CategoryBallot measures

Signatures submitted for abortion rights initiative in Michigan

On July 11, the campaign Reproductive Freedom for All submitted 753,759 signatures for the ballot initiative, which would appear on the ballot in Michigan this November.

In Michigan, the campaign Reproductive Freedom for All submitted 753,759 signatures for a ballot initiative related to abortion rights on July 11. At least 425,059 of the signatures need to be valid.

If enough signatures are verified, Michigan voters will decide on the initiative to create a constitutional right to reproductive freedom in November. The term reproductive freedom would be defined to include “prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”

The national ACLU and the ACLU of Michigan support the proposal, and are among the top donors to the Reproductive Freedom For All PAC. The ACLU gave $851,905 in both cash and in-kind contributions, while the ACLU Fund of MI and ACLU of Michigan gave $596,318.80 and $179,996.72 in total contributions, respectively.

“The vast majority of Michiganders know that abortion is healthcare: Michigan is on the right side of history as we lead the way with Reproductive Freedom for All and intend to ask Michigan voters on November 8 to protect abortion and reproductive rights in Michigan,” said Loren Khogali, executive director of ACLU of Michigan.

The group opposing the measure, Citizens to Support MI Women and Children, received $108,187.22 in total contributions, and said they will work to convince voters to oppose the measure.

“If they end up on the ballot, we look forward to convincing any of those signers to vote no,” said Christen Pollo of Citizens to Support Michigan Women and Children, “And we believe we will because even those who support abortion aren’t likely to support the things hidden in the amendment text.”

This year, there are currently four other abortion-related measures on the ballot for 2022:

  • California: Proposition 1 would provide that the state cannot “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including decisions to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives.
  • Kansas: The measure would amend the Kansas Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortions. The amendment would also declare that the legislature has the power to pass laws regarding abortion.
  • Kentucky: The measure would amend the Kentucky Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortions.
  • Montana: LR-131 would require medical care be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method. The ballot measure would establish a $50,000 fine and/or 20 years in prison as maximum penalties for violating the law.
  • Vermont: Proposal 5 would amend the Vermont Constitution to provide that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.”

If the initiative is certified for the ballot, it will join at least one other measure currently on the ballot – a constitutional amendment to change term limits requirements for state legislators and financial disclosure requirements for state executive and legislative officials.

Another campaign, Promote the Vote 2022, also submitted signatures on July 11 to qualify an initiative, which would make changes to voting policy in Michigan.

Additional reading:

Michigan 2022 ballot measures



Campaign in North Dakota submits signatures for marijuana legalization initiative

In North Dakota, a campaign behind a marijuana legalization initiative reported submitting 25,672 signatures on July 11, 2022. New Approach North Dakota Chairman Dave Owen said, “This signature drive showed us that, from Williston to Grand Forks, people all across our state are ready for responsible cannabis policy reform… We’re looking forward to all of our hard work paying off when we receive the official word that we’re on the ballot.” Of the signatures submitted, 15,582 signatures must be valid for the initiative to appear on the ballot in November.

Along with North Dakota, campaigns submitted signatures for marijuana legalization initiatives targeting the November ballot in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

The measure would legalize the personal use of cannabis for adults 21 and older and allow individuals possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to three cannabis plants. The measure would require the Department of Health and Human Services, or another department or agency designated by the state legislature, to establish an adult-use cannabis program to regulate the production and distribution of adult-use marijuana by October 1, 2023. Under the measure, the department could license seven cultivation facilities and 18 cannabis retailers. Marijuana would be taxed at the state’s 5% sales tax rate.

David Owen was also the chairman of LegalizeND, the committee that sponsored a marijuana legalization initiative that voters rejected in 2018. Owen said that the biggest difference between Measure 3 of 2018 and this initiative is that “[this initiative] is restricted, regulated, controlled, legal marijuana. This is a marijuana program that is very, very similar to the one that passed the North Dakota State House.”

Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Eleven states and D.C. had legalized marijuana through the ballot initiative process.

In North Dakota, a total of 115 ballot measures appeared on the statewide ballot during even-numbered election years between 1986 and 2020. Fifty-seven ballot measures (49.57%) were approved, and 58 ballot measures (50.43%) were defeated.



Nebraska medical marijuana campaign turns in signatures for two initiatives

On July 7, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana submitted about 180,000 combined signatures for two ballot initiatives, or about 90,000 signatures for each initiative, that would legalize and regulate medical marijuana. 

Both ballot initiatives are state statutes and require a number of signatures equal to 7% of the state’s registered voters as of the deadline. As of July 1, that number was 86,772 signatures. Nebraska also has a distribution requirement mandating that petitions contain signatures from 5% of the registered voters in each of two-fifths (38) of the state’s 93 counties.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s distribution requirement in May. On June 13, 2022, a judge for the U.S. District Court for Nebraska issued an order temporarily blocking the state’s distribution requirement pending a final decision on its constitutionality. On July 6, 2022, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the lower court’s ruling allowing the secretary of state to enforce the distribution requirement.

The first initiative, titled the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Patient Protection Act, would legalize the use of up to five ounces of marijuana for medical purposes by qualified patients. Qualified patients would be defined as individuals 18 years of age or older with a written recommendation from a healthcare practitioner or an individual younger than 18 with a written recommendation from a healthcare practitioner and with written permission from a legal guardian.

The second initiative, titled the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Regulation Act, would legalize the possession, manufacture, distribution, delivery, and dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes and establish the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission to regulate and provide the necessary registration for the medical marijuana program.

The initiatives were filed by State Senators Anna Wishart (D-27) and Adam Morfeld (D-46). “There’s no campaign in the history of the state of Nebraska who has turned in, on a total grassroots basis, this number of signatures,” Wishart said.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana qualified a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in 2020. However, the Nebraska Supreme Court removed it from the ballot in September after it concluded the initiative violated the state’s single-subject rule requiring initiatives to address one subject. The court argued that the initiative violated the single-subject rule because it provided a constitutional property right to grow and sell marijuana and authorized other policies that would regulate the use of medical marijuana that did not naturally connect to the general purpose of a constitutional right to use medical marijuana for individuals with serious medical conditions.

Counties have 40 days to verify the submitted signatures. The general election ballot will be finalized on September 16.

As of July 2022, medical marijuana was legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Of the 37 states, 18 states established medical marijuana through the ballot initiative process. In the other 19 states, it was established through legislation.

Additional reading:

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Program Initiative (2022)

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Regulation Initiative (2022)



Signatures submitted for three ballot initiatives in Arizona

On July 7, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced that three ballot initiative campaigns submitted signatures to appear on the ballot this November. If enough signatures are verified, the initiatives will join the eight legislatively referred measures currently certified for the Arizona ballot.

To qualify an initiated state statute in Arizona, campaigns must collect a number of signatures equal to 10 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. For the 2022 general election ballot, that means 237,645 valid signatures are required.

The Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections campaign submitted 475,290 signatures for a ballot initiative that would make changes to state election and voting policies. The proposal would provide for automatic and same-day voter registration, make changes to early voting policy, and allow voters to give ballots to another person to deliver by mail, to a polling place, or to a dropbox. It would require election officials to give notice to Native American tribes regarding elections, provide that any person with a disability has a right to vote with assistance, and require that electors of a presidential election are governed by the election law in effect on January 1 of the presidential election year. It would also reduce campaign contribution limits.

“500 boxes filled in 150 days, because people believe that we should have a say what happens in our communities, and that democracy belongs to the people,” said Maria Teresa Mabry with Arizonans for Fair Elections.

Ben Petersen, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, told The Washington Post that Arizona voters will oppose the measure. “If the initiative successfully makes the ballot, voters will reject the Democrats’ radical attempt to take over Arizona elections and change the rules in their favor,” he said.

The Voters Right to Know campaign submitted 393,490 signatures to qualify an initiative to require that anyone who makes independent expenditures of certain amounts must disclose the money’s original sources, which would be defined as the people or businesses that earned the money being spent.

“I believe that Arizonans should have the right to know who’s paying for the advertisements that they get bombarded with in every election,’’ said former Attorney General Terry Goddard (D), the co-chair of the Right to Know campaign, “Right now in Arizona there are more ‘dark money’ ads, more anonymous ads being run than in any other state on a percentage of our total advertising. And that’s just wrong.’’

This is Goddard’s third attempt at placing an initiative related to campaign contributions on the ballot. In both 2018 and 2020, he led the campaigns to place an initiative on the ballot. The 2018 initiative failed to make the ballot due to not having enough verified signatures (the campaign fell short of 2,071 signatures). In 2020, Goddard announced that the signature drive was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Healthcare Rising Arizona submitted 472,296 signatures for an initiative to limit interest rates on debt accrued from healthcare services. “Each one of us is only one major illness away from medical debt,’’ said the Rev. Dr. Bill Lyons of the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, “More than two thirds of all bankruptcies are tied to medical debt from health-care costs. And 18% of Arizonans have medical bills that are past due.’’ The measure, if enacted, would limit the interest rate on medical debt to 3%, or equal to the weekly average one-year constant maturity treasury yield, whichever is less.

If the random sampling indicates that valid signatures equal to between 95 percent and 105 percent of the required number were submitted, a full check of all signatures is required. If the random sampling shows fewer signatures, the petition fails. If the random sampling shows more, the initiative is certified for the ballot.

The Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom campaign announced that it was not filing signatures for its initiative to provide that “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” As a constitutional amendment, the initiative required 356,467 valid signatures. The campaign reported collecting more than 175,000 signatures during its 61-day signature drive.

From 1985 to 2020, 62 initiatives were placed on the ballot – 33 (53%) of them were approved by voters, while 29 (46%) of them were defeated.

Additional reading:

Arizona Campaign Finance Sources Disclosure Initiative (2022)

Arizona Interest Rate Limit on Debt from Healthcare Services and Collection Exempt Property and Earnings Increase Initiative (2022)

Arizona Election and Voting Policies Initiative (2022)



Signatures submitted in Arkansas for initiatives to legalize marijuana and repeal Pope County’s casino authorization

In Arkansas, a campaign behind a marijuana legalization initiative reported submitting more than 190,000 signatures on July 8, 2022. Steve Lancaster, a spokesperson for the campaign, said, “we’re going to be well in excess of what we need to get on the ballot, so we’re very excited about that.” Of the signatures submitted, 89,151 signatures must be valid for the initiative to appear on the ballot in November.

The measure would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 years of age and older and authorize the commercial sale of marijuana with a 10% sales tax. Adults could possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Under the amendment, businesses that already hold licenses under the state’s medical marijuana program would be authorized to sell marijuana for personal use. An additional 40 licenses would be given to businesses chosen by a lottery. The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division of the Department of Finance and Administration would regulate the program and provide for cannabis business licensing.

Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Eleven states and D.C. had legalized marijuana through the ballot initiative process.

Signatures were also submitted for an initiative to repeal the casino authorization for Pope County. The county was authorized to grant a casino license for one casino when voters approved Issue 4 in 2018.

Under Issue 4, the Pope County license required applicants to pay fees to apply, demonstrate experience in conducting casino gaming, or furnish a letter of support from the county judge. The Pope County license was awarded to the Cherokee Nation, but the license is not yet in effect pending legal challenges.

Fair Play for Arkansas 2022, the campaign behind the initiative, said, “Gambling interests are desperately trying to bring a casino to Pope County, over the objections of our community. In 2018, out-of-state casino developers wrote Pope County into a statewide ballot initiative to legalize casino gambling in just four counties in Arkansas—without any input from Pope County citizens. It turns out that Pope County voters don’t want a casino. We rejected Amendment 100 by a 3-2 margin, the highest NO vote of any county in the state.”

In Arkansas, a total of 44 ballot measures appeared on the statewide ballot between 2000 and 2020. Thirty-two (72.73%) ballot measures were approved, and 12 (27.27%) ballot measures were defeated.



Campaign behind an Oregon firearm initiative submits signatures

The ballot initiative signature deadline was July 8 in Oregon. Lift Every Voice Oregon, the campaign behind an initiative related to firearm regulation, filed 159,565 signatures with the secretary of state.

The initiative would enact a law outlining a procedure to apply for a permit to purchase a firearm. Permits would be issued by local law enforcement. Applicants would need to pay a fee, submit a photo ID, be fingerprinted, complete approved safety training, pass a criminal background check, and not be prohibited from possessing firearms. Law enforcement would be able to deny a permit to an applicant believed to be a danger to oneself or others. The initiative would also criminalize the manufacture, importation, possession, use, purchase, sale, or otherwise transferring of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

In Oregon, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated state statute for the ballot is equal to 6% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, which equals 112,020 signatures.

The campaign filed the initiative on April 29, 2021. On November 12, 2021, the initiative was cleared for signature gathering. Rev. Mark Knutson, chief petitioner and pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, said, “I hope it shows how residents in a state can come together from many directions and address the public health crisis of gun violence with common sense and well-put-together legislation. I hope that people are inspired to say: We can do this.” The initiative has received support from the Oregon Progressive Party, League of Women Voters of Oregon, and Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety.

Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, said,  “Where do you suppose all the smaller towns who rely on private gun clubs for training are going to go for the live fire portion of the class? How often will they provide it? What costs will be created? How do those increased costs and barriers affect Black folks in inner-city Portland?”

Oregon voters will decide on three other ballot measures in November, including an initiative that qualified for the ballot on July 5. The initiative would disqualify state legislators from re-election for unexcused legislative absenteeism, such as walkouts. The Oregon State Legislature voted to refer an amendment that would add “affordable health care as a fundamental right” to the Oregon Constitution and an amendment that would repeal language allowing slavery or involuntary servitude as criminal punishment.

Between 1985 and 2020,  Oregon voters decided on 275 ballot measures, approving 131 measures and rejecting 144.

Additional reading:

Oregon 2022 ballot measures



Arizona state abortion rights initiative will not appear on the 2022 ballot

In Arizona, the campaign behind an initiative to provide a state constitutional right to abortion did not submit signatures on July 7, the signature deadline in the state. Because the campaign, Arizonans For Reproductive Freedom, did not collect enough signatures, the initiative will not appear on the ballot this November.

Arizonans For Reproductive Freedom reported collecting more than 175,000 signatures. The requirement was 356,467 valid signatures. The campaign issued a statement, saying supporters would work to get an initiative on the ballot in 2024.

“This is far from a failure,” the campaign statement read, “In only 61 days, more than 3,000 volunteers braved the summer heat to help collect more than 175,000 signatures – an average of 2,700 signatures per day, most of which came after the [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center] ruling.”

Arizonans For Reproductive Freedom compared the signature drive in Arizona to a similar initiative effort in Michigan. In Arizona, a petition application wasn’t filed until May 16, 2022, which was after the Dobbs draft leak. “To put that in perspective, a campaign in Michigan qualified for this November’s ballot with 800,000 signatures – an effort that began two years ago.” Signatures are due in Michigan on Monday, July 11.

The measure would have amended the Arizona Constitution to provide that “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” which would have been defined to include “prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”

In Arizona, there are two existing statutes regarding abortion – one, passed in March 2022, that would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and one, adopted in 1901, that would prohibit abortions, except in cases to save a mother’s life.

Currently, there are five other abortion-related measures on the ballot for 2022:

  1. California: Proposition 1 would provide that the state cannot “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including decisions to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives.
  2. Kansas: The measure would amend the Kansas Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortions. The amendment would also declare that the legislature has the power to pass laws regarding abortion.
  3. Kentucky: The measure would amend the Kentucky Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortions.
  4. Montana: LR-131 which would require medical care be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method. The ballot measure would establish a $50,000 fine and/or 20 years in prison as maximum penalties for violating the law.
  5. Vermont: Proposal 5 would amend the Vermont Constitution to provide that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.”

Campaigns are collecting signatures for two other measures in 2022:

  1. Colorado: The initiative would prohibit abortion in Colorado. The signature deadline is August 8, 2022.
  2. Michigan: The initiative would add a provision to the state constitution that says, “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” including a right to abortion. The signature deadline is July 11, 2022.

Additional reading:



Nebraska photo voter identification initiative submitted over 170,000 signatures 

The signature deadline for Nebraska ballot initiatives was July 7. Citizens for Voter ID, the campaign behind an initiative to require voter identification, submitted over 170,000 signatures. 

In Nebraska, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated constitutional amendment for the ballot is equal to 10% of registered voters as of the deadline for filing signatures. Because of the unique signature requirement based on registered voters, Nebraska is the only state where petition sponsors cannot know the exact number of signatures required until they are submitted. Nebraska law also features a distribution requirement providing that petitions contain signatures from 5% of the registered voters in each of two-fifths (38) of Nebraska’s 93 counties. As of July 1, the number of registered voters in Nebraska was 1,239,599, which means that the estimated number of required signatures is 123,960.

The initiative would amend the Nebraska Constitution to require a valid photo ID in order to vote. The amendment would leave the regulation of photographic identification up to the Nebraska State Legislature. Currently, voters do not need to present identification in order to vote in Nebraska. A voter may be asked for identification if the voter is a first-time registrant who mailed in an application and did not provide identification at that time.

Twenty states have active photo voter ID requirements. In 2018, North Carolina voters passed an amendment to require photo voter identification, but it was enjoined by a court.

The Nebraska initiative received the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts (R). “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,” Ricketts said.

The initiative is opposed by Civic Nebraska, Black Votes Matter, League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, and Nebraska NAACP. 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.”

Between 2010 and 2020, an average of seven initiatives were filed with an average of one making the ballot during each election cycle. 

Additional reading:



A California initiative to raise the minimum wage to $18 qualifies for the 2024 ballot

On July 7, the California Secretary of State announced that an initiative to increase the state’s minimum wage from $15 to $18 by 2026 for all employers had qualified for the 2024 ballot after missing the deadline to make the ballot in 2022.

In California, initiative petition signature verification must be completed 131 days before the election. The deadline for the 2022 ballot was June 30. Yes on California Living Wage Act, the campaign behind the initiative, filed over 1 million signatures on May 12. On July 7, the final random sample count projected that at least 738,449 signatures were valid, which exceeded the 623,212 signatures required.

The ballot initiative would increase the state minimum wage over several years until it reaches $18 by 2026 for all employers. The state last increased the minimum wage in 2016 with the passage of Senate Bill 3, which required an annual increase in the minimum wage until the amount reaches $15 on January 1, 2022, for employers with 26 workers or more and January 1, 2023, for employers with 25 workers or less. Like SB 3, the ballot initiative would increase the minimum wage at different speeds depending on whether an employer has 26 or more workers or 25 or fewer workers. For employers with 26 or more workers, the minimum wage would reach $18 on January 1, 2025. For employers with 25 or fewer workers, the minimum wage would reach $18 on January 1, 2026. Also like SB 3, the minimum wage would be tied to inflation after reaching $18.

Joe Sanberg, who filed the ballot initiative, said, “The time is now, because the pandemic has heightened the people’s understanding of the realities so many Californians face. Cost of living is rising faster and faster… but wages haven’t increased commensurately.” The Working Hero Action for the Living Wage Act PAC, the committee formed to fund the initiative, received $10.88 million in contributions. Joseph Sanberg provided 99.98% of the PAC’s total contributions received.

The initiative has received opposition from the state’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. John Kabateck, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said, “Market, not politicians and bureaucrats, ought to be dictating the financial growth and success of working men and women in California. Let the market dictate this and let’s stop sending the message that mediocrity is a pathway to professional success in California.”

Nine states have passed laws or ballot measures increasing their statewide minimum wage rates incrementally to $15 per hour. California was the first of those states to reach $15 per hour in 2022.

Additional reading:



2022 will feature the most abortion-related ballot measures on record; next states to watch for abortion measures are Michigan and Colorado

There will be at least five abortion-related ballot measures in 2022, including the first two ballot measures to provide explicit state constitutional rights related to abortion. On June 27, the California State Legislature passed a constitutional amendment, bringing the total to five – the most on record for a single year. Before 2022, the highest number was four measures in 1986. Since 1970, voters have decided on 47 abortion-related ballot measures. 

The next signature deadlines to watch are July 11 in Michigan and August 8 in Colorado, where campaigns are collecting signatures for abortion-related ballot measures. On July 7, an initiative campaign in Arizona did not submit signatures.

Of the five measures on the ballot, two are related to providing constitutional rights, two are related to how constitutional language can be interpreted regarding abortion, and one is related to practitioner requirements. The following are summaries of the certified ballot measures:

California: Proposition 1 would provide that the state cannot “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including decisions to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Senate President Toni Atkins (D-39), and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-63) called for the amendment on May 2, following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center draft opinion being leaked.

Kansas: On the ballot for August 2, the measure would amend the Kansas Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortions. The amendment would also declare that the legislature has the power to pass laws regarding abortion. Sponsors introduced the amendment in response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt (2019), which held that the Kansas Bill of Rights provided a right to an abortion.

Kentucky: Like the proposal in Kansas, the measure would amend the Kentucky Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortions. Unlike Kansas, there has not been a state court ruling providing for a state constitutional right to abortion. On June 27, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and others filed a lawsuit to block the state from enforcing two statutes prohibiting or restricting abortion. Plaintiffs are arguing that the Kentucky Constitution “protects the right of a pregnant individual to access abortion.”

Montana: LR-131 would provide in state law that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons. The ballot measure would also require medical care to be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method.

Vermont: Proposal 5 would amend the Vermont Constitution to provide that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.” The process to get Proposal 5 on the ballot started in 2019. Eileen Sullivan, communications director for the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, said, “Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s retirement prompted action in Vermont, so that these rights in Vermont would be protected no matter what happens in Washington, D.C.”

There could be two more citizen-initiated ballot measures—one in Colorado, and one in Michigan—related to abortion this year: 

Colorado: The initiative would prohibit abortion in Colorado, where the procedure is currently legal. Colorado Life Initiative, which is backing the proposal, reported collecting three-quarters of the required signatures on June 20. At least 124,632 signatures are required. The deadline is August 8.

Michigan: The initiative would add a provision to the state constitution that says, “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” including a right to abortion. Reproductive Freedom for All, the campaign supporting the initiative, reported that about 800,000 had been collected. Signatures are due on July 11. At least 425,059 need to be valid.

There were several citizen-initiated measures and legislative proposals that did not make the ballot. In Arizona, a campaign filed an initiative to provide, in the Arizona Constitution, that “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” The campaign launched on May 16, giving supporters 61 days to collect 356,467 valid signatures. Signatures were due on July 7, and the campaign reported gathering 175,000.

Additional reading: