CategoryBallot measures

Signatures filed for North Slope oil tax initiative in Alaska

The campaign Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share filed signatures for a ballot initiative to increases taxes on North Slope oil production fields. The taxes would apply to North Slope fields that have a lifetime output of at least 400 million barrels of oil and had a daily output of at least 40,000 barrels during the prior year. As of 2020, three oil production fields—Alpine, Kuparuk, and Prudhoe Bay—met those criteria. The ballot initiative would tax oil production using an alternative gross minimum tax or an additional production tax, whichever is greater for each month and each field.

On January 17, 2020, the campaign filed 44,624 signatures with election officials. At least 28,501 (63.9 percent) of the submitted signatures need to be valid. Robin Brena, chairperson of Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share, said the campaign had collected enough signatures in 35 state House districts to meet the state’s distribution requirement of 30 House districts. As the ballot initiative is indirect, certification would first send the proposal to the Alaska State Legislature, which would have the chance to approve the proposal outright. Otherwise, the ballot initiative would go before voters at the election on August 18, 2020, or November 3, 2020, depending on when the legislature adjourns this year’s regular session.

The ballot initiative has divided former oil officials who worked under former Gov. Bill Walker (I). Robin Brena, who served as chairperson of Walker’s Transition Subcommittee on Oil and Gas, is leading Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share. Chantal Walsh, a petroleum engineer and former Oil and Gas Division Director for Walker, is leading the opposition campaign OneAlaska. The Alaska Oil and Gas Association, as well as ConocoPhillips Alaska and ExxonMobil, are backing the opposition campaign.

Alaska voters last decided an oil-related ballot measure in August 2014. The measure, which sought to overturn legislation that expanded tax credits to oil companies and made the oil production tax a flat, rather than graduated, rate. The campaign that sought to overturn the legislation raised $488,09, most of which came from businessman BJ Gottstein, and the campaign to uphold the legislation raised $14.22 million, including $3.6 million from BP, $3.6 million from ExxonMobil, and $2.5 million from ConocoPhillips Alaska.

Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share is the second campaign to file signatures for a ballot initiative this cycle. On January 9, 2020, the campaign Alaskans for Better Elections filed 41,068 signatures for a ballot initiative to replace partisan primaries with open top-four primaries and use ranked-choice voting in general elections. The final deadline to file signatures for Alaska ballot initiatives ahead of the 2020 election is January 21, 2020.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:
Alaska 2020 ballot measures
Alaska Top Four Ranked Choice Voting and Campaign Finance Laws Initiative (2020)
2020 ballot measures



New campaign finance reports in for 2020 Colorado ballot measures show support campaigns ahead in fundraising

New campaign finance reports for Colorado ballot measures, which covered information through December 31, 2019, show support campaigns had raised more money than opposition campaigns.

So far, four measures are certified to appear on the November 2020 ballot in Colorado, including one legislatively referred bond issue, a veto referendum, and two citizen initiatives. No issue committees have registered to support or oppose the bond issue.

Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative:
The initiative would amend the Colorado Constitution to state that “only a citizen” of the U.S. can vote in Colorado. The existing language says “every citizen” of the U.S. can vote. Current Colorado law requires U.S. citizenship to register to vote.

This measure is supported by Citizen Voters, Inc., a Florida-based not-for-profit organization founded by John Loudon that supports similar measures to amend state constitutions nationwide. Amendments to change constitutional language to explicitly require voters to be U.S. citizens are also on the 2020 ballot in Alabama and Florida.

Colorado Citizen Voters is the issue committee supporting the measure in Colorado. The committee reported $36,000 in cash contributions and $1.43 million in in-kind contributions. Citizen Voters, Inc. contributed 99.25% of the total contributions to the committee. The committee reported in $28,507 in cash expenditures.

There are no committees registered to oppose the initiative.

Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative:
The initiative would require the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves on designated lands west of the continental divide by the end of 2023.

One committee is registered to support the initiative: Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund (RMWAF). The committee reported $1.35 million in contributions and $1.32 million in expenditures. The top donor to the RMWAF, with contributions totaling $333,650, was the Tides Center, which describes itself as “a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice.”

Two committees are registered to oppose the initiative: Coloradans Defending Our Wildlife and Coloradans Protecting Wildlife. Coloradans Defending Our Wildlife had not yet reported campaign finance activity. Coloradans Protecting Wildlife reported $10,125 in cash contributions and $66.50 in cash expenditures. The top donor to the opposition campaign was the Colorado Farm Bureau, which gave $3,500.

National Popular Vote Referendum:
The referendum, if approved, would make Colorado part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) and give all of Colorado’s nine electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes nationwide if the NPVIC becomes effective.

Two committees are registered to support a yes vote on the referendum: Coloradans for National Popular Vote and Yes on National Popular Vote. Together, the committees reported $1.89 million in contributions and $454,436 in expenditures. The top donor to the support campaign was Stephen Silberstein, a member of the board of directors of the nonprofit National Popular Vote., who gave $500,000.

One committee registered to support a no vote on the referendum: Protect Colorado’s Vote. The committee reported $802,219 in contributions and $738,598 in expenditures. The top donor to the opposition campaign was the Better Jobs Coalition, which gave $105,000.

In 2018, Colorado was the #6 state with the most campaign finance activity reported for state ballot measure campaigns. Thirteen measures were on the ballot in Colorado in 2018. Combined, support and opposition campaigns spent $70 million supporting and opposing the 13 measures. The #1 state was California, with $363 million spent supporting and opposing 16 measures.

A total of 108 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Colorado during the 20-year period from 1999 through 2019. From 1999 through 2019, about 42% (45 of 108) of the total number of measures that appeared on the statewide ballot were approved, and about 58% (63 of 108) were defeated.

Additional Reading:
Colorado 2020 ballot measures
Ballot measure campaign finance, 2018



Judge strikes down South Dakota initiative petition circulator disclosure requirement

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann ruled that South Dakota House Bill 1094 violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The bill was designed to do the following:
• require a paid petition circulator to register with the secretary of state and provide certain information;
• establish a paid petition circulator registration fee of $20;
• require petitioners to wear a badge identifying the committee and ballot measure for which they are collecting signatures and their paid or volunteer status; and
• make other changes to the state’s rules on petition circulators.

SD Voice and Cory Heidelberger filed the lawsuit challenging House Bill 1094. In the ruling, Kornmann wrote that the bill’s definition of a petition circulator was broad enough to apply to anyone who publicly advocated for the signing of an initiative petition and that the disclosure requirements were discriminatory against initiative petition supporters and restricted free speech. Kornmann wrote, “These disclosure provisions place serious and draconian burdens on protected speech. While the state’s interests in effective administration of the law and ensuring that its laws are followed are important, the state has ample means of doing so that would not chill speech.” Kornmann also ruled that all of the provisions of 1094 were intimately connected and that, therefore, none of the other provisions could be severed from the disclosure requirements he ruled unconstitutional.

House Bill 1094 was approved by the state legislature in a vote of 19-13 in the state Senate and 51-14 in the state House. Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed it into law on March 21, 2019. South Dakota is one of 21 Republican state government trifectas, which means Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s office.

Ballotpedia tracked 229 legislative proposals concerning ballot initiatives, veto referendums, referrals, local ballot measures, and recall in 34 states in 2019. Thirty-eight (38) proposals had been approved in 16 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah.

So far, two citizen initiatives have qualified for the 2020 South Dakota ballot. One is an initiated state statute to establish a medical marijuana program in the state. The other is an initiated constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana and require the legislature to pass laws legalizing medical marijuana. The signature deadline for 2020 ballot initiatives in South Dakota passed on November 3, 2019.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:
Changes to laws governing ballot measures in 2020



NJ voters to decide on expanding property tax deduction to peacetime veterans

On January 13, 2020, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a resolution placing a constitutional amendment related to veterans’ tax payments on the ballot for November 3, 2020. Both chambers of the New Jersey State Legislature passed ACR 253 in unanimous votes, excluding abstaining and absent members.

The ballot measure would expand the state’s $250 property tax deduction for wartime veterans to include peacetime veterans as well. It would also expand the 100 percent property tax exemption for disabled wartime veterans with total and permanent service-related disabilities to disabled peacetime veterans.

The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimated that there were 53,274 property-owning peacetime veterans and 440 peacetime veterans living in continuing care retirement communities. According to OLS, an increase in the number of veterans’ deductions for peacetime veterans would cost the state about $13.6 million for tax year 2020. OLS estimated that 4,340 disabled peacetime veterans paid property taxes in 2018. Therefore, the constitutional amendment would have provided $38 million in tax exemptions in 2018.

The ballot measure follows a vote on veterans’ tax payments that was on the ballot in November 2019. On the ballot as Question 1, the constitutional amendment extended the $250 property tax deduction that veterans receive to continuing care retirement centers on behalf of the veterans living there. The ballot measure required the continuing care retirement center to provide the $250 to an eligible veteran, or an eligible surviving spouse of a veteran or soldier, as a payment or credit.

Veterans’ property tax deductions and exemptions were first added to the New Jersey Constitution in 1947. Between 1947 and 2019, voters decided and approved seven ballot measures to amend the constitutional provision governing veterans’ property tax deductions and exemptions.

Since 1995, 32 constitutional amendments have been on the New Jersey ballot. Voters approved 29 (90.6 percent) of them. The veterans’ property tax amendment is the second constitutional amendment referred to the New Jersey ballot for the 2020 general election. The other ballot measure was designed to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older and legalize the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana.

The New Jersey State Legislature has until August 25, 2020 (70 days before the general election) to refer additional measures to the ballot. A 60 percent vote is required in each chamber to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot for November. A simple majority vote, along with the governor’s signature, is needed to refer a bond measure or other statute to the ballot in New Jersey.

Click here to learn more.

Related pages:
New Jersey 2020 ballot measures
2020 ballot measures
New Jersey elections, 2020



Oklahoma will decide Medicaid expansion in 2020

Oklahoma voters will decide whether or not to expand Medicaid in November. State Question 802, which qualified for the ballot on January 9, would expand Medicaid in Oklahoma under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. It would provide Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults between 18 and 65 with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level. Because the ACA includes a 5% income disregard, this measure would effectively expand Medicaid to those with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level.

Proponents reported submitting 313,000 signatures on October 24, 2019. To qualify for the ballot, 177,958 valid signatures were required. Governor Kevin Stitt (R) will determine whether the measure will appear on the June 30 primary ballot or the November 3 general election ballot. In 2018, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) placed State Question 788, the medical marijuana initiative, on the June primary ballot. Prior to 2018, a governor had not selected a date different from the general election for an initiative since 2005.

Medicaid is a government program that provides medical insurance to groups of people with income below a certain level and individuals with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, which was enacted in 2010, provided for the expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals earning incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the federal government could not withhold funds from states that refused to expand Medicaid. The ruling had the practical effect of making Medicaid expansion optional for states. In 2018, the federal government financed 94% of the costs of state Medicaid expansion. For 2020 and subsequent years, the federal government was set to cover 90% of the costs. As of 2020, a total of 36 states and Washington, D.C., had expanded or voted to expand Medicaid, while 14 states had not.

In 2017, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure to expanded Medicaid to persons under the age of 65 and with incomes equal to or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line. The measure was the first citizen initiative to implement expanded Medicaid.

In January 2018, voters in Oregon approved Measure 101, thereby upholding 2017 legislation to provide funding for the state’s portion of costs for expanded Medicaid coverage through a tax on healthcare insurance and the revenue of certain hospitals. In November 2018, voters in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Utah voted on ballot initiatives concerning Medicaid expansion and the funding of expanded Medicaid coverage. The Utah and Idaho measures were approved and later altered by the state legislatures. The Nebraska initiative was approved, and Montana’s initiative, which included a tobacco tax increase, was defeated.

Four other initiatives have been filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State targeting the 2020 ballot. One of the measures was approved for circulation: State Question 805. That measure would prohibit a convicted person’s former felony convictions from being used to “enhance the statutorily allowable base range of punishment, including but not limited to minimum and maximum terms” and would provide for sentence modifications for eligible persons. Signatures for the measure are due by March 26, 2020. The other potential initiatives concern marijuana legalization and an independent redistricting commission.

A total of 80 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Oklahoma from 1996 to 2018, 77.5% (62 of 80) of the measures were approved, and 22.5% (18 of 80) were defeated. Between 1996 and 2018, an average of seven measures appeared on the ballot each even-numbered year in Oklahoma.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:
Oklahoma State Question 802, Medicaid Expansion Initiative (2020)



Signatures filed for Alaska initiative that would enact ranked-choice voting, top-four primaries, and campaign finance changes

Signatures filed for Alaska initiative that would enact ranked-choice voting, top-four primaries, and campaign finance changes

The campaign Alaskans for Better Elections filed 41,068 signatures on Thursday for a three-pronged ballot initiative to change the state’s election laws. At least 28,501 (69.4 percent) of the signatures submitted need to be valid for the ballot initiative to be certified. Alaska also has a signature distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equal to 7 percent of the vote in the last general election must be collected in each of 30 (of 40) Alaska House of Representatives districts.

Changes to Alaska’s election policies proposed by the initiative include

requiring persons and entities that make contributions that were themselves derived from donations, contributions, dues, or gifts to disclose the _true sources_ of the contributions;
replacing partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, and congressional; and
establishing ranked-choice voting for general elections, in which voters would rank the four candidates that succeeded from the primaries.

Currently, no states utilize a top-four primary for state or federal elections, and one state—Maine—uses ranked-choice voting for some state and federal elections. Top-four primaries are similar to top-two, which are used in California and Washington. Both move candidates through the primary to the general regardless of party affiliation. Instead of the top-two vote-getters moving to the general election, the ballot initiative would move the top-four vote-getters to the general election. Under the ballot initiative, voters would use ranked-choice voting to rank the four candidates in the general election.

Former Rep. Jason Grenn (I-22) is chairperson of Alaskans for Better Elections. Bruce Botelho (D), the former mayor of Anchorage and Bonnie Jack (R) are co-chairs of the campaign. Through January 5, 2020, the campaign had reported $757,411, with $600,000 from Unite America and $100,000 from Action Now Initiative. Both organizations have supported ranked-choice voting initiatives in the past. Support was also received from American Promise, FairVote, and Represent.Us.

As the ballot initiative is indirect, certification would first send the proposal to the Alaska State Legislature, which would have the chance to approve the proposal or one deemed to be equivalent outright. Otherwise, the ballot initiative would go before voters at the election on August 18, 2020, or November 3, 2020, depending on what the legislature adjourns this year’s regular session.

The ballot initiative is also in the midst of a legal challenge. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (R), who is responsible for approving initiatives for signature gathering, originally rejected the proposal. Based on a report by Attorney General Kevin Clarkson (R), Meyer said that the initiative violated the single-subject rule. Alaskans for Better Elections asked the state Superior Court to override Meyer, which it did on October 28, 2019. The judge ruled that the ballot initiative covers a single subject: election reform. Defendants (Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer and the Division of Elections) appealed the ruling to the Alaska Supreme Court, which would have final jurisdiction over the issue.

Voters in Florida will decide a top-two primaries initiative, titled Amendment 3, in 2020. In Massachusetts, the campaign behind an indirect ranked-choice voting initiative submitted enough signatures to put the measure before the legislature, and it could also be on the ballot in the fall.

Click here to learn more.

Related pages:
Unite America 
Ranked-choice voting
Top-four primary



Mississippi to vote on medical marijuana in 2020

The Mississippi Medical Marijuana Amendment has officially qualified for the ballot and was filed with the Mississippi State Legislature on January 7, the first day of the 2020 legislative session. The legislature must act on the measure within four months. The measure will appear on the 2020 ballot regardless of whether the state legislature adopts, rejects, or ignores the measure. The legislature may also choose to approve an amended or alternative version of the measure. In this case, both the original and legislative alternative versions would appear on the ballot together, giving voters the choice to reject both measures or approve one. For approval, an initiative in Mississippi must receive a majority of the total votes cast for that particular initiative and must also receive more than 40% of the total votes cast in that election.

The amendment would establish a medical marijuana program in Mississippi for individuals with a debilitating medical condition (as defined). Medical marijuana could be recommended for patients with at least one of the more than 20 qualifying conditions under the measure including cancer, epilepsy or seizures, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease, HIV, and more. Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana at one time. The Mississippi Department of Health would be charged with implementing the provisions of the amendment and issuing rules and regulations for the program.

Mississippians for Compassionate Care is sponsoring the amendment. Proponents of the measure submitted more than 214,000 signatures in September, of which, 105,686 were found to be valid. To qualify for the ballot, 86,185 valid signatures were required. According to the most recent available reports, which covered through November 30, 2019, the Mississippians for Compassionate Care committee had raised $2,037,489 and had spent $2,099,967.

The amendment was proposed in July 2018 by Ashley Durval, the mother of Harper Grace Durval. In 2014, the Mississippi Legislature passed Harper Grace’s Law, which removed marijuana extract oil (CBD oil) from Mississippi’s list of controlled substances and allowed its prescription for medicinal applications. Harper Grace Durval has Davet Syndrome, a type of epilepsy that causes seizures.

Mississippi State Department of Health communications director Liz Sharlot said, “the Mississippi State Board of Health is not supportive of the legalization of the Medical Marijuana amendment. It is not FDA approved, it is illegal, and has not undergone a rigorous medical review. Currently, there are no statutes on the book, so we are watching the events as they unfold.”

As of 2019, 33 states and Washington, D.C., had passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana. Additionally, 13 states had legalized the use of cannabis oil, or cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana—for medical purposes.

Also set to appear on the 2020 ballot is a recreational marijuana legalization amendment in New Jersey that would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older and legalize the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana. In November, South Dakota will become the first state to vote on separate measures that would legalize recreational marijuana and establish a medical marijuana program at the same election.

Measures concerning medical marijuana have been proposed targeting the 2020 ballot in Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, and Nebraska. Measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use have been proposed targeting the 2020 ballot in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

A total of 14 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Mississippi from 1995 to 2018. Seven of the measures were approved and six were defeated. One measure was not formatted as a yes or no question; rather, the measure asked voters to select a preferred flag for the state of Mississippi.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:
Mississippi 2020 ballot measures
2020 ballot measures
Marijuana on the ballot



No signatures submitted for Washington Initiatives to the Legislature by Jan 3 deadline

The deadline to submit signatures for Initiatives to the Legislature in Washington (ITL) was January 3, 2020. Initiatives to the Legislature is the name of indirect ballot initiatives in Washington. The Washington Secretary of State’s office confirmed to Ballotpedia on January 3 that signatures were not submitted for any of the 104 filed initiatives. If proponents of any of the initiatives had submitted 259,622 valid signatures by January 3, those initiatives would have been sent to the Washington State Legislature during its 2020 session, set to begin on January 13.

The legislature would have then needed to take one of three actions:

  1. The legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people.
  2. The legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
  3. The legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the legislature’s alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.

During the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019, 12 Initiatives to the Legislature were on the ballot, of which, six were approved and six were defeated.

January 3 was also the first day to file Initiatives to the People (ITP) in Washington. For Initiatives to the People—which are direct initiatives in Washington—a total of 259,622 valid signatures are required to qualify for the ballot. The last day to submit signatures for ITPs is July 2, 2020. As of January 6, 2020, no Initiatives to the People had been filed. ITPs do not have to go before the legislature, and if enough valid signatures are submitted, ITPs are placed on the next general election ballot for a vote of the people. During the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019, 49 Initiatives to the People were on the ballot, of which, 32 were approved and 17 were defeated.

Washington state ballot measures, quick facts:

  1. A total of 121 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Washington through all years (even and odd) from the 20-year period between 1999 and 2019.
  2. From 1999 to 2019, the number of measures on the statewide ballot ranged from two to 15.
  3. Between 1999 and 2019, 57% (69) of the total number of measures that appeared on the statewide ballot were approved, and 43% (52) were defeated.
  4. Between 1999 and 2019, an average of six measures appeared on the ballot in Washington each year.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:
Initiatives to the Legislature (Washington)
Initiatives to the People (Washington)



Gray wolf reintroduction measure is the fourth measure to be certified for the 2020 ballot in Colorado

The office of the Colorado Secretary of State announced on January 6 that the Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative had qualified for the ballot. Proponents submitted 215,370 signatures on December 10, 2019. The office found through a random sample that 65% (around 139,333 signatures) were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 124,632 valid signatures were required.

The measure would require the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves on designated lands in the western part of Colorado by the end of 2023.

The gray wolf, Canis lupus, was classified as a federally endangered species in 1978 (except in Minnesota, where it was classified as threatened). The gray wolf was removed from the endangered lists in Idaho and Montana in 2011. Idaho and Montana began wolf reintroduction programs in 1995.

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund (RMWAF) is leading the campaign in support of the initiative. According to campaign finance reports that covered through September 30, RMWAF had raised about $797,000 in cash and $100,000 in in-kind contributions. Speaking about why they believe gray wolves should be reintroduced in Colorado, RMWAF wrote, “Since the 1940s, when Colorado’s last wolf was killed, our ecosystem has suffered. A lack of natural balance means that too many elk and deer eat away the vegetation that holds streams and rivers back, leading to erosion and the disruption of even more habitats, like those for native beavers and songbirds. Wolves also naturally limit the spread of disease, such as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), by taking vulnerable animals out of the population.”

Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition is leading the campaign against the measure. The group has not yet reported campaign finance activity. The Colorado Farm Bureau is also opposed to the measure. CFB Vice President of Advocacy Shawn Martini said, “We remain skeptical that you can introduce wolves into Colorado and not create significant problems. Not only to our way of life here in the state which is based on outdoor recreations but also on livestock production in the western part of the state and to the ecosystem. Colorado is home to a number of endangered species that could be potentially be preyed upon by an apex predatory like the Canadian gray wolf. So we’re skeptical that these kinds of decisions should be put in the hands of voters through a ballot initiative.”

Three other measures are currently certified for the 2020 ballot in Colorado: a citizen-initiated veto referendum to decide whether or not Colorado will join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact; a citizen-initiated amendment to state in the constitution that only U.S. citizens may vote in Colorado; and a transportation bond issue referred to the ballot by the state legislature.

Proponents are gathering signatures for another initiative in Colorado that would ban abortions after 22 weeks gestational age. Signatures for the measure are due on March 4, 2020.

A total of 108 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Colorado from 1999 through 2019. In that time, 42% (45 of 108) of the total number of measures that appeared on the statewide ballot were approved, and 58% (63 of 108) were defeated.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:
Colorado 2020 ballot measures



South Dakota to vote on two marijuana initiatives in November

On January 6, the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office announced that an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana had qualified for the ballot. South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws reported submitting more than 50,000 signatures in November, of which 36,707 were deemed valid. To qualify, 16,961 signatures were required.

The measure would amend the state constitution to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It would also require the legislature to pass laws providing for the use of medical marijuana and the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. Under the measure, a 15% tax would be imposed on marijuana sales. Individuals would be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

The attorney general’s explanation stated that “judicial clarification of the amendment may be necessary.”

Last month, a separate measure to create a medical marijuana program was certified for the ballot. Initiated Measure 26, sponsored by New Approach South Dakota, would establish a medical marijuana program in South Dakota for individuals who have a debilitating medical condition (defined) as certified by a physician.

As of 2019, 11 states and Washington, D.C., had legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

As of 2019, 33 states and Washington, D.C., had passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana. Additionally, 13 states had legalized the use of cannabis oil, or cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana—for medical purposes.

Also set to appear on the 2020 ballot is a marijuana legalization amendment in New Jersey that would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older and legalize the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana. Measures concerning medical marijuana targeting the 2020 ballot have been proposed in Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, and Nebraska. Measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use have been proposed targeting the 2020 ballot in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

From 1996 through 2018, a total of 74 measures have appeared on the ballot during even-numbered election years in South Dakota. Of those, 39% were approved and 61% were defeated.

Click here to learn more.

Learn more:
South Dakota Initiated Measure 26, Medical Marijuana Initiative (2020)
South Dakotas 2020 ballot measures
Marijuana on the ballot



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