated ballot measures to embrace a single subject.
  • Proposition 130: Allows the Legislature to set certain property tax exemption amounts and qualifications rather than determining details in the constitution.
  • Proposition 131: Creates the office of Lieutenant Governor, a position which would be elected on a joint ticket with the governor and succeed the governor in the case of a vacancy.
  • Proposition 132: Requires a three-fifths (60%) supermajority vote to pass ballot initiatives (both statutes and constitutional amendments) and legislatively referred amendments that would approve taxes.
  • Proposition 209: Limits interest rates for debt from healthcare services and increases the value of certain property and earnings exempt from debt collection processes.
  • Proposition 211: Requires that persons or entities that make an independent expenditure of $50,000 or more on a statewide campaign or $25,000 or more on a local campaign must disclose the names of the money’s original sources, which would be defined as the persons or businesses that earned the money being spent.
  • Proposition 308: Repeals provisions of Proposition 300 (2006), thus allowing in-state tuition for certain non-citizen residents.
  • Proposition 309: Requires date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminates two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting.
  • Proposition 310: Creates a 0.1% sales tax for 20 years to provide funding for Arizona’s fire districts.

Two measures—Proposition 209 and Proposition 211—were referred to the ballot by citizens through the initiative process, while the rest were referred to the ballot by the Arizona State Legislature. Out of the eight measures referred to the ballot by the state legislature, five would amend Arizona’s constitution, while three would amend state statute.

Ballotpedia has identified five campaigns in support or opposition of the measures. Propositions 129, 209, 211, 308, 309, and 310 have a political action committee (PAC) supporting the measure, while Propositions 128, 129, and 132 have a PAC opposing the measure.

The contribution amounts of each campaign are below:

  • Arizonans Fed Up With Failing Healthcare, which supports Proposition 209, has raised $8 million in support of the measure while spending $7.85 million.
  • Voters’ Right to Know, which supports Proposition 211, has raised $1.36 million in support of the measure while spending $1.31 million.
  • Yes on 308, which supports Proposition 308, has raised $1.21 million in support of the measure, while spending $1.16 million.
  • Arizonans for Voter ID, which supports Proposition 309, has raised $110,563 in support of the measure while spending $70,444.
  • Arizonans for Public Safety Yes on 310, which supports Proposition 310, has raised $440,825 in support of the measure while spending $352,952.
  • Make it Simple Arizona, which supports Proposition 129, has not yet submitted campaign finance reports.
  • Will of the People, which opposes Proposition 128, Proposition 129, and Proposition 132, has raised $324,992 in support of the measure while spending $104,962.

In total, the campaigns have raised $11.4 million and spent $10.8 million. Arizonans Fed Up With Failing Healthcare has raised the most amount of money, with the top donor, SEIU United Healthcare Workers, contributing $4.03 million in cash and in-kind contributions.

In Arizona, between 1985 and 2020, a total of 168 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots. Eighty-nine ballot measures were approved, and 79 ballot measures were defeated.



Missouri voters to decide on marijuana this November

Five measures will be on the Missouri ballot on November 8. One ballot measure, Amendment 3, would legalize the sale, possession, and use of marijuana in Missouri. 

Amendment 3 would also provide for individuals with certain marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation and have their records expunged. It also would enact a 6% tax on the sale of marijuana.

Amendment 3 is one of five marijuana measures on the ballot nationwide this November. Marijuana legalization will also be on the ballot in Arkansas, Maryland, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

As of 2022, 19 states, along with Washington, D.C., had legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Eleven states and Washington D.C. have used the ballot initiative process to legalize marijuana, while in seven states, bills to legalize marijuana were enacted into law. In one state, New Jersey, the legislature referred a measure to the ballot for voter approval.

Polling on Missouri’s Amendment 3, done by Emerson College Polling/The Hill from September 23 to September 27, showed that 48% of likely voters surveyed supported the measure, while 35% of likely voters surveyed opposed the measure (with 17% undecided). 

