Ryan Byrne

Ryan Byrne is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at

Where electoral systems are on the ballot in 2020

Voters in five states will decide ballot measures related to electoral systems on November 3, 2020. Policies that are on the ballot include ranked-choice voting, top-two and top-four primaries, the national popular vote interstate compact, and runoff elections. Most (4 of 5) of the ballot measures came through the citizen-initiated petition process.
In Colorado, Proposition 113 asks voters whether to uphold or repeal legislation to add the state to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). The NPVIC was designed to give the state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote. It would take effect is states representing at least 270 electoral votes join the NPVIC. In 2019, the Democratic-controlled Colorado State Legislature passed a bill to join the NPVIC. Two Republicans— Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese and Monument Mayor Don Wilson—filed a veto referendum on the bill resulting in Proposition 113. Currently, 14 states and Washington, D.C., (representing 187 electors in the Electoral College) have adopted legislation to join the compact.
In Massachusetts and Alaska, voters will decide ranked-choice voting ballot initiatives. Massachusetts Question 2 would enact ranked-choice voting for federal, state, and some local primaries and general elections. Alaska Ballot Measure 2 would use ranked-choice voting for general elections but not primaries. Instead, Ballot Measure 2 would adopt top-four primaries in which all candidates run on the same ballot regardless of partisan affiliation, and the four who receive the most votes move on to the general election.
Massachusetts and Alaska could be the second and third states to adopt ranked-choice voting for at least some statewide elections. In 2016, Maine became the first state to enact a state system of ranked-choice voting after voters approved a ballot measure. In both Massachusetts and Alaska, the top donors behind the measures are the Action Now Initiative and Unite America.
While Alaska Ballot Measure 2 would adopt top-four primaries, Florida Amendment 3 would replace the state’s closed primaries with top-two open primaries for elected state offices. Florida would join California and Washington in using top-two open primaries. Miguel Fernandez, a businessman and investor, is funding the campaign.
Voters in Mississippi will decide a legislative referral to change how the governor and state officials are elected. Heading into November, the Mississippi Constitution requires that gubernatorial and state official candidates receive the most votes statewide and the most votes in a majority of the 122 state House districts to win the election. If no candidates win a majority of the state House districts, then state representatives decide the election. The ballot measure would repeal the majority-of-House-districts requirement and, instead, require candidates to win a majority of the vote. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, then a runoff election would be held between the top two candidates under the measure.
This year’s electoral system ballot measures would—or in the case of Colorado, could—impact how candidates are elected in the future.

Additional reading:

Maine ballots will be printed with ranked-choice voting for president after court stays order

On September 8, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) announced that general election ballots will be printed with ranked-choice voting for president after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court stayed a lower court’s decision on a veto referendum. “Because of Federal deadlines regarding providing printed ballots to military and overseas citizens abroad, we must tell the printers to begin their work today,” said Dunlap.

The Maine Republican Party is behind a veto referendum to overturn Legislative Document 1083 (LD 1083), which established ranked-choice voting for presidential primaries and general elections. Under LD 1083, Maine is slated to use ranked-choice voting for the presidential election on November 3, 2020.

On June 15, proponents of the veto referendum filed 72,512 signatures. At least 63,067 of the signatures needed to be valid. On July 15, Dunlap announced that his office found 61,334 signatures to be valid—1,733 signatures below the requirement. Dunlap later reinstated 809 signatures from the town of Turner, Maine. A successful signature drive would have suspended the law until voters decided the law’s fate, meaning ranked-choice voting would not have been used for the presidential election on November 3, 2020.

Proponents sued Dunlap in the Cumberland County Superior Court, and Judge Thomas McKeon ruled that Dunlap needed to count an additional 988 signatures.

