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 The ballot measure would have repealed the state’s constitutional requirement that the state’s personal income tax is a flat rate across income.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:

Trump has appointed second-most federal judges through October 1 of a president’s fourth year

Donald Trump has appointed and the Senate has confirmed 218 Article III federal judges through October 1, 2020, his fourth year in office. This is the second-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since Jimmy Carter (D). The Senate had confirmed 260 of Carter’s appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through October 1 of their fourth year in office is 197.

The median number of Supreme Court justices appointed is two. Along with President Trump, Presidents Barack Obama (D), Bill Clinton (D), and George H.W. Bush (R) had each appointed two Supreme Court justices at this point in their first terms. Ronald Reagan (R) had appointed one, while Carter and George W. Bush (R) had not appointed any.

The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 35. Carter appointed the most with 55, while Reagan appointed the least with 28. Trump’s 53 appointments make up 29% of the total 179 judgeships across the courts of appeal.

The median number of United States District Court appointees is 161. Carter appointed the most with 202, and Reagan appointed the fewest with 121. Trump has appointed 161 district court judges so far. Those appointments make up 24% of the 677 judgeships across the district courts.

Article III federal judges are appointed for life terms by the president of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate per Article III of the United States Constitution. Article III judges include judges on the: Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. courts of appeal, U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade.

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