Author

Ryan Byrne

Ryan Byrne is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of May 30, 2023, 24 statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in eight states for elections in 2023. That’s nine more measures than the average number (15) certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 38 statewide measures have been certified in 20 states. That’s six more measures than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

Five new measures were certified for the 2023 ballot last week:

Two new measure were certified for the 2024 ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

Signatures were verified for three indirect initiatives in Maine, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

In Ohio, one initiative to legalize marijuana was certified to the Legislature, which had four months to act on the proposal; as the Legislature took no action, a second 90-day signature-gathering period commenced on May 3.

Additional links:



Minnesota voters to decide on extending lottery revenue dedication for Environment and Natural Resource Fund through 2050

Voters in Minnesota will be asked to keep providing revenue from state-operated lotteries to the Environment and Natural Resources Fund through 2050. The dedicated revenue source is set to expire at the end of 2024.

The constitutional amendment will appear on the ballot at the general election on Nov. 5, 2024. It’s the first measure certified for the statewide ballot in Minnesota since 2016.

In 1988, more than 80% of voters approved a constitutional amendment to create the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Fund. The amendment did not include a dedicated source of revenue. Also in 1988, voters approved an amendment to allow for state-operated lotteries. In 1990, the Legislature asked voters to dedicate at least 40% of revenue from state-operated lotteries to the Environment and Natural Resources Fund until 2001. The amendment was approved. In 1998, voters approved an extension, requiring the revenue dedication until 2025.

In 2024, voters will decide whether to continue dedicating revenue from state-operated lotteries to the fund through 2050. The ballot measure would also increase the amount of money that can be spent from the fund each year from 5.5% to 7.0% of the fund’s market value. The legislation that placed the constitutional change on the ballot also included changes to Minnesota Statutes. One of these changes would create a grant program to provide funding for projects related to addressing environmental issues in affected communities, environmental education, and natural resource conservation. An advisory board would make recommendations about grants, and the commissioner of natural resources would award the grants.

In the Legislature, the final version of the ballot measure was approved on May 21, 2023. In the Senate, the vote was 36-29. In the House, the vote was 89-41. Legislative Democrats supported the amendment. Legislative Republicans voted 2-29 in the Senate and 20-41 in the House.

Organizations that supported the amendment in the Legislature include the American Sportfishing Association, Association of Minnesota Counties, Ducks Unlimited, League of Women Voters, and The Nature Conservancy, among others. Their statement said, “We believe that Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to vote to renew the constitutional dedication of lottery proceeds to the ENRTF while dedicating additional lottery proceeds to the environment and reducing barriers for local organizations and communities to receive funding.”

Sen. Steve Drazkowski (R-20), who voted against the amendment in the Legislature, disagreed with how the new grants would be issued, saying, “So what we are doing is we are doing it again, we are doing what we have done in this Legislature for the last four months. Again, taking authority for appropriation from the legislative branch, and giving it to the executive branch, that’s what this bill is doing.”

Since 1996, voters have decided on 10 constitutional amendments in Minnesota. Eight of those amendments were approved, and two were defeated. In Minnesota, a constitutional amendment must receive a simple majority of all ballots cast in the election, rather than a simple majority of votes on the amendment itself.



Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of May 16, 2023, 13 statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in eight states for elections in 2023. That’s five more measures than the average number (8) certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 34 statewide measures have been certified in 18 states. That’s five more measures than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

Three new measures were certified for the 2023 ballot last week:

Two new measures were certified for the 2024 ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

Signatures were verified for three indirect initiatives in Maine, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

In Ohio, one initiative to legalize marijuana was certified to the Legislature, which had four months to act on the proposal; as the Legislature took no action, a second 90-day signature-gathering period commenced on May 3.

Additional links:



Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of May 2, 2023, seven statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in four states for elections in 2023. That’s the same as the average number (7) certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 32 statewide measures have been certified in 16 states. That’s six more measures than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

One new measure was certified for the 2023 ballot last week:

  1. Texas Authorize Conservation and Reclamation Districts in El Paso County Amendment

Two new measures were certified for the 2024 ballot last week:

  1. Florida Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment
  2. North Dakota Legacy Fund Transfers Amendment

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

  1. Michigan $15 Minimum Wage Initiative (2024)

Signatures were verified for five indirect initiatives in Maine and Ohio, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

  1. Maine “Right to Repair Law” Vehicle Data Access Requirement Initiative (2023)
  2. Maine Creation of Pine Tree Power Company Initiative (2023)
  3. Maine Prohibit Foreign Spending in Elections Initiative (2023)
  4. Maine Voter Approval of Borrowing Above $1 Billion by State Entities and Electric Cooperatives Initiative (2023)
  5. Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2023)

Additional links:



Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of April 18, 2023, six statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in four states for elections in 2023. That’s the same as the average number (6) certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 28 statewide measures have been certified in 16 states. That’s 10 more measures than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

Three new measures were certified for the 2024 ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

Signatures were verified for five indirect initiatives in Maine and Ohio, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

From 2011 to 2021, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an odd-numbered year was 33. By this time during odd-numbered years from 2011 through 2021, an average of six statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 

Additional links:



Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of April 9, 2023, six statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in three states for elections in 2023. That’s the same as the average number (6) certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 26 statewide measures have been certified in 15 states. That’s seven more measures than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

One new measure was certified for the 2023 ballot last week:

Four new measures were certified for 2024 ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

Signatures were verified for five indirect initiatives in Maine and Ohio, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

From 2011 to 2021, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an odd-numbered year was 33. By this time during odd-numbered years from 2011 through 2021, an average of six statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 

Additional reading:



Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of April 4, 2023, six statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in three states for elections in 2023. That’s the same as the average number (6) certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 23 statewide measures have been certified in 12 states. That’s seven more than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

One new measure was certified for the 2023 ballot last week:

Three new measures were certified for 2024 ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

Signatures were verified for five indirect initiatives in Maine and Ohio, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

From 2011 to 2021, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an odd-numbered year was 33. By this time during odd-numbered years from 2011 through 2021, an average of six statewide measures had been certified for the ballot.

Additional links:



North Dakota enacts a plain language requirement for ballot measure summaries

The North Dakota State Legislature passed a bill, Senate Bill 2163 (SB 2163), to require the language that voters see on a ballot for a statewide measure to be written in “plain, clear, understandable language using words with common, everyday meaning.” Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed SB 2163 on March 23. In North Dakota, the secretary of state, in consultation with the attorney general, is responsible for writing the ballot language.

State Rep. Jorin Johnson (R-41) said, “Plain language is a way of writing that uses smaller words and shorter sentences. This helps people understand the main ideas more clearly without inflated vocabulary and convoluted sentence construction.”

State Sen. Judy Lee (R-13), who voted against the bill, said, “As one of our people who testified said, ’It’s a noble goal, but ‘readable’ is in the eye of the beholder.’ … There are no definitions for some of the words used in the bill like ‘common everyday meaning’… It’s just extremely hard to define.” In the House, the vote was 84-9. In the Senate, the vote was 27-20. 

Since 2017, Ballotpedia has scored the ballot questions of the eight statewide measures on the ballot in North Dakota using a formula called the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), which is a score equivalent to the estimated number of years of U.S. education required to understand a text. Scores ranged from 11 to 21, with an average score of 16. Sixteen is equivalent to a four-year college education in the U.S. The average score between 2017 and 2022 for state ballot measures across the U.S. was 18.

SB 2163 is the 10th ballot measure law change that Ballotpedia has tracked in 2023. Earlier in March, Arkansas increased the distribution requirement for initiative petition signatures and South Dakota moved the deadline for signatures after a court struck down the previous deadline. At least 280 bills regarding ballot measures or recall policies have been introduced during the 2023 legislative session as of March 24. 

Additional reading:



Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

As of March 21, 2023, five statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in three states for elections in 2023. That’s the same as the average number certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

For 2024, 19 statewide measures have been certified in five states. That’s seven more than the average number certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity.

Two new measures were certified for the ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in Michigan:

Signatures were verified for five indirect initiatives in Maine and Ohio, and the initiatives are now before legislators:

From 2011 to 2021, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an odd-numbered year was 33. By this time during odd-numbered years from 2011 through 2021, an average of five statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 



Arkansas increases the signature distribution requirement for citizen-initiated ballot measures

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed House Bill 1419 (HB 1419), which increases the signature distribution requirement for citizen-initiated ballot measures, on March 7. Under HB 1419, campaigns will be required to collect signatures from 50 of 75 (67%) counties. Previously, the requirement was 15 of 75 (20%) counties. For citizen-initiated state statutes, the signature requirement is equal to 4% of the votes cast for governor in each of at least 50 of 75 counties. For citizen-initiated constitutional amendments, the requirement is equal to 5% of the votes cast for governor in these counties.

In the House, HB 1419 was approved 79 to 19. In the Senate, the legislation was approved 21 to 8. Senate Republicans and 79 House Republicans voted to pass HB 1419, while legislative Democrats, along with two House Republicans, voted against the change. 

State Sen. Jim Dotson (R-34), a co-sponsor of the bill, said,  “The purpose of this would be to ensure that we’re getting representation from all across the state, not just large urban areas but rural counties as well, and having a lot of input into the process.” State Sen. Greg Leding (D-30), an opponent, stated, “The voters have made it absolutely clear that they do not want the Legislature making it harder for them to get things on the ballot, and I think we should listen to them.”

State Sen. Bryan King (D-28) and the League of Women Voters of Arkansas sued Secretary of State John Thurston (R), asking the 6th Judicial Circuit Court to rule HB 1419 unconstitutional. Plaintiffs noted that Article V of the Arkansas Constitution provides for the 15-of-75 counties requirement, while HB 1419 is a statute. According to the plaintiffs, this means that HB 1419 is effectively modifying the state constitution, which a bill cannot do. Amending the constitution would require voter ratification.

Of the 26 states that allow for state initiatives or referendums, Arkansas is one of 16 with a signature distribution requirement. The other 10 states do not have distribution requirements.

As of March 15, two other bills related to ballot measures have been signed into law in Arkansas during the 2023 legislative session. HB 1027 required voter approval for a county government to enact a new or increase an existing local sales tax. Under HB 1027, a simple majority vote of the electorate is required for the tax to take effect. HB 1320 required initiative sponsors to submit drafts to the Arkansas Attorney General, rather than the Board of Election Commissioners. Under HB 1320, the attorney general is responsible for approving, rejecting, or substituting the ballot title and popular name for each initiative within 10 days of receiving a draft.