The Maine Constitution states that a “Circulator must appear on the voting list of the city, town or plantation of the circulator’s residence as qualified to vote for Governor….” According to Judge McKeon, Dunlap was wrong to interpret this constitutional language as requiring circulators to be registered to vote while collecting signatures. Instead, circulators being registered to vote at the time of signatures submission, regardless of whether the circulators were registered while collecting signatures, was sufficient. Due to McKeon’s ruling, the use of ranked-choice voting was effectively suspended for the presidential election.

Dunlap appealed the decision to the state Supreme Judicial Court, which stayed Judge McKeon’s decision. The Supreme Judicial Court has not yet decided the merits of the case. “Today’s ruling has the effect of leaving in place the original determination of the Secretary of State that the people’s veto effort did not have sufficient signatures…,” according to the secretary’s office.

Forgoing a final ruling from the state Supreme Judicial Court, Maine will be the first state to use ranked-choice voting in a presidential election. Maine was also the first state to establish a statewide system of ranked-choice voting following the voter approval of Question 5 in 2016. In 2020, voters in Alaska and Massachusetts will vote on ballot measures to adopt ranked-choice voting.

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With funding from Uber, Lyft, and Doordash, campaign behind California Proposition 22 tops $180 million

California Proposition 22 has become one of the most expensive ballot measure contests to ever appear on a ballot in California. Based on campaign finance reports available on September 4, 2020, the campaign Yes on Proposition 22 received $181.4 million from five rideshare and app-based companies—Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, InstaCart, and Postmates.

Proposition 22 would classify app-based drivers as independent contractors and not employees or agents. The ballot measure was designed to override Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019, on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.

In August 2019, DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber provided a combined $90 million to the ballot initiative campaign, which was 18 days before Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB 5. The ballot initiative, which became Proposition 22, was filed on October 29, 2019. Brandon Castillo, a spokesperson for the campaign supporting the initiative, stated, “We’re going to spend what it takes to win. It’s been widely reported that three of the companies already shifted $90 million, but we’re still in the early phases. The bottom line is: We’re committed to passing this.”

The campaign No on Prop 22 received $4.8 million through September 4. Two labor unions—the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and SEIU-UHW West—provided about 52% of the campaign’s total funds.

Not only is Yes on Proposition 22 the most expensive campaign Ballotpedia has tracked in California, but the combined funds between supporters and opponents—$186.2 million—makes Proposition 22 the most expensive California ballot measure contest overall.

Before Proposition 22, campaigns for four veto referendums against gaming compacts—Propositions 94, 95, 96, and 97—raised a combined total of $154,554,073 in contributions. The single most expensive ballot measure was Proposition 87, which had $150,770,683 in total contributions for and against the measure. Proposition 87 would have imposed a severance tax on oil production to fund alternative energy research and projects but was defeated.

Across the United States, the five most expensive ballot measures of 2020 are, to date, California Proposition 22 ($186.2 million), an Illinois constitutional amendment that would allow for a graduated income tax ($79.7 million), California Proposition 21 ($32.9 million), Massachusetts Question 1 ($31.3 million), and California Proposition 15 ($26.3 million).

Additional reading:

Court rules that Maine GOP-backed referendum on presidential ranked-choice voting will appear on ballot

On August 24, a Maine Superior Court ruled that voters will decide a veto referendum on a law that established ranked-choice voting (RCV) for presidential primaries and general elections. Maine was slated to use RCV for the presidential election on November 3, 2020. Since the veto referendum qualified for the ballot, however, the law is suspended until voters decide to either uphold or repeal it. Therefore, RCV will not be used to elect the president in Maine this year.

The Superior Court’s ruling came after Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) determined that not enough signatures were valid to place the referendum on the ballot. Judge Thomas McKeon disagreed with Dunlap’s interpretation of a constitutional provision, which states that circulators’ names must appear on voter registration rolls. Dunlap invalidated 988 signatures from two circulators, also known as signature gatherers, who were not registered to vote while collecting signatures. However, the two circulators were registered to vote when signatures were submitted to the state for review. According to Judge McKeon, a circulator being registered at the time of signature submission, rather than while collecting signatures, was sufficient to meet the constitutional requirement. Dunlap could appeal the court’s decision to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

In 2019, the Maine State Legislature passed the bill that expanded RCV to presidential elections. Gov. Janet Mills (D) held LD 1083 until 2020. By holding the bill until the next legislative session, LD 1083 did not go into effect until after the state’s presidential primary on March 3, 2020.

