Victoria Antram

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2022 statewide ballot measures written at graduate school reading level

The ballot language for the 140 statewide ballot measures on the ballot in 38 states in 2022 is written at an average reading level of 19 (graduate school reading level), up from 18 in 2021. Ballotpedia identified 66 measures with a ballot summary that was set to appear alongside the ballot question on the ballot. The average grade level for ballot summaries was 18 years of education.

Ballotpedia’s readability report analyzes what level of education voters would need to understand the ballot titles and summaries of statewide ballot measures using Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL). A readability score produces a score equivalent to the estimated number of years of U.S. education required to understand a text. Measurements used in calculating readability scores include the number of syllables, words, and sentences in a text. Other factors, such as the complexity of an idea in a text, are not reflected in readability scores.

Here are some highlights from the annual report:

Title and summary grades
In 2022, the measure with the highest grade level score was Kentucky Amendment 1 with a title grade level of 64. The average ballot title grade for all measures in a single state averaged together ranged from 7 in Iowa to 44 in Kentucky.

Thirty-six (36) measures had ballot summaries with a grade level score greater than the ballot title, with differences ranging from 1 year to 16 years.

Citizen-initiated measures received an average title grade of 17 years of education, and referred measures received an average title grade of 20 years. The average ballot title grade was highest for ballot titles written by initiative proponents (21) and state boards (20). The three automatically referred constitutional convention questions, which take their ballot titles directly from the state constitution, had the lowest title grade by author at 9.

Word count
The average ballot title word count was 66 words. The ballot measure with the longest ballot title was Tennessee Constitutional Amendment 2, with 456 words. The ballot measure with the shortest ballot title was Florida Amendment 2, which would abolish the state’s Constitution Revision Commission, with five words.

Historical readability scores

Ballotpedia has conducted an annual readability report since 2017. Between 2017 and 2022, the average title grade was 18 years of education. The year with the lowest ballot title grade was 2019 with 15 years of education, and the years with the highest were 2017 and 2020 with 20 years of education. The average ballot summary grade was lower than the ballot title grade for every year except 2019, where both were 15 years of education.

Additional reading:

Campaigns supporting and opposing Massachusetts ballot questions report over $57.2 million in contributions

The campaigns registered to support and oppose the four ballot questions in Massachusetts reported over $57.2 million in cash and in-kind contributions as of Oct. 20.

With $24.7 million raised by support committees and $13.7 million raised by the opposition, Massachusetts Question 1 is the most expensive legislative referral of the 2022 election cycle with a total of $38.4 million in contributions. 

There are three committees registered to support Question 1, which would enact an additional tax of 4% for income over $1 million and allocate the revenue towards education and transportation purposes. The top donors to the support committees were Massachusetts Teachers Association ($11.3 million), National Education Association ($7 million), and Sixteen Thirty Fund ($1.1 million).

There are two committees registered to oppose Question 1. The top donors included James Davis ($2 million), Paul and Sandra Edgerley ($2 million), Suffolk Construction Co. ($1 million), and Robert Kraft’s Rand-Whitney Containerboard ($1 million).

Question 2, a ballot initiative to set a medical loss ratio on dental insurance plans, has five committees registered to support and oppose the measure. The three registered in support of the measure received a total of $7.8 million in contributions with top donations from the American Dental Association($5.1 million), Mouhab Rizkallah ($2.4 million), and the Massachusetts Dental Society ($252,250). The two opposition committees reported nearly $7.7 million. The top donors included Dental Service of Massachusetts ($4.5 million), Principal Life Insurance ($962,524), and Metropolitan Life Insurance ($886,348).

Two committees registered to support and oppose Question 3, which would change the number of retail alcohol licenses allowed under state law. The support committee, 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee, reported nearly $1 million in contributions with the most contributions from Massachusetts Package Stores Association ($640,380). Food Stores For Consumer Choice was registered to oppose Question 3 and had reported $12.50 in in-kind contributions.

Two committees also registered to support and oppose Question 4, a veto referendum on a law that would change who is authorized to receive a driver’s license or vehicle registration. The support committee, Yes for Work and Family Mobility, reported $2.3 million in contributions. The top donors included various chapters of SEIU and Arbella Insurance Group. The opposition committee, Fair and Secure Massachusetts, which led the signature-gathering campaign to put the referendum on the ballot, reported $185,106 in contributions from various individuals.

Massachusetts also requires organizations that make independent expenditures in support of or opposition to ballot questions to report those amounts. Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance reported spending $7,158.07 on Question 1 and $6,411.77 on Questions 2, 3, and 4. Massachusetts Fine Wines & Spirits, LLC (Total Wine) reported $2.6 million in opposition to Question 3. These numbers are not reflected in the committee totals above.

In 2020, the support and opposition campaigns surrounding the two Massachusetts ballot initiatives that appeared on the ballot raised $61.6 million.

Rhode Island voters to decide three bond measures totaling $400 million in November

On Nov. 8, voters in Rhode Island will be deciding on three bond measures totaling $400 million. 

Question 1 would issue $100 million in bonds for the University of Rhode Island Narragansett Bay Campus’ marine discipline education and research needs. The University of Rhode Island is leading the Vote Yes on 1 campaign in support of Question 1. Marc Parlange, president of the University of Rhode Island, said, “Rhode Islanders have a generational opportunity to position Rhode Island and New England as the global leader in a new Blue Economy with URI as the engine that fuels that activity.”

Voters last approved a bond issue for the University of Rhode Island Narragansett Bay Campus in 2018 with the passage of Question 2, which authorized the issuance of $45 million for the campus.

Question 2 would issue ​​$250 million in bonds for the construction and renovation of state public school buildings. In 2018, Rhode Island voters approved Question 1, which authorized $250 million in bonds over five years to fund school housing aid and the school building authority capital fund. It was approved with 76.7% of the vote.

Question 3 would issue $50 million in bonds for environmental and recreational purposes. The projects include the Small Business Energy Loan Program, Narragansett Bay and watershed restoration projects, forest restoration projects, and the Roger Williams Park and Zoo. Yes on 3 is leading the campaign in support of Question 3. It has received endorsements from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Clean Water Action, Climate Jobs Rhode Island, and Rhode Island Land Trust Council.

To put a legislatively referred bond question before voters, a simple majority vote is required in both the Rhode Island State Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives. In Rhode Island, the state General Assembly must ask voters to issue general obligation bonds over $50,000, except in the case of war, insurrection, or invasion.

The bond measure was introduced into the Rhode Island General Assembly as a provision of Article 5 of House Bill 7123 (HB 7123) on January 16, 2022. 

On June 16, 2022, Article 5 of HB 7123 passed in the state House by a vote of 69-1 with five members not voting. On June 23, 2022, the state Senate voted 33-0 with five not voting.

Governor Daniel McKee (D) signed HB 7123 on June 27, 2022, certifying the three bond measures for the ballot.

Between 2008 and 2021, voters in Rhode Island decided on 29 bond measures totaling $1.7 billion ($1,710,915,000) in principal value. Voters approved all of the bond measures, with support ranging from 55.23% (Question 2 of 2010) to 83.89% (Question 3 of 2016). As of 2021, voters had not rejected a bond measure since 2006, when 50.56% of electors rejected a $4.0 million bond for improvements in Fort Adams State Park.

Kansas Amendment 2 would require most county sheriffs to be elected

On Nov. 8, Kansas voters will decide on a ballot measure, Amendment 2, to require the election of county sheriffs in counties that had not abolished the office as of January 2022 and provide that sheriffs may be recalled from office or removed by a writ of quo warranto initiated by the attorney general. Currently, only one county, Riley County, of the state’s 105 counties does not have a sheriff. Amendment 2 would provide that the other 104 counties cannot eliminate their elected sheriff’s office.

Under current state law, voters can also recall a sheriff by submitting a petition containing valid signatures equal to at least 40% of the voters who voted in the last sheriff election.

The amendment has received support from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R), Kansas Sheriffs Association, and Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. Attorney General Schmidt said, “The office of sheriff has deep historical roots, and the longstanding practice of election rather than appointment makes sheriffs uniquely accountable to the people. I commend the large bipartisan majorities in the Legislature for giving Kansas voters the opportunity to enshrine the elected office of sheriff in our state constitution, and I look forward to supporting and campaigning for this amendment this fall.”

The amendment is opposed by State Representatives Sydney Carlin (D), Mike Dodson (R), and Dennis Highberger (D), as well as Kurt Moldrup, the interim director of the Riley County Police Department. State Rep. Michael Dodson (R) said, “If a county wishes to have a sheriff, that’s a great choice. Likewise, if a county wishes to consolidate, they should be able to do that.”

Kansas voters will also be deciding on another constitutional amendment on Nov. 8 to authorize the state legislature to revoke or suspend an executive agency’s rules and regulations by a simple majority vote.

From 1995 through 2022, the state legislature referred 11 constitutional amendments to the ballot. Voters approved eight and rejected three of the referred amendments.

California ballot measure committees report $618.3 million in contributions

As of Sept. 24, 2022, ballot measure committees registered to support or oppose the seven ballot propositions on California’s November ballot reported receiving $618.3 million in contributions. Campaigns surrounding Propositions 26 and 27 reported the highest amount of contributions in recent California history with $427 million. The total nearly doubles the amount of the next most expensive ballot measure in California history, Proposition 22 (2020), which reported $224.2 million.

Three committees were registered to support and oppose Proposition 26, which would legalize in-person sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks. One committee, Yes on 26, No on 27 – Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming, was registered to support Proposition 26 and oppose Proposition 27. It reported $123.4 million in contributions. The top donors included the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria ($31. 9 million), Pechanga Band of Indians ($25.3 million), and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation ($22.3 million). No on 26 – Taxpayers Against Special Interest Monopolies PAC and No on the Gambling Power Grab PAC, which oppose Prop 26, have reported over $43.1 million. The top donors to the committees were Hawaiian Gardens Casino ($10.2 million), California Commerce Club, Inc. ($10 million), and Knighted Ventures LLC ($4.2 million).

One committee was registered to support Proposition 27, Yes on 27 – Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support. It reported $169.2 million with top contributions from Betfair Interactive operator of Fanduel Sportsbook ($35 million), Crown Gaming operator of Draftkings ($34.2 million), and Penn National Gaming, Inc. ($25 million). One other committee was registered to oppose the measure: No on 27 – Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming. It reported over $91.1 million. The top donors were the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians ($78.1 million) and the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians ($10 million).

Ballotpedia identified a total of 18 ballot measure committees registered for all the propositions. Below is a breakdown of contributions by proposition and position.

The Atkins Ballot Measure Committee is registered in support of Proposition 1, a constitutional amendment to establish a right to abortion. It has received $9.3 million. Two committees were registered in opposition to Proposition 1, Women for Reproductive Facts – No on Prop 1 PAC and Stop Prop 1 – A Committee in Opposition to Proposition 1 PAC. Together they reported $71,776 in contributions.

One committee, Yes on 28 – Californians for Arts and Music in Schools, was registered in support of Proposition 28, which would require increased funding for K-12 art and music education. It reported over $9.3 million in contributions. No committees were registered in opposition to Proposition 28.

Behind Propositions 26 and 27, Proposition 29 is the next most expensive measure on the November ballot. The two committees registered to support and oppose the measure have reported over $94.3 million in contributions. Proposition 29 is the third ballot initiative sponsored by SEIU-UHW to make the ballot since 2018.

There were five committees registered to support and oppose Proposition 30, which would enact an additional income tax on income above $2 million to fund zero-emission vehicles and wildfire prevention. The three support committees reported $37.1 million in contributions, and the two opposition committees reported over $12 million. 

Committees surrounding Proposition 31, a referendum on a flavored tobacco sales ban, reported $29.2 million in contributions. The top donors to the committee registered in support of a “yes” vote to uphold the ban were Michael Bloomberg ($4.3 million) and the Kaiser Foundation ($1.1 million). The top donors to the committee registered in support of a “no” vote to repeal the ban were Philip Morris USA, Inc. ($9.3 million) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ($9.5 million).

The next campaign finance filing deadline for California ballot measure committees is Oct. 27.

Additional reading:,_2022

Voters will decide on 14 statewide ballot measures related to elections, voting, campaign finance, and term limits in 2022

Voters in 10 states will decide on 14 ballot measures related to elections, voting, campaign finance, and term limits in 2022.

Elections and voting policy measures

Ten ballot measures address electoral systems and voting policies.

On Nov. 8, Nevadans will decide whether to join Maine and Alaska in using a form of ranked-choice voting for congressional and certain state offices. Nevada Question 3 would establish an open top-five primary system and ranked-choice voting for general elections. 

In Alabama, voters will decide on Amendment 4, which would prohibit changes to election conduct laws within six months of general elections. Some states, including Alabama, made modifications to election dates, procedures, and administration in 2020, largely in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Arizona voters are deciding on two measures related to election and voting. Proposition 131 would create the office of lieutenant governor. Arizona is one of five states without a lieutenant governor. Proposition 309 would add requirements for Arizona citizens casting a mail-in ballot, as well as change voter ID requirements for in-person voters.

Connecticut will vote on a constitutional amendment to allow no-excuse early voting. Connecticut is one of five states that has not enacted the policy in some form.

Kansas voters will decide on an amendment to require the election of county sheriffs in counties that had not abolished the office as of January 2022 and provide that sheriffs may be recalled from office or removed by a writ of quo warranto initiated by the attorney general.

The Louisiana State Legislature sent a constitutional amendment to the Dec. 10 ballot that would add that “No person who is not a citizen of the United States shall be allowed to register and vote in this state.” Ohio voters will be deciding on a similar amendment on Nov. 8 that would specifically prohibit local governments from allowing noncitizens or those who lack the qualifications of an elector to vote in local elections.

In Michigan, voters will decide on Proposal 2, which would amend the state constitution to provide voters with the right to vote without harassment, interference, or intimidation; guarantee that military and overseas ballots postmarked by election day are counted; allow for a signed affidavit, as an alternative to the existing photo ID requirement; provide for nine days of early voting; and make other changes.

Nebraska voters will decide on Initiative 432, which would require a photo ID to vote in the state. Twenty-one states require a photo voter ID to vote in person. An additional 14 states require a non-photo ID to vote in person. Nebraska is one of 15 states without an ID requirement.

Campaigns and campaign finance

Arizona voters will also be deciding on Proposition 211, which would require 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. The term original sources would be defined as the persons or businesses that earned the money being spent.

In November, Louisiana voters will decide on a measure to allow classified service/civil service employees to publicly support the election campaigns of individuals in their immediate family when off duty.

Term limits

Voters in Michigan and North Dakota will decide on two measures related to term limits. Michigan Proposal 1 would ​​change the term limits for state legislators from three 2-year terms (6 years) in the state House and two 4-year terms (8 years) in the state Senate to 12 combined years in the legislature. It would also require that elected state legislative and state executive officials must file annual financial disclosure reports.

The North Dakota measure would limit the governor to serving two four-year terms and limit state legislators to serving eight years in the state House and eight years in the state Senate. Currently, North Dakota does not have any term limits on the governor or state legislators.

Referendum to repeal a Massachusetts law related to driver’s license applications qualifies for the November ballot

On Sept. 9, the Massachusetts Elections Division announced that a veto referendum to repeal House Bill 4805 (H 4805) had qualified for the November ballot as Question 4.

H 4805 would prohibit registrars from inquiring about an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status when applying for driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations. It would also authorize registrars to accept certain documents to verify the identity and date of birth of an applicant. 

H 4805 would require one of the documents to be either a valid unexpired foreign passport or a valid unexpired Consular Identification document. The bill would require the second document to be a valid unexpired driver’s license from any U.S. state or territory, an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a valid unexpired foreign national identification card, a valid unexpired foreign driver’s license, or a marriage certificate or divorce decree issued by any state or territory of the United States.

If not repealed, the law would take effect on July 1, 2023.

The targeted law was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Barker (R), who supports the repeal effort. Massachusetts requires a two-thirds majority in the state legislature to override a veto. At the time of the override vote, Democrats held such a majority.

In the Senate, the override passed by a 32-8 margin, with 32 Democrats voting to override and five Democrats joining all three Republicans to sustain Baker’s veto. The House voted 119-36 to override the veto, with eight Democrats joining all 28 Republicans to sustain the veto.

In Massachusetts, the number of signatures required to qualify a veto referendum for the ballot is equal to 1.5% of the total votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. The petition was filed on June 15 by Fair and Secure Massachusetts, the PAC registered in support of a ‘no’ vote on Question 4. On Sept. 7, 2022, nearly 80,000 of the 100,000 signatures filed with local clerks were verified and submitted to the secretary of state. The Elections Division announced that the campaign had submitted 71,883 valid signatures.

Fair and Secure Massachusetts reported receiving nearly $50,000 in contributions as of Sept. 9. The committee has received endorsements from State Rep. Colleen Garry (D), State Rep. Marc Lombardo (R), and Republican candidate for governor, Geoff Diehl.

Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D), who supports upholding H 4805, said, “We know in other states that have passed this bill, passed a form of driver’s licenses for immigrants, that hit-and-run accidents go down by 10 percent.”

Massachusetts voters will also be deciding on three other ballot measures. Question 1 would increase the state income tax from 5% to 9% for income above $1 million and dedicate the additional tax revenue to education and transportation purposes. Question 2 would enact a medical loss ratio of 83% for dental insurance plans beginning on January 1, 2024. Question 3 would incrementally increase the combined number of retail beer and wine licenses and all alcoholic beverage licenses an establishment could own from no more than 12 in 2023 to no more than 18 by 2031.

In Massachusetts, a total of 72 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Thirty-eight ballot measures were approved, and 34 ballot measures were defeated.

Additional reading:

Reclaim Idaho withdraws Proposition 1 from the ballot; Idaho legislature sends an advisory question on income and corporate taxes and education funding to voters

On Sept. 7, Reclaim Idaho withdrew Proposition 1 from the November ballot after the state Legislature passed House Bill 1 (HB 1) during its special legislative session on Sept. 1.

Proposition 1 qualified for the 2022 ballot on July 22. It would have increased the tax on income above $250,000 for individuals, trusts, and estates and above $500,000 for couples filing jointly to $16,097 plus 10.925%. It would have established the Quality Education Fund to collect the additional tax revenues to allocate toward public education.

HB 1 changes the income and corporate tax rates to one flat tax rate of 5.8%; provides a tax rebate equalling the greater of 10% of the taxes paid by a couple or individual in 2020 or $600 per joint filer or $300 for an individual; exempts the first $2,500 from taxation for single filers or $5,000 for joint filers; and allocates $410 million of the state’s sales tax revenue to the public school income fund and in-demand careers fund. The tax changes will take effect on January 3, 2023.

HB 1 also included a provision to send a nonbinding advisory question to the November ballot asking voters if they approve or disapprove of the tax changes and additional education funding.

Idaho law does not provide for or prohibit the Idaho State Legislature from placing an advisory question on the ballot. Since 1995, the state legislature has sent two advisory questions to voters in 1998 and 2006. In these two instances, the advisory questions were a provision of an enacted law that received at least a simple majority vote in both the Idaho State Senate and the Idaho House of Representatives.

The 2006 advisory question was related to property taxes and was approved by 72.4% of voters. The 1998 advisory question was related to ballot access requirements for state and local officials and was approved by 53.16%.

HB 1 passed the state House on Sept. 1, 2022, by a vote of 55-15. It passed in the senate on the same day by a vote of 34-1. It was signed by Gov. Brad Little (R) on Sept.1.

Gov. Little released a statement saying, “I am proud of my legislative partners for confronting the substantial impacts of inflation head-on by putting our record budget surplus back in the pockets of Idahoans while responsibly funding education at historic levels to ensure we are meeting our constitutional and moral obligation to Idaho students and families both in the short-term and the long-term.”

After the passage of HB 1, Luke Mayville, the founder of Reclaim Idaho, which sponsored Proposition 1, said, “There are two ways a ballot initiative can win. One way is by securing a majority of the vote at the ballot box. Another way is by forcing the Legislature to do something they would never have otherwise done. By placing [Proposition 1] on the ballot, the citizens of Idaho have forced the Legislature to make the largest investment in Idaho public schools in a generation.”

Currently, Idaho has a graduated income tax structure with the top income bracket taxed at 6%. The corporate income tax rate is also 6%.

With the passage of HB 1, Idaho will join 13 other states that either have a flat income tax or are in the process of implementing one. Forty-four states levy a state corporate income tax ranging from 2.5% in North Carolina to 18.28% in New York.

According to the Education Data Initiative, as of June 2022, Idaho spent on average $6,212 per pupil ($1.93 billion total), and local governments funded on average $2,266 per pupil ($703.7 million total). The state received $891 per pupil ($276.7 million) from the federal government.

Four other ballot measures related to education funding are certified for the 2022 ballot in four other states—California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. Two measures were citizen-initiated and two were referred to the ballot by the legislature.

Additional reading:

Voter photo ID and minimum wage initiatives make the ballot in Nebraska

On Sept. 6, the Nebraska secretary of state announced that two ballot initiatives had qualified for the November ballot. Voters will decide on a constitutional amendment to require photo ID to vote and a new law that would incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 by 2026 and annually adjust for the cost of living thereafter.

Citizens for Voter ID is sponsoring the photo ID amendment. State Sen. Julie Slama (R), Republican National Committeewoman Lydia Brasch, and former state senator and former Douglas County Republican Chairwoman Nancy McCabe formed the PAC and filed the initiative. The initiative has also received support from Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), who said, “Showing ID when they go to vote, it’s one of the ways we can strengthen the integrity of our elections. It’s a great opportunity for the second house, the people of Nebraska, to be able to weigh in a way where the Legislature has not been able to get it passed.”

The measure is opposed by the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, Nebraska NAACP, Civic Nebraska, and Black Votes Matter. Civic Nebraska said, “The only thing we are certain these measures would do is to make it harder for eligible Nebraskans — especially young, low-income, rural, black and brown, and senior Nebraskans — to freely and fairly cast a ballot.”

To qualify an initiated constitutional amendment, sponsors needed to submit 123,966 valid signatures with signatures from 5% of the registered voters in each of two-fifths (38) of Nebraska’s 93 counties. The secretary of state reported that the sponsors submitted 136,458 valid signatures and met the state’s distribution requirement in 76 of the 93 counties.

Raise the Wage Nebraska is sponsoring the minimum wage initiative. It’s received support from ACLU of Nebraska, NAACP Lincoln Branch, Nebraska State AFL-CIO, and Nebraska Appleseed. Ken Smith, the economic justice director at Nebraska Appleseed, said, “Workers in low-wage jobs and their families benefit the most from these income increases, reducing poverty and income inequality. Nebraskans should not have to choose between paying their rent and buying groceries. We all want to be able to provide for our families and raising the minimum wage is an important step toward making that a reality for many underpaid Nebraskans.”

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) oppose the measure. Gov. Ricketts said the initiative would cost jobs and close businesses in rural communities. Nebraska Chamber of Commerce President Bryan Slone said, “The NE Chamber has opposed creating a patchwork quilt of state minimum wage rules in the 50 states, and supports a uniform federal standard.”

To qualify an initiated state law, sponsors needed to submit 86,776 valid signatures with signatures from 5% of the registered voters in each of two-fifths (38) of Nebraska’s 93 counties. The secretary of state reported that the sponsors submitted 97,245 valid signatures and met the state’s distribution requirement in 44 of the 93 counties.

In November, Nebraska voters will also be deciding on a legislatively referred constitutional amendment that would authorize local governments to develop commercial air travel at local airports.

The certified initiatives were two of 16 filed for the 2022 ballot. Between 2010 and 2020, nearly seven ballot initiatives were filed on average with about one initiative making the ballot each cycle.

Additional reading:

California State Legislature votes to send a constitutional amendment to the 2024 ballot related to local votes on certain housing projects

On Aug. 31, the last day of the legislative session, the California State Legislature voted to send Senate Constitutional Amendment 2 (SCA 2) to the ballot in 2024. SCA 2 would repeal Article 34 of the state constitution, which requires local voter approval via a ballot measure for federal and/or state government-funded housing projects classified as low-rent. The ballot measure would allow housing projects that are intended for households at certain income thresholds and that receive government funding or assistance to be developed, constructed, or acquired without a local referendum.

Article 34 was adopted in 1950 with the passage of Proposition 10, an initiated constitutional amendment. Proposition 10 was approved by a margin of 50.8% to 49.2%. In 1980 and 1993, voters rejected ballot measures to repeal or amend Proposition 10. Both were defeated with about 59% of the vote.

In California, a two-thirds vote is needed in each chamber of the California State Legislature to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot for voter consideration.

Senators Ben Allen (D) and Scott Wiener (D) introduced the constitutional amendment on Dec. 7, 2020. On Jan. 26, 2022, the Senate passed the amendment in a unanimous vote of 37-0 with three senators absent. On Aug. 31, 2022, the California State Assembly passed the amendment in a unanimous vote of 73-0 with seven assembly members absent.

This is the fourth measure to be certified for the ballot for elections in 2024. California voters will also be considering establishing a Pandemic Early Detection and Prevention Institute; increasing the state’s minimum wage to $18; and replacing the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

Between 1985 and 2020, an average of 9.72 measures appeared on statewide ballots per year.