The Kansas City Star Editorial Board endorsed Amendment 3, writing, “It’s been four years since almost 66% of Missouri voters approved medical marijuana. If state lawmakers wanted legal recreational pot in Missouri, as some have argued, we would have it. So let the people decide. In our view, the benefits of recreational cannabis outweigh some of the technical issues raised by critics.”

Supporters of Amendment 3 include the ACLU of Missouri, the Missouri AFL-CIO, NORML KC, and the St. Louis City branch of the NAACP. Erik Altieri, the executive director of NORML, said that the majority of Missouri residents want to end the prohibition on marijuana. “Recent polling reveals that a majority of Missouri residents are ready and eager to end their state’s failed marijuana prohibition,” said Altieri, “That is because Missourians, like the overwhelming majority of all Americans, recognize that prohibition is a disastrous and draconian practice best cast into the waste bin of history.”

Opponents of Amendment 3 include Gov. Mike Parson (R), the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Missouri Catholic Conference, and the Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC. “Amendment 3 says a court cannot prohibit a person on bond, probation, or parole from continuing to use marijuana,” said the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in a statement, “Further, in less serious cases involving medical marijuana users, if sentenced to participate in one of Missouri’s treatment courts, Amendment 3 attempts to require courts to allow defendants to continue to get high on marijuana regardless of the circumstances or their addiction. This is a threat to the safety of our communities and kids.”

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with the St. Louis City and St. Louis County chapters, also opposes Amendment 3, saying that the measure “does not increase the number of available full market licenses,” and that “the expungement program is dependent on legislative authorization funding and so doesn’t actually exist.” 

Voters will decide on Amendment 3 on November 8, 2022. Amendment 3 needs a simple majority vote to be ratified.

Additional reading:



Measures to repeal constitutional language on slavery and indentured servitude as criminal punishments are on the ballot in five states this November

On November 8, 2022, voters in five states—Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont—will decide on amending their state constitutions to repeal language regarding the use of slavery or indentured servitude as punishment for a crime, or, in the case of Vermont, for the payments of debts, damages, fines, costs.

The ballot questions are below:

  1. Alabama Recompiled Constitution Ratification Question: Ratifies an updated and recompiled state constitution, which was adopted by the legislature following voter approval of Amendment 4 in 2020. The proposed constitution repeals language that provides for involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment.
  2. Louisiana Amendment 7: Removes language in the state constitution that provides for slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and instead says that slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited, except that this cannot be applied to otherwise lawful administration of criminal justice.
  3. Oregon Measure 112: Repeals language providing for slavery or involuntary servitude as criminal punishments.
  4. Tennessee Amendment 3: Repeals language providing for slavery or involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment.
  5. Vermont Proposal 2: Repeals language stating that persons could be held as servants, slaves, or apprentices with the person’s consent or “for the payments of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like” and adds language saying that “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”

The Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—which was ratified on December 6, 1865—prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States, except as a punishment for those convicted of crimes. The text of the Thirteenth Amendment reads:

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

As of 2022, 10 state constitutions included provisions prohibiting enslavement and involuntary servitude but with an exception for criminal punishments, while nine states had constitutions that included provisions permitting involuntary servitude, but not slavery, as a criminal punishment.

The states with constitutions that include provisions regarding slavery and involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

The states with constitutions that include provisions regarding involuntary servitude, but not slavery, as criminal punishment, are Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Vermont is the only state that has a constitutional provision regarding involuntary servitude to pay a debt, damage, fine, or cost.

Nebraska, Utah, and Colorado put measures on the ballot to remove language from their state constitutions regarding the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. These amendments were approved in Nebraska and Utah in 2020, and in Colorado in 2018.



Referendum on Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts expansion bill will not make the 2024 ballot

On Sept. 30, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) announced that a referendum on Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) expansion legislation will not make the ballot.

A week earlier, the campaign for the referendum, the Save Our Schools PAC, submitted signatures to place the measure on the ballot. The campaign said it submitted 141,714 signatures. Secretary Hobbs announced that a statutorily prescribed review of the petitions failed to meet the minimum signature requirement of 118,823 signatures. While the review of the petition sheets is still ongoing, Secretary Hobbs announced that the referendum will not make the 2024 ballot.

The Save Our Schools PAC put out a statement following the failure to make the ballot. “Today, Arizona’s public schools were dealt a devastating blow,” the campaign said, “The universal ESA voucher scheme passed by the Republican controlled legislature and signed by Governor Ducey has gone into effect despite our network’s herculean effort to stop it in its tracks.”

In Arizona, an empowerment scholarship account, or ESA, allows parents or guardians of students with disabilities to sign a contract to opt out of the public school system, and instead receive an ESA from the Arizona Department of Education (DOE) that could be spent on private education, homeschooling, or other non-public education. Between 2011 and 2017, the program was expanded to cover students meeting other specified criteria.

In 2017, the Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1431 (SB1431) to expand the ESA program to make all K-12 students eligible. The Save Our Schools PAC led the campaign to place a veto referendum against SB1431 on the general election ballot for 2018. Voters rejected SB 1431, repealing the law.

During the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2853, which would expand the ESA program to include all students eligible to enroll in an Arizona public school for kindergarten, grades one through twelve, or a preschool program for children with disabilities.

Supporters of the ESA expansion, such as the Goldwater Institute, state that it gives parents more choice. “At the end of the day the purpose of the ESA program and school choice is to give parents the ability to pursue the best education for their kids, regardless of what form it comes in,” said Matt Beienburg, director of education policy for the Goldwater Institute, “We are focused on individual student aid, not an institution or a particular form of education.”

Beth Lewis, executive director of Save Our Schools and opponent of HB 2853, said that tax dollars should not be used to fund non-public schools. “If a school wants to take public funds, they need to take public accountability,” she said.

Additional reading:

https://ballotpedia.org/Arizona_2024_ballot_measures



Signatures submitted for a referendum on Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts expansion bill

Arizona voters may vote on a referendum on a bill to expand empowerment scholarship accounts in 2024. On September 23, the Save Our Schools PAC submitted 141,714 signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. 

In Arizona, an empowerment scholarship account, or ESA, allows parents or guardians of students with disabilities to sign a contract to opt out of the public school system, and instead receive an ESA from the Arizona Department of Education (DOE) that could be spent on private education, homeschooling, or other non-public education. Between 2011 and 2017, the program was expanded to cover students meeting other specified criteria.

In 2017, the Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1431 (SB1431) to expand the ESA program to make all K-12 students eligible. The Save Our Schools PAC led the campaign to place a veto referendum against SB1431 on the general election ballot for 2018. Voters rejected SB 1431, repealing the law.

During the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2853, which would expand the ESA program to include all students eligible to enroll in an Arizona public school for kindergarten, grades one through twelve, or a preschool program for children with disabilities.

If certified for the ballot in 2024, Arizona voters will decide on upholding or repealing HB 2853.

Matt Beienburg, director of education policy for the Goldwater Institute, said, “At the end of the day the purpose of the ESA program and school choice is to give parents the ability to pursue the best education for their kids, regardless of what form it comes in. We are focused on individual student aid, not an institution or a particular form of education.”

Beth Lewis, executive director of Save Our Schools and opponent of HB 2853, said that tax dollars should not be used to fund non-public schools. “If a school wants to take public funds, they need to take public accountability,” she said.

As signatures have been submitted for the veto referendum, the petition needs to go through a verification process to determine the number of valid signatures. Signatures are validated through a random sampling process. The petition will need 118,823 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.



Five measures that would change the initiative process are on the ballot in 2022

In November, there are a total of five measures on the ballot related to the initiative process. A ballot initiative is a way that citizens can propose, amend, or repeal a state law or constitutional provision by collecting signatures from registered voters. Successful signature drives result in an initiative being placed on the ballot for voters to approve or reject. Twenty-six states have an initiative process at the state level, and each state has different rules and requirements regarding the ballot initiative process, including majority and supermajority requirements, single-subject rules, and requirements for measures that increase taxes.

Five measures regarding the initiative process are on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 general election. One measure was on the ballot in June. This November, the states with ballot measures regarding the initiative process are Arizona (3 measures), Arkansas (1 measure), and Colorado (1 measure). 

Last June, voters rejected a measure in South Dakota called Amendment C by 67-32%. Amendment C would have changed the vote requirement from a simple majority to a 60% majority for ballot measures that increase taxes or require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years.

In November, voters will decide on five measures regarding the initiative process in Arizona, Arkansas, and Colorado:

  • Arkansas Issue 2: Amends the Arkansas Constitution to require a 60% vote of approval from voters to adopt constitutional amendments (legislatively referred and citizen-initiated) and citizen-initiated state statutes.
  • Arizona Proposition 128: Amends the Arizona Constitution to allow the Arizona State Legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives if any portion has been declared unconstitutional or illegal by the Arizona Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Arizona Proposition 129: Amends the Arizona Constitution to require that citizen-initiated ballot measures embrace a single subject.
  • Arizona Proposition 132: Amends the Arizona Constitution to require a 60% vote for voters to pass ballot measures to approve taxes.
  • Colorado Proposition GG: Requires the ballot titles and fiscal impact summaries for initiatives that affect income taxes to include information on how the change would affect income taxes for different categories of income.

Between 2010 and June 2022, there were 20 measures regarding the initiative process on the ballot. Voters approved 11 (55%) of them, while nine (45%) were rejected.

Additional reading:



Abortion rights initiative certified for the Michigan ballot

On Sept. 8, 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that an initiative to create a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, defined to include abortion, contraceptives, and other pregnancy-related matters,must be added to the November ballot. The initiative was officially certified by the Board of State Canvassers on Sept. 9 and will appear on the ballot as Proposal 3.

If approved by voters, Proposal 3 would create a constitutional right to reproductive freedom in November. The term reproductive freedom would be defined to include “prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.” Proposal 3 would also provide that the state can regulate abortion after fetal viability, except that the state could not ban abortions to “protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual,” as determined by an attending health care professional.

On July 11, the campaign Reproductive Freedom for All submitted 753,759 signatures to qualify Proposal 3 for the ballot. The measure needed 425,059 valid signatures to qualify. A month later, on Aug. 26, the State of Michigan Bureau of Elections announced that 596,379 signatures were projected as valid.

The campaign opposing the initiative, Citizens to Support MI Women and Children, filed a challenge in August against the petition. In the challenge, the campaign argued that the lack of appropriate spacing between certain words within the initiative would “seek to insert non-existent words into the Michigan Constitution.” The Supreme Court rejected the challenge, saying that “regardless of the existence or extent of the spacing, all of the words remain and they remain in the same order, and it is not disputed that they are printed in 8-point type.”

Proposal 3 will join two other measures certified for the Michigan ballot in November. The measures certified for the Michigan ballot are:

  • Proposal 1, which would change the term limits requirement for state legislators and financial disclosure requirements for state executive and legislative officials
  • Proposal 2, which would make changes to voting policies, including dropboxes, photo ID or signed legal documents, early voting, and absentee voting
  • Proposal 3, which would create a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, defined to include abortion, contraceptives, and other pregnancy-related matters.

In 2022, there are six total ballot measures addressing abortion—the most on record. Following Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, measures have been certified in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and Vermont. In Aug., voters in Kansas rejected a constitutional amendment that would have stated that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion. The five other measures will be on the ballot this November, including in Michigan.

Additional reading: