CategoryBallot measures

Amendment prohibiting denial of rights based on sex, reproductive healthcare, and other classes certified for the New York ballot

The New York legislature passed a constitutional amendment on Tuesday, Jan. 24, that would prohibit the denial of rights to an individual based on ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity, reproductive status, and other characteristics. By passing this measure, the amendment was certified for the ballot in New York. It will go to voters on November 5, 2024.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said, “Here in New York, we will continue to take bold measures to protect the rights of New Yorkers, and I applaud the New York State Legislature for taking another crucial step toward enshrining the Equal Rights Amendment into the state constitution. Last year, I was proud to convene an Extraordinary Session of the legislature that led to first passage of this historic amendment, and I am grateful the amendment is on its way to being presented to voters next year.”

The amendment first passed both chambers of the legislature in July 2022, and it passed both chambers again during the current legislative session. In New York, for a constitutional amendment to go to the ballot, the amendment must pass each chamber during two successive legislative sessions.

“As other states take extreme measures to stymie progress and roll back reproductive rights, New York will always lead the way to combat discrimination in all forms and protect abortion access,” continued Gov. Hochul.

The amendment would add language to the Equal Protection Clause in the New York State Constitution. The Equal Protection Clause currently prohibits the denial of rights to an individual based on race, color, creed, or religion. The amendment would expand the definition to include prohibiting the denial of rights to an individual based on their “ethnicity, national origin, age, [and] disability,” as well as their “sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) said: “The amendment we’re passing today attempts to achieve what America has failed to do for generations: guarantee constitutional protections for individuals on the basis of sex, orientation, or background from implicit or explicit discrimination. We’re also enshrining a constitutional right to abortion and contraception to help ensure that our rights remain untouched by the federal court’s recent action.”

Assembly member David DiPietro (R), who opposed the amendment, said: “The passage of the equality amendment would result in the further erosion of religious liberty for New Yorkers whose faith, traditions teach that abortion, homosexuality and/or transgenderism are immoral and could subject many faith-based charities and schools to catastrophic liability.”

Following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization U.S. Supreme Court case, which held that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, several states amended their constitutions. In 2022, voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont approved of a state constitutional right to an abortion. Meanwhile, voters in Kansas and Kentucky rejected amendments that provided that state constitutions cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion. There were a total of six ballot measures addressing abortion in 2022—the most on record for a single year.

Currently, three of the states that passed measures in 2022—California, Michigan, and Vermont—are the only states where the state constitution explicitly provides the right to an abortion. Four states—Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia—have passed constitutional amendments that provide that state constitutions cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion.

The amendment will go on the ballot for New York voters in 2024. From 1985 to 2022, 30 constitutional amendments have gone on the ballot in New York. Twenty-one (70%) of them were approved and nine (30%) were defeated.

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California voters will decide on a referendum to repeal a law governing fast-food working conditions in 2024

On Jan. 24, the California secretary of state announced that a veto referendum filed to repeal Assembly Bill 257 (AB 257) had qualified for the November 2024 ballot. 

AB 257 would enact the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act), which was passed along party lines and signed into law on Sept. 5, 2022. The act would authorize the creation of the fast-food council, within the Department of Industrial Relations, composed of 10 members including fast-food restaurant franchisors, franchisees, employees, advocates for employees, and a representative from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. AB 257 would also authorize the council to adopt a minimum wage for fast-food restaurant employees not to exceed $22 per hour in 2023 with adjustments annually.

The fast-food council would not be allowed to promulgate rules or standards concerning working conditions until the Director of Industrial Relations received a petition approving the creation of the council signed by at least 10,000 California fast-food restaurant employees. The law would authorize the labor commissioner and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to enforce the regulations adopted by the state council. The labor commissioner would be required to investigate alleged violations and order appropriate remediation.

In California, the number of signatures required for a veto referendum is equal to 623,212 (5% of the votes cast in the preceding gubernatorial election). Save Local Restaurants, the campaign behind the repeal of the law, filed over 1 million signatures on Dec. 5, 2022. 

On Dec. 29, Save Local Restaurants filed a lawsuit against Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations Katie Hagen, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D), and California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) asking the court to stop the state from enforcing the law, set to take effect Jan. 1, until the signature verification process was complete for the petition. On Jan. 13, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang granted a preliminary injunction keeping the bill from taking effect until the petition is verified by the state.

On Jan. 24, the secretary of state reported that the final random sample count contained at least 712,568 valid signatures.

Save Local Restaurants said in a statement, “During the highest inflation in more than four decades, consumers want to know that the restaurant meals they need in their busy lives will continue to be affordable, and that the jobs their communities rely on will still be there. Before they lose the brands that they love, voters will get the chance to have their say.”

The campaign has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Restaurant Association PAC, and International Franchise Association Franchising PAC. The top donors to the committee funding the campaign include Chipotle Mexican Grill, In-N-Out Burgers, Starbucks, Yum! Brands, and Wing Stop.

Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), the author of AB 257 and a former fast-food franchisee, said, “AB 257 creates minimum standards for wages and work conditions, protects workers from being fired for organizing and establishes sectoral organizing with a fast food worker council. I’m proud to have ushered an inclusive approach to the industry by giving employees the chance to be included in a process that has always impacted them.” 

SEIU California State Council, California Employment Lawyers Association, California Labor Federation, and Gig Workers Rising support upholding AB 257.

Four other ballot measures have qualified for the ballot in 2024 in California. In March, voters will decide on a legislatively referred constitutional amendment to repeal a constitutional requirement that voters approve publicly-funded housing projects classified as low rent.

Three other citizen initiatives will be on the ballot in November:

  • A combined statute and a constitutional amendment to create a state Pandemic Early Detection and Prevention Institute
  • A statute to increase the state minimum wage to $18 by 2026
  • A statute to repeal the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and replaces it with a new process for remedying labor violations

In California, a total of 402 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2022. Two hundred thirty-one ballot measures were approved, and 171 ballot measures were defeated.

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Oklahoma will vote on marijuana legalization in March. Ohio could follow in November

Voters in Oklahoma will decide on State Question 820, an initiative to legalize marijuana, on March 7, 2023. Voters in Ohio could decide on an initiative to legalize marijuana in Nov. 2023.

Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, which is leading the campaign in support of State Question 820, wanted the citizen-initiated measure on the ballot in 2022. However, due to legal challenges and signature deadlines, the measure could not be placed on the ballot and was set to be voted on at a later election date. On Oct. 18, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) called a special election for State Question 820 on March 7, 2023.

State Question 820 would legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana for adults 21 years old and older. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority would be responsible for marijuana business licensing and regulations. Sales of marijuana would be taxed at 15%. People would be allowed to possess, transport, and distribute up to one ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana, eight grams of marijuana in a concentrated form, and/or eight grams or less of concentrated marijuana in marijuana-infused products. Under State Question 820, individuals could possess up to six mature marijuana plants and up to six seedlings. The initiative would also provide a process for individuals to seek the expungement or modification of certain previous marijuana-related convictions or sentences.

Through Sept. 30, 2022, Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws raised $2.74 million and spent $2.57 million. The largest contributor was the Just Trust for Action, which donated $1.06 million.

In Ohio, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 136,729 valid signatures for a marijuana legalization initiative. As initiated statutes are indirect in Ohio, the proposal was presented to the Ohio General Assembly. Legislators have until May 3, 2023, to approve the measure. Should legislators reject or take no action on the initiative, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol would be required to collect an additional 124,046 valid signatures within 90 days, which would be around Aug. 1, 2023. A successful signature drive would result in the initiative appearing on the ballot for Nov. 7, 2023.

Through Dec. 9, 2022, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol raised $1.50 million and spent $1.42 million. The largest contributor was the Marijuana Policy Project, which provided $840,000.

As of Jan. 2023, 21 states and Washington, D.C., had legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

  • In 12 states and D.C., the ballot initiative process was used to legalize marijuana.
  • In two states, the legislature referred a measure to the ballot for voter approval.
  • In seven states, bills to legalize marijuana were enacted into law.

From 2011 to 2021, an average of 33 statewide ballot measures — five initiated measures and 28 referred measures — appeared on ballots in odd-numbered years.

Marijuana legalization initiatives targeting the 2024 ballot have also been filed in Wyoming, Florida, and Nebraska.

Additional reading:

Seattle to decide on Social Housing Developer initiative on Feb. 14

On Feb. 14, Seattle voters will decide on Initiative 135, an initiative to create the Seattle Social Housing Developer, a public development authority to own, develop, and maintain what the initiative describes as social housing. According to Initiative 135, this housing would provide publicly financed apartments that are “removed from market forces and speculation” and built “with the express aim of housing people equitably and affordably … to remain affordable in perpetuity.”

Under Initiative 135, the public developer’s housing units would be available to those with a mix of income ranges from 0% to 120% of the area median income (which was $120,907 as of 2022). Rent prices would be limited to 30% of household income. Applications would not include prior rental references, co-signers, background checks, or application fees. Tenants would be selected using a lottery-based system.

As a public corporation, the Seattle Social Housing Developer would be allowed to issue bonds, receive federal funds and grants, receive private funds, and collect revenue for services.

House Our Neighbors! (HON), also known as Yes on I-135, is sponsoring the initiative. House our Neighbors needed to submit 26,520 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The group submitted 27,220 valid signatures.

HON stated, “Social Housing is publicly owned forever, permanently affordable, and creates cross-class communities and resident leadership. In countries around the world, such as Singapore, Austria, France, Uruguay and Canada, housing is a public good. Unlike in the United States, governments, not the private sector, are directing the housing market. By creating a community-controlled Social Housing Developer to buy and build housing that will be available to those across the income spectrum, Seattle will have another critical tool to address the suffering, displacement, and inequity that defines our housing landscape. We can create a Seattle not just for those with generational wealth and high incomes, but where ALL can live and thrive.”

The measure has received endorsements from State Sens. Joe Nguyen (D) and Rebecca Saldana (D) and State Reps. Frank Chopp (D) and Nicole Macri (D). It is also endorsed by the Green Party of Seattle and the Working Families Party of Washington.

The Housing Development Consortium, a non-profit organization based in Seattle with a mission to “build, sustain, and inspire a diverse network committed to producing, preserving, and increasing equitable access to affordable homes” released a statement on Initiative 135, writing, “The primary constraint on our ability to scale proven affordable housing models is the limited public resources available to fund affordable housing. … we are concerned [the initiative] distracts funds and energy away from what our community should be focusing on – scaling up affordable housing for low-income people. We do not need another government entity to build housing when there are already insufficient resources to fund existing entities. … The proposed new public development authority (PDA) would not have the authority to impose taxes on its own, so the funds necessary to set up the additional citywide PDA would likely draw from existing affordable housing funding that could otherwise be dedicated to creating homes for our lowest-income neighbors.”

Currently, the Seattle Housing Authority, an independent public corporation, provides low-income housing and rental assistance to 17,945 households. The SHA owns and operates 8,530 apartments and single-family homes in Seattle. Eighty-five percent of SHA housing serves households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income (about $36,270). Funding for the Seattle Housing Authority comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), rent revenue, and public and private grants. The Social Housing Developer would not replace the Seattle Housing Authority.

Mail ballots must be postmarked no later than February 14 or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on February 14. In Washington, individuals who prefer to vote in person rather than by mail may do so at voting centers, which are open during business hours for 18 days prior to the election. Washington allows for same-day voter registration.

Signatures submitted for “Right to Repair Act” initiative in Maine

On Jan. 19, 2023, the Maine Right to Repair Coalition submitted more than 70,000 signatures for a ballot initiative to allow car owners and independent repair facilities to have access to vehicle on-board diagnostic systems.

The initiative targets automobile diagnostic data that is transmitted wirelessly to vehicle manufacturers. According to the Maine Right to Repair Coalition, more than 90% of new cars are now equipped to wirelessly transmit real-time diagnostic and repair information. However, this information is only available to vehicle manufacturers.

Tim Winkeler, CEO of VIP Tire and Service and member of the Maine Right to Repair Coalition, said, “If we don’t do something about ‘Right to Repair’ right now, then what’s going to happen is down the road, these vehicles are gonna have to go back to the dealerships and independent repair shops won’t be able to work on cars. Consumers are at risk of being forced to take their car back to only the dealerships, and not have freedom of choice.”

Thecampaign seeks to allow consumers and independent shops to have access to diagnostic tools and data to allow for individuals and independent shops to make repairs. According to the Repair Association, an advocacy group promoting right-to-repair policies, two states, New York and Colorado, have passed a right-to-repair bill, while 10 states, not including Maine, have active right-to-repair legislation being considered in 2023. Massachusetts was the first state to pass right-to-repair legislation in 2013, but this did not include wireless accessibility by vehicle owners and independent shops to telematics systems. In 2020, Massachusetts voters approved Question 1, which would require vehicle owners and independent repair facilities to access this information. However, a group representing automakers filed a lawsuit, arguing that the 2020 law is unenforceable because it conflicts with federal law and the U.S. Constitution and “makes personal driving data available to third parties with no safeguards to protect core vehicle functions and consumers’ private information or physical safety.” The lawsuit is still ongoing.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the group representing automakers in the lawsuit against the Massachusetts measure, said that independent shops can already get the data they need with permission and that allowing the information to be automatically accessible can be dangerous.

For the Maine initiative to be certified to the legislature, it will need 67,682 valid signatures. These signatures are validated by the secretary of state. If the valid signature requirement is met, the initiative will first go to the state legislature. If the legislature passes the initiative, it becomes law. If the initiative is not passed, it will go on the Nov. 2023 ballot for Maine voters to decide.

Additional reading:

Wisconsin State Legislature sends three ballot questions to the April ballot

Wisconsin voters will be deciding on three ballot questions—two constitutional measures and one advisory question—on April 4. 

The constitutional measures relate to the conditions of release for an accused individual before conviction and cash bail. The two questions were referred to the ballot with the final passage of Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2) on Jan. 19.

In Wisconsin, the state legislature is required to approve an amendment by a majority vote in two successive sessions for the amendment to appear on the ballot.

During the 2021-2022 legislative session, the amendment was introduced as Assembly Joint Resolution 107 (AJR 107). The state Assembly approved AJR 107 by a vote of 70-21 on Feb. 15, 2022. The state Senate approved the amendment by a vote of 23-10 on Feb. 22.

During the 2023-2024 legislative session, the amendment was introduced as SJR 2. It was approved by the state Senate on Jan. 17, 2023, by a vote of 23-9. It was approved by the state Assembly on Jan. 19, 2023, by a vote 74-23. In both chambers, Republicans supported the amendment. In the House, Democrats were divided 12-23. In the Senate, Democrats were divided 2-9.

Questions 1 and 2 both amend Article I, Section 8 of the state constitution. Question 1 would authorize the state legislature to define serious harm in relation to the conditions—designed to protect the community from serious harm—a judge imposes on an accused person released before conviction. Question 2 would authorize judges to consider the following conditions when imposing and setting cash bail:

  • a previous conviction of a violent crime, 
  • the probability the accused will not appear in court,
  • the need to protect the community from serious harm as defined by the state legislature,
  • the need to prevent witness intimidation, and
  • the potential affirmative defenses of the accused.

State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R), one of the sponsors of the amendment, said, “The proposed amendment also broadens the factors that a judge can consider when setting a monetary condition for release, or cash bail for violent crimes. As I said earlier, Wisconsin is the only state that only allows judges to consider a single factor when setting cash bail. Under our proposal, and for violent crimes only, judges will have the flexibility to determine bail based on the totality of circumstances.”

ACLU of Wisconsin opposes the amendment saying it “would undermine the safety and stability of people detained pretrial and their communities, exacerbate inequities in the state’s cash bail system, and raise significant concerns under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the excessive bail prohibition under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Wisconsin voters last amended this section of the state constitution in April 1981 with the passage of Question 3. It was approved by a vote of 73.15% to 26.85%. The amendment permitted the legislature to allow courts to deny, revoke, or set terms of bail.

In 2022, Ohio voters approved a similar constitutional amendment that requires courts to consider factors such as public safety, the seriousness of the offense, a person’s criminal record, and a person’s likelihood of returning to court when setting the amount of bail.

The Wisconsin State Legislature also voted to send an advisory question to the April ballot asking voters, “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits?” The advisory question would have no binding effect. 

To place an advisory question on the ballot, the state legislature is required to approve it by a simple majority vote in each chamber in one legislative session. The governor’s signature is not required to place it on the ballot.

The advisory question was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 4 (SJR 4). It passed the state Senate on January 17, 2023, by a vote of 22-10. On January 19, the state Assembly passed SJR 4 by a vote of 62-35. Legislative Republicans and one Democrat supported adding the question to the ballot. The remaining Democrats opposed the question.

Between 1985 and 2022, 18 measures appeared on odd-numbered year ballots in Wisconsin. Eleven measures were approved, and seven were defeated. The last spring odd-year election to include a ballot measure in Wisconsin was in 2015. Voters approved the measure, which provided for the election of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice by a majority of the justices serving on the court.

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160 ballot initiatives have been filed for the 2023 election cycle as of Jan. 1

As of Jan. 1, proponents have filed 160 ballot initiatives in four states for elections in 2023. Washington leads with 151 ballot initiatives. The three other states include Colorado (one initiative), Maine (six initiatives), and Ohio (two initiatives).

Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 161 ballot initiatives were filed for odd-numbered-year ballots. The highest number of initiatives filed during that period was 296 measures in 2021. The average number of initiatives certified for ballots during that period was five.

Washington had the highest average number of initiatives filed during that period with 125 initiatives, but it had the lowest certification rate at 1.7%, which amounts to an average of two measures over the 10-year period. The state with the highest certification rate for odd-numbered year ballots was Mississippi with 27.7%. The average number filed in Mississippi was eight. 

The number of initiatives filed for odd-numbered year ballots is comparatively lower than the number filed for even-numbered year ballots. Between 2010 and 2022, the average number of initiatives filed for even-numbered-year ballots was 781 with an average of 57 initiatives making the ballot.

One initiative has already qualified for a statewide ballot in 2023. Oklahomans will decide on a recreational marijuana legalization initiative on March 7, 2023. Proponents initially targeted the 2022 ballot and submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. However, due to legal challenges and statutory deadlines for ballot inclusion, the measure could not be placed on the 2022 ballot and was set to be voted on at a later election date. On Oct. 18, 2022, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) ordered the measure to be placed on the March ballot.

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Maine campaign submits signatures for initiative that would require voter approval for state entities and electric cooperatives borrowing $1 billion or more

On Dec. 27, 2022, a campaign in Maine submitted signatures for an initiative that would require voter approval for borrowing $1 billion or more by state entities or electric cooperatives.

The No Blank Checks campaign, which submitted 93,000 signatures to the secretary of state, opposes the Pine Tree Power Company initiative, which would create a municipal consumer-owned electric transmission and distribution utility in Maine and would replace Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant.

“A scheme to seize Maine’s electric grid by eminent domain would create a government-controlled utility — and we would all be on the hook for the cost,” said the Maine Affordable Energy Coalition, an organization supporting the No Blank Checks initiative, of the Pine Tree Power Company initiative.

Last October, the Our Power campaign, which supports the Pine Tree Power Company initiative, submitted more than 80,000 signatures to the secretary of state, 69,735 of which were verified. “The company’s purposes are to provide for its customer-owners in this State reliable, affordable electric transmission and distribution services and to help the State meet its climate, energy and connectivity goals in the most rapid and affordable manner possible,” said the Our Power campaign.

Because the Our Power campaign submitted enough valid signatures, the initiative was certified to the legislature. If the No Blank Checks campaign has also submitted enough valid signatures, it would also be sent to the state legislature. The campaign would need 67,682 valid signatures for the initiative to be certified to the legislature.

In Maine, citizen-initiated ballot measures are indirect, meaning they first go to the legislature. The initiative only goes to the ballot if the legislature rejects the initiative or does not take action by the end of the session. If the legislature passes the initiative and the governor signs it, the initiative becomes law.

So far, there are no ballot questions on the 2023 Maine ballot. If the state legislature rejects or does not take action on either submitted initiative, they will go to Maine voters at the election on Nov. 7, 2023. 

Other initiative petitions in Maine are still circulating. The deadline to submit signatures to the secretary of state is Jan. 26, 2023.

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Ballotpedia’s analysis of 2022 local ballot measures in California

In 2022, there were 572 local ballot measures on six different election dates in California. Voters approved 396 (69%) of these measures and rejected 176 (31%). Out of these measures, 470 of them were on the November 8, 2022, ballot.

There were 147 fewer local ballot measures than in the previous even-year election in 2020. In 2020, there were 719 local measures on the ballot in California; in 2018, there were 726 local measures; and in 2016, there were 832 measures. This is a 25% decrease of the average number of measures during the last three even-year election cycles.

Out of California’s 58 counties, 54 of them had local measures on the ballot in 2022. Los Angeles County, with 97 local measures, had the greatest amount of local measures. For the other counties, the number of measures ranged from zero in four counties (Glenn County, Modoc County, Sierra County, and Tehama County) to 27 in Marin County.

The 2022 local ballot measures in California ranged by topic. Of the 572 measures, 249 measures were related to taxes; 142 were related to bonds and budgets; 103 were related to government and elections; 40 were related to housing and zoning; eight were related to marijuana; three were related to business; three were related to wages; and there were 24 other miscellaneous measures.

Taxes constituted the highest percentage of these measures, making up 44% of the measures on the local ballot in California. Of the 249 measures related to taxes: 70 measures concerned sales taxes; 67 measures concerned parcel taxes; 36 measures concerned hotel taxes; 28 measures concerned marijuana taxes; 11 measures concerned business taxes; 10 measures concerned property taxes; and 8 measures concerned utility taxes.

Of the 70 sales taxes, 44 were approved and 26 were defeated. Of the 67 parcel taxes, which are a form of special property tax, 38 were approved and 29 were defeated.

In addition, there were 123 local school bond measures on the ballot in California, making up 21% of all the local ballot measures on the 2022 ballot in California. Eighty-seven were approved and 36 were defeated. The 2022 elections had the lowest number of local school bond measures on the ballot since 2010. In 2020, the previous even-numbered election year, there were 182 local school bond measures on the ballot, 92 that were approved and 90 that were defeated.

Ballotpedia’s analysis of 2022 local ballot measures in top 100 largest cities and state capitals

There were 382 local ballot measures in 39 different states on the ballot for voters in the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and state capitals. Of the measures, 348 (91.10%) were approved, and 34 (8.90%) were defeated.

Of the 382 local ballot measures within the top 100 cities and state capitals in 2022, 20 (5.23%) were citizen-initiated ballot measures. Initiatives are placed on the ballot through signature drives. The remaining 362 (94.76%) were referred to the ballot by local legislative bodies, such as county boards, city councils, school boards, and special district boards.

In 2022, Ballotpedia covered local measures that appeared on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and in state capitals not among the 100 largest cities. This included citywide measures and countywide, special district, and school district measures. Ballotpedia also covered all local measures in California and all statewide ballot measures in the country. California local ballot measures are not included in the top-100 report aside from those included in the top 100 largest cities.

Among the top 100 largest cities, California (75 measures – 19.63%), Texas (55 measures – 14.40%), and Ohio (21 measures – 5.50%) were the three states with the most local measures covered.

The 2022 local ballot measures addressed a variety of topics from bond issues and taxes to local marijuana and local housing. Sixteen measures (4.19%) concerned elections, campaigns, and term limits. Thirteen measures (6.4%) concerned local law enforcement. Eighty-four (21.99%) concerned city, county, or district governance; local budgets; and public officials. Eighty-five measures (22.25%) concerned local taxes, and 113 measures (29.58%) were bond issues.

There were 113 local ballot measures that proposed the issuance of bonds in the top 100 largest cities and capitals in 2022 (including city, county, and school district bonds). The measures proposed a total of $32 billion in bonds. Voters approved 107 of the measures amounting to $31.34 billion. Voters rejected 6 ballot measures amounting to $697.6 million.

Ballotpedia also covered thirteen local ballot measures in four states — California, Colorado, Florida, and Washington — designed to move municipal election dates from odd to even-numbered years and to coincide with statewide elections, all of which were approved. Voters in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, approved measures to adopt ranked-choice voting for certain elections.