The Maine Republican Party is backing the veto referendum campaign, which is known as Repeal RCV. Through August 18, Repeal RCV had raised $706,410, including $639,430 from the Maine GOP and $50,000 from Gary Bahre and Robert Bahre. Demi Kouzounas, chairperson of the state GOP, is also chairperson of Repeal RCV.

The veto referendum would be the third RCV ballot measure in Maine since 2016. Voters approved Question 5, which established a first-in-the-nation statewide system of RCV, in 2016. In 2017, the legislature passed a bill that was written to postpone and repeal RCV unless the legislature referred and voters approved a constitutional amendment. The Committee for Ranked-Choice Voting, which sponsored Question 5, launched a veto referendum campaign to overturn LD 1646. On the ballot as Question 1, the veto referendum was approved with 53.9 percent of the vote. Therefore, LD 1646 was repealed and RCV remained in effect, except for general elections for state legislative and executive offices. The Committee for Ranked-Choice Voting is again seeking to preserve RCV and launched a PAC, which received $52,570 through August 18, to oppose this year’s referendum.

At the election on November 6, 2018, ranked-choice voting (RCV) was used for the first time in a general election. Both Sen. Angus King (I) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) won their respective seats without the need for ranked-choice tabulations. In Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, the initial vote count showed that incumbent Bruce Poliquin (R) had received 46.3 percent of the vote and challenger Jared Golden (D) received 45.6 percent of the vote. Independents received 8.1 percent of the vote. On November 15, 2018, Dunlap announced that after the lowest vote-getters were eliminated and votes were reallocated, incumbent Rep. Poliquin received 49.4 percent of the vote and challenger Golden received 50.6 percent of the vote. The race was the first in U.S. history where ranked-choice voting was used to decide a congressional election.

In November, voters in Alaska and Massachusetts will decide ballot measures to adopt RCV as well. Voters in Arkansas could also vote on a RCV measure, pending a judicial ruling.

Uber and Lyft to continue rideshare operations in California ahead of Proposition 22 vote

California residents still have access to Uber and Lyft.

On August 20, the California First District Court of Appeal stayed a superior court judge’s decision, effectively allowing rideshare companies Uber and Lyft to continue operating in the state ahead of a vote on Proposition 22 on November 3. Prop 22 would define app-based drivers as independent contractors rather than classifying them as employees.

Here’s a timeline of how we got here:

  • December 3, 2018: AB 5, which would codify a three-factor test to decide a worker’s status as an independent contractor, was introduced in the California legislature.
  • August 30, 2019: DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber each contributed $30 million into campaign accounts to fund a ballot initiative campaign should the legislature pass AB 5 without compromising with the companies.
  • September 18, 2019: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB 5 without an exemption for app-based drivers and employers.
  • October 29, 2019: DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber filed the ballot initiative, which became known as Proposition 22.
    • The ballot measure, which was certified on May 22, 2020, would override AB 5 for app-based drivers. Prop 22 would also enact labor and wage policies that are specific to app-based drivers and companies.
  • January 1, 2020: AB 5 went into effect.
    • Uber and Lyft did not change how their workers are classified. Tony West, the chief legal officer for Uber, said, “Because we continue to believe drivers are properly classified as independent, and because we’ll continue to be responsive to what the vast majority of drivers tell us they want most—flexibility—drivers will not be automatically reclassified as employees. … We expect we will continue to respond to claims of misclassification in arbitration and in court as necessary, just as we do now.”
  • May 5, 2020: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued Uber and Lyft, alleging the firms were in violation of AB 5 for considering their workers to be independent contractors.
  • August 10, 2020: Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman granted an injunction in favor of Becerra and the city attorneys.
    • Schulman wrote, “Defendants’ [Uber and Lyft] position cannot survive even cursory examination. … To state the obvious, drivers are central, not tangential, to Uber and Lyft’s entire ride-hailing business.” Schulman stayed his injunction until August 20. Both Uber and Lyft appealed the decision to the California First District Court of Appeal.
    • Lawyers for Uber and Lyft said that their companies could suspend rideshare operations in the state unless the judge’s injunction was stayed.
  • August 20, 2020: The California First District Court of Appeal temporarily blocked Schulman’s ruling. Instead, the Court of Appeal gave Uber and Lyft until August 25 to file written consents to expedited procedures. Uber and Lyft have until September 4 to file opening briefs, as well as sworn statements from their CEOs confirming that the companies have developed AB 5 implementation plans should Proposition 22 be rejected and the courts uphold the injunction.
Additional reading:

Ballotpedia tracking 18 local police-related ballot measures in six states

As of August 21, Ballotpedia is tracking 18 local police-related ballot measures in 13 jurisdictions in six states. These local ballot measures were proposed in the wake of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Seven of the 18 measures are on the ballot in California and four are on the ballot in Pennsylvania. The most common policy addressed by the ballot measures was police oversight boards and offices and the duties and powers of these boards and offices. Nine of the ballot measures addressed police oversight. Other topics include police and criminal justice funding, staffing levels, law enforcement training, and the public disclosure of police camera footage involving deaths and serious injuries.

The following is a list of local police-related measures on the ballot for November 3, 2020:
  1. Los Angeles County, California: Voters will decide a ballot measure to require that no less than 10% of the county’s General Fund be appropriated to youth, job, business, and housing programs and alternatives to incarceration.
  2. Oakland, California: The Oakland City Council referred to the ballot a charter amendment that would create an Office of the Inspector General to review the police commission’s policies, as well as change the powers, duties, and staffing of the commission and police review board.
  3. San Diego, California: The San Diego City Council referred a ballot measure to create a Commission on Police Practices, which would conduct investigations and subpoena witnesses and documents related to deaths resulting from police interactions and complaints made against police officers.
  4. San Francisco, California: Voters will decide two ballot measures related to policing. One would remove the minimum police staffing level required (1,971 full-time police officers) from the city’s charter. The other measure would create the Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board and the Sheriff’s Department Office of Inspector General.
  5. San Jose, California: The San Jose City Council referred a charter amendment to the ballot that would authorize an independent police auditor to review reports and records related to officer-involved shootings and uses of force.
  6. Sonoma County, California: Voters will decide Measure P, which would make changes to the county’s Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach.
  7. DuPage County, Illinois: There are two non-binding advisory votes on the ballot. One advises the county on considering law enforcement and public safety as its top budgeting priority, and the other advises the county on funding and supporting law enforcement training methods that are designed to decrease the risk of injury to officers and suspects.
  8. Akron, Ohio: Voters will decide a ballot measure to require police body and dashboard camera recordings that document police use of force resulting in a death or serious injury to be released to the public.
  9. Columbus, Ohio: The Columbus City Council referred a charter amendment to the ballot that would create a Civilian Police Review Board to investigate alleged police misconduct, subpoena testimony and evidence during an investigations, and make recommendations to the Division of Police.
  10. Portland, Oregon: Voters will decide a ballot measure to establish a new police oversight board, give the board subpoena powers, and allow the board to impose disciplinary actions, including termination, on law enforcement professionals.
  11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Voters in Philadelphia will decide two police-related ballot measures and one other criminal justice proposal. One measure would add language to the city charter calling on the police department to “eliminate the practice of unconstitutional stop and frisk, consistent with judicial precedent.” The other police-related measure would create a Citizens Police Oversight Commission. Another measure would create an Office of the Victim Advocate to act as an advocate for crime victims and co-victims.
  12. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The Pittsburgh City Council referred a charter amendment to the ballot that would authorize the Independent Citizen Police Review Board to audit the police bureau and require police officers to cooperate with the board’s investigations.
  13. King County, Washington: Two police-related measures will be on the ballot. One would make the county sheriff an appointed, rather than elected, position. The second measure would give the county council the authority to define the sheriff’s duties.
Additional reading:

Maine Supreme Judicial Court rules that ballot initiative to reverse certification for transnational transmission line project is unconstitutional

On August 13, the Maine Supreme Court blocked from the ballot a citizen initiative designed to reverse a certificate required for a transnational transmission line project. The court ruled that the measure violated the “procedural prerequisites for a direct initiative” found in the Maine Constitution. According to the Supreme Judicial Court, the Maine Constitution “requires that a citizens’ initiative constitute legislative action,” and the ballot initiative “exceeds the scope of the people’s legislative powers…”

The ballot initiative would have required the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reverse an order made on May 3, 2019, that provided the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission project with one of the certificates needed before construction could begin. The NECEC transmission project was designed to cross about 145 miles in Maine, from the state’s border with Quebec to Lewiston, and transmit around 1,200 megawatts from Hydro-Québec’s hydroelectric plants in Quebec to electric utilities in Massachusetts and Maine.

Avangrid Network, Inc., the parent firm of Central Maine Power, sued Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) on May 12, 2020. Avangrid argued the ballot initiative was not legislative in nature and instead was designed to exercise executive and judicial power. The Supreme Judicial Court agreed with Avangrid, stating that the ballot initiative would interfere with PUC’s executive power to make a decision—something that legislation, including citizen-initiated legislation, cannot do according to the ruling. According to the Supreme Judicial Court, the ballot initiative was “executive in nature, not legislative,” because legislation can define an agency’s functions and authority but cannot “vacate and reverse a particular administrative decision.”

Avangrid and Central Maine Power provided $10.60 million to the campaign against the ballot initiative. H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, provided an additional $6.33 million. On July 29, 2020, 25 current and former state legislators sent a letter to Quebec Premier François Legault and Hydro-Québec CEO Sophie Brochu regarding “Hydro-Quebec’s political campaign aimed at influencing the outcome of a citizen-initiated ballot measure this November.” Hydro-Québec is a corporation owned by the government of Quebec, which, according to the legislators, gave the Quebec government and residents a “financial interest in the outcome of a Maine election.” Serge Abergel, the director of external relations for Hydro-Québec, responded that Hydro-Québec should be allowed to provide information to voters after spending years to obtain permits.

The No CMP Corridor PAC, which was leading the campaign in support of the ballot initiative, had the support of Mainers for Local Power. Mainers for Local Power received $688,665 from Calpine Corp., which owned a natural gas-fired plant in Westbrook, Maine, and $750,756 from Vistra Energy Corp., which owned a natural gas-fired plant in Veazie, Maine.

Proponents of the ballot initiative collected 75,253 signatures for the ballot initiative between October 2019 and February 2020. On March 4, 2020, Dunlap announced that 69,714 of the submitted signatures were valid, surpassing the required minimum of 63,067.

The ballot initiative was one of two potential November 2020 citizen-initiated measures in Maine. The other citizen-initiated measure is a veto referendum to repeal ranked-choice voting for presidential elections. Secretary of State Dunlap announced that not enough signatures were valid for the veto referendum to appear on the ballot. Proponents of the veto referendum, however, are challenging Dunlap’s decision in Superior Court.

Additional reading:

Signatures filed for California ballot initiative to reduce and tax single-use plastic packaging

On August 11, 2020, signatures were filed for a ballot initiative designed to reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging and foodware in California. Proponents reported filing more than 870,000 signatures. At least 623,212 signatures (around 71.64%) need to be valid for the ballot initiative to appear on the ballot on November 8, 2022.

The ballot initiative would require the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle), in consultation with other agencies, to adopt regulations that require producers to:
  1. make their single-use plastic packaging and foodware recyclable, reusable, refillable, or compostable;
  2. reduce or eliminate certain single-use plastic packaging or foodware; and
  3. use recycled content and renewable materials in the production of single-use plastic packaging and foodware.

The ballot initiative would also enact a fee, called the California Plastic Pollution Reduction Fee, on single-use plastic packaging and foodware. CalRecycle would determine the fee amount with a maximum amount of 1 cent per item of packaging or foodware. Beginning in 2030, the fee would be adjusted based on changes in the California Consumer Price Index. Revenue from the tax would be distributed to CalRecycle, the California Natural Resources Agency, and local governments.

Clean Coasts, Clean Water, Clean Streets, also known as Plastics Free California, is leading the campaign in support of the ballot initiative. Through June 30, 2020, the campaign received $4.06 million. Recology, Inc. was the largest contributor, providing $3.70 million. Recology, Inc. is a business that provides commercial and residential waste, recycling, and composting services.

The campaign filed the ballot initiative in November 2019 and originally intended to place the proposal on the 2020 ballot. Eric Potashner, vice president of Recology, said the campaign had collected more than 800,000 signatures for the ballot initiative before the suggested deadline of April 21, 2020, but wanted to collect between 900,000 to 950,000. Citing the coronavirus pandemic, Potashner said, “Even if I had a million signatures, I don’t know if we’d be submitting this thing till after June anyway. I don’t know if this is the right climate for this measure right now.” Potashner also noted that the ballot initiative’s provisions would not take effect until 2030, “so pushing this issue…to 2022 doesn’t have any practical implications in what we’re trying to do.”

On June 23, 2020, the campaign sued the state to extend the deadline to file signatures beyond July 6. The lawsuit asked the court to extend the deadline until all California counties moved into the third reopening stage following the coronavirus stay-at-home order or by at least 90 days. On July 2, Judge James P. Arguelles ordered that the deadline be extended to September 28, 2020, to account for the shelter-in-place order and coronavirus-related government restrictions.

The ballot initiative is the second to file signatures for the 2022 California ballot. An initiative to increase California’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits filed signatures in May 2020 and was certified for the 2022 ballot on July 21. Signatures for a ballot initiative to legalize sports betting are due October 12, 2020.

Additional reading:

Arizonans to decide ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in November

On November 3, Arizonans will decide a ballot initiative, titled Proposition 207, to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons who are at least 21 years old, enact a tax on marijuana sales, and require the state Department of Health and Human Services to develop rules to regulate marijuana businesses.

Proposition 207 is the first statewide initiative to be certified for the ballot in Arizona in 2020; three additional ballot initiatives are undergoing signature checks as of August 11.

On August 10, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced that 255,080 signatures were projected to be valid—17,435 more than the minimum requirement of 237,645. On July 1, 2020, the campaign behind Proposition 207, Smart and Safe Arizona, filed 428,481 signatures.

Proposition 207 will be the second time that Arizonans address a marijuana legalization proposal at the ballot box. In 2016, a citizen-initiated measure, titled Proposition 205, was defeated, with 51.3% voting “No.” Arizona was one of five states to vote on a citizen-initiated legalization measure in 2016. Voters in neighboring California and Nevada, along with Maine and Massachusetts, approved their respective ballot measures.

Stacy Pearson, a political consultant for Smart and Safe Arizona, said that Proposition 207 “incorporates lessons learned from the 2016 campaign, as well as from other states that have already legalized cannabis.” One of the differences between Proposition 205 and Proposition 207 is the proposed regulatory structure. Whereas Proposition 205 would have established a new government agency, the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, Proposition 207 would make the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services responsible for adopting rules to regulate marijuana. The excise tax on marijuana sales is also 1 percentage point higher—16%—under this year’s proposal.

Lisa James, chairperson of Arizonans for Health and Public Saftey, and six other individuals are seeking a court order to remove the initiative from the ballot. Plaintiffs argued that the ballot initiative is invalid because, according to the plaintiffs, “the measure’s 100-word summary is materially misleading and creates a substantial danger of fraud, confusion and unfairness.” On August 7, 2020, Superior Court Judge James Smith ruled in favor of the defendants, stating that the ballot language was sufficient. On August 11, James appealed the superior court’s ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Smart and Safe Arizona raised $3.48 million through the most recent campaign finance filings on July 18. The deadline for the next scheduled reports is October 15, 2020. Harvest Enterprises, which is a marijuana business based in Tempe, contributed $1.43 million to Smart and Safe Arizona.

Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, which opposes Proposition 207, raised $142,065. The Center for Arizona Policy provided $100,000 of the opposition campaign’s funds.

In 2016, opponents raised $6.37 million in their effort to defeat Proposition 205, while supporters raised $6.55 million.

Eleven states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Except in Illinois and Vermont, marijuana was legalized through the ballot initiative process.

In 2020, New Jersey and South Dakota voters will vote on ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana in November. Signatures have also been submitted for a legalization initiative in Montana.

Additional reading:

New Jersey will vote on a constitutional amendment to postpone legislative redistricting if census data isn’t received by February 15

At the election on November 3, New Jersey voters will decide a constitutional amendment to postpone state legislative redistricting until after the 2021 election if federal census data isn’t received by February 15, 2021. Therefore, the current state legislative districts, which have been used since 2011, would remain in use for the 2021 election. New districts would be used beginning in 2023. The constitutional amendment would also use this delayed timeline in future redistricting cycles if census data isn’t received by February 15 of the year after the census (2031, 2041, 2051, and so on).

Both chambers of the New Jersey State Legislature passed the constitutional amendment on July 30, 2020. A 60% vote was required in both legislative chambers. In the General Assembly, the vote was 51 to 26. In the State Senate, the vote was 25 to 15. Legislative Democrats, along with one Senate Republican, supported the amendment. All other legislative Republicans opposed it.

Asm. John McKeon (D-27), a legislative sponsor of the amendment, said that because the coronavirus pandemic has had the effect of delaying the completion of the federal census, “there’s just not a lot of good options here.” Currently, the U.S. Census Bureau has delayed the expected delivery of redistricting data to states to July 31, 2021. The state’s primary elections are scheduled for June 8, 2021. Senate Majority Whip Nicholas Scutari (D-22) stated, “[A delay in receiving census data] will make it all but impossible to get the accurate information needed to draw legislative districts that are fair and accurate. An undercount will not only result in reduced federal funding, but also will have a negative impact on fair representation in the Legislature.”

Doug Steinhardt, chairperson of the New Jersey Republican Party, said his party was opposed to the constitutional amendment. He stated, “The people of New Jersey deserve legislators that reflect the political and demographic makeup of our great state, and they haven’t enjoyed that in at least a decade. Democrats pushing this amendment to delay redistricting are trying to kill a fly with a sledgehammer, and are aiming to extend their majority for an additional two years.”

In New Jersey, a redistricting commission is responsible for developing state legislative district maps. The party affiliation of the commission’s 10 members is based on the results of the last gubernatorial election. The state political party committees of the gubernatorial candidates who placed first and second get to each select five members. Typically, these are Democrats and Republicans. If they deadlock on a state legislative redistricting map, the state Supreme Court Chief Justice appoints an 11th member.

The constitutional amendment is the third to be referred to the 2020 general election ballot in New Jersey. Voters will also decide a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana and a constitutional amendment to make veterans eligible to receive the state’s veterans’ property tax deduction.

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