Tagballot measures

Notable ballot measure results following the Nov. 3 elections

As of 10:50 AM Eastern Time on Nov. 4, Ballotpedia had called 82 statewide ballot measures, of which 65 were approved and 17 were defeated. The remaining 38 remained uncalled.

Here are some notable results:

Voters approved changes to state drug and criminal justice policies in several states. In Oregon, two ballot measures—Measure 109 and Measure 110—were approved. Measure 109 created a program for administering psilocybin products, such as psilocybin-producing mushrooms and fungi. Measure 110 decriminalized Schedule I-IV controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. In Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, voters approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana. Mississippi, along with South Dakota, also approved medical marijuana programs. Voters in Oklahoma rejected a ballot initiative, State Question 805, that would have prohibited the use of a person’s past non-violent felony convictions to impose a greater (enhanced) sentence when sentencing a person convicted of a non-violent felony.

In California, voters approved Proposition 17, which expanded the right to vote to people on parole for felony convictions. In Alabama, Colorado, and Florida, constitutional amendments were approved to state that “only a citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older can vote. 

Abortion was on the ballot in Colorado and Louisiana. Colorado Proposition 115, which would have prohibited abortion after a fetus reaches 22-weeks gestational age, was defeated. Louisiana Amendment 1 was approved, adding language to the Louisiana Constitution stating that “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

On election policy issues, both Florida Amendment 3 and Massachusetts Question 2 were defeated. Florida Amendment 3 would have created a top-two primary system, and Massachusetts Question 2 would have adopted ranked-choice voting.

In Colorado, voters approved Amendment B, which repealed the Gallagher Amendment. Colorado Proposition 116 decreased the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55% for individuals, estates, trusts, and foreign and domestic C corporations operating. Colorado Proposition 118 established a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado to provide 12 weeks (up to 16 weeks in certain cases) of paid leave (with a maximum benefit of $1,100 per week) funded through a payroll tax to be paid for by employers and employees in a 50/50 split.

In Mississippi, voters approved a new state flag after the state got rid of the older flag that featured the Confederate battle flag. The new flag features a Southern magnolia flower and the phrase ‘In God We Trust’.

In California, three of this year’s most expensive ballot measures—Propositions 21, 22, and 23—were decided. Proposition 21, which would have expanded the ability of local governments to enact rent control, was defeated. Proposition 23, which would have placed certain regulations on dialysis clinics, was defeated. Proposition 22—the most expensive measure in California history—was approved. Proposition 22, backed by Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Postmates, and Instacart, defined app-based drivers as independent contractors and not employees or agents. Therefore, the ballot measure overrode Assembly Bill 5, signed in September 2019, on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.

Some notable measures that remained uncalled include Alaska’s ranked-choice voting measure, California’s split roll tax initiative , and Colorado’s gray wolf reintroduction initiative.



Illinois voters reject constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax

Illinois voters rejected a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax by a vote of 55% against to 45% in favor.  

The ballot measure would have repealed the state’s constitutional requirement that the state’s personal income tax is a flat rate across income. Instead, the ballot measure would have allowed the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax.

More than $121 million was raised by supporters and opponents of the measure. Supporters raised $60.33 million, including $56.5 million from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Opponents raised $60.86 million, including $53.8 million from Citadel CEO Kenneth C. Griffin.

This measure was the most expensive of 2020 outside of California.



Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota pass ballot measures to legalize marijuana

Ballot measures to legalize marijuana were passed by voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, bringing the total number of states with laws providing for legal marijuana to 15. 

Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota are the only states besides Alaska that voted for Republican presidential candidates from 2000 to 2016 and that have now voted to legalize recreational marijuana. North Dakota, which also voted for Republican presidential candidates from 2000 to 2016, rejected a recreational marijuana ballot measure in 2018.

As of 8:00 AM ET, the results for this year’s recreational or personal use marijuana measures is as follows:

  • Arizona Proposition 207: 59.8% – 40.02%
  • Montana Initiative 118: 57.7% – 42.3%
  • Montana Initiative 190: 56.6% – 43.4%
  • New Jersey: 66.9% – 33.1%
  • South Dakota: 53.4% – 46.6%


Nov. 4 ballot measure update

As of 7:30 Eastern on Nov. 4, Ballotpedia had called 93 statewide ballot measures, of which 72 were approved and 21 were defeated. The remaining 27 (out of the 120 total) remained uncalled.

Here are some notable measures that we called on Wednesday:

Illinois voters reject a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax. The ballot measure would have repealed the state’s constitutional requirement that the state’s personal income tax is a flat rate across income. Instead, the ballot measure would have allowed the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax. More than $121 million was raised by supporters and opponents of the measure. Supporters raised $60.33 million, including $56.5 million from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Opponents raised $60.86 million, including $53.8 million from Citadel CEO Kenneth C. Griffin.

In California, voters rejected Proposition 16. Proposition 16 would have allowed the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California by repealing Proposition 209, passed in 1996, from the California Constitution. Proposition 209 stated that discrimination and preferential treatment were prohibited in public employment, public education, and public contracting on account of a person’s or group’s race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

Voters also decided that California will not become the first state to end the use of cash bail for all detained suspects awaiting trials. Proposition 25 was a veto referendum targeting the repeal of Senate Bill 10 (2019), which would have replaced cash bail with risk assessments.

Colorado voters approved Proposition 113 by a vote of 52% to 48% according to results available at 6:30 pm on Wednesday. Approval added Colorado (with its nine electoral votes) to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). NPVIC member states agree to give their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate that wins the national popular vote if the NPVIC goes into effect. The NPVIC was designed to go into effect if states representing at least 270 Electoral College votes join, guaranteeing the national popular vote winner is elected. 

Colorado is the first state in which voters decided whether the state should enter the NPVIC. Going into the election, 14 states and Washington, D.C., representing 187 Electoral College votes altogether, had adopted legislation to join the compact. The other 14 NPVIC member states joined the compact through bills signed by Democratic governors or, in Hawaii’s case, through an override of Republican Gov. Linda Lingle’s veto.

California Proposition 25 and Colorado Proposition 113 were two of 2020’s three statewide veto referendums on the Nov. 3 ballot. Veto referendums are measures put on the ballot through signature petitions targeting the repeal of bills recently passed by state legislatures. The last time a veto referendum appeared on the ballot for Colorado voters was in 1932.

The third veto referendum was Washington Referendum 90, which voters approved, upholding a bill requiring public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education for all students. 

On the three measures, California voters sided with petitioners and against the legislature. Colorado and Washington sided with their legislatures and against petitioners. 

Additional reading:



Colorado voters approve paid family and medical leave proposition

Colorado voters approved Proposition 118 in a vote of 57% to 43%. The measure establishes a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado to provide 12 weeks (up to 16 weeks in certain cases) of paid leave (with a maximum benefit of $1,100 per week) funded through a payroll tax to be paid for by employers and employees in a 50/50 split. While eight other states have paid leave programs, this was the first time voters weighed in on the issue through a statewide ballot measure.



Massachusetts voters approve wireless vehicle data access measure, reject ranked-choice voting

Massachusetts voters approved Question 1, the measure requiring wireless vehicle data access to owners and independent auto repair shops related to the state’s “right to repair law.” It was approved 75% to 25% according to unofficial election night results. Voters defeated Question 2 55% to 45% with 82 percent of precincts reporting. Question 2 would have made Massachusetts the second state after Maine to use ranked choice voting for state elections. The Yes on 2 campaign conceded the race.

Additional reading:



Oregon voters approve campaign finance law, tobacco tax measures

Oregon voters approved Measure 107, which authorizes the state legislature and local governments to pass certain campaign finance laws, by a vote of 77% to 23%. Voters also approved Measure 108 by a vote of 66% to 34% Measure 108 increases taxes on tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes) to fund the state’s Medical Assistance Program and other healthcare-related programs.



California voters reject rent control and dialysis company requirements

California voters rejected rent control and dialysis company requirements for the second time.

California voters rejected Proposition 21 with 59% against and 41% in favor. It would have expanded the authority of local governments to enact rent control. According to unofficial election night results, Proposition 21 will fail by the same margin as Proposition 10 of 2018, which also proposed to expand rent control authority. Both measures were backed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which spent $40 million in support in 2020 and $22 million in support in 2018. Real estate interests were donors to the opposition of both measures, which raised $71 million in 2018 and at least $73 million in 2020.

Voters rejected Proposition 23 with 64% against and 36% in favor. It would have set certain restrictions and requirements for dialysis companies. It was similar to Proposition 8 in 2018, which voters rejected by 60% to 40%. Both measures had the support of the SEIU-UHW West, a labor union for healthcare workers, and top opposition donors for both were dialysis businesses, including DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care. In 2018, the support campaign raised $19 million, and in 2020, the support campaign raised at least $9 million. In 2018, the opposition campaign raised $111.5 million, and in 2020, the opposition campaign raised at least $105.2 million.

Additional reading:



Oregon becomes the first state to legalize use of psilocybin mushrooms, decriminalize Schedule 1-IV drugs

Oregon became the first state to create a program for legal use of psilocybin mushrooms and to decriminalize all Schedule 1-IV drugs. 

Voters approved Measure 109 in a vote of 56% to 44%, according to unofficial election night results. It will permit licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to individuals 21 years of age or older. 

Voters approved Measure 110 in a vote of 59% to 41%. It makes personal non-commercial possession of a controlled substance no more than a Class E violation (max fine of $100 fine). It also establishes a drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and state prison savings.

Additional reading:



California voters approve Prop 22, define rideshare drivers as independent contractors

California voters approved Proposition 22 by a vote of 58% to 42%, according to unofficial election night results. The initiative defines app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors and adopted labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies. The initiative overrode Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019.

Proposition 22 was the most expensive ballot measure campaign in California’s history according to available records. The support reported $202.9 million in contributions, with Uber, Doordash, Lyft, InstaCart, and Postmates as top donors. The opposition reported $19.7 million in contributions, with unions as the top donors.