In a few states, citizen-initiative efforts are underway or in the planning stage for 2024. In some cases things just didn’t fall into place in time for a 2022 vote, but we’ve also seen a couple examples of last week’s election results as a motivator for the next cycle.
There was already lots of action in California, where the process allows backers to circulate petitions, gather signatures, secure ballot eligibility, and then negotiate with lawmakers to change targeted statutes before voters weigh in. So just because a potential proposition’s been found eligible doesn’t guarantee it’ll get to the ballot.
The ones we’re watching include a California Chamber of Commerce-backed effort to clamp down on workplace lawsuits; a billionaire’s $18 minimum-wage project; and proposals still in the signature collection phase to reverse new laws protecting fast-food workers and setting buffer zones around oil and gas wells.
This year, two eligible measures were pulled from the ballot and negotiated in the legislature: a proposal to end a cap on medical malpractice damages, and an effort to phase out single-use plastics.
In South Dakota, some backers of last week’s successful Medicaid expansion ballot question are trying to keep their momentum going by gathering signatures to try to get an abortion question onto the ballot.
“We’re already in the streets collecting for 2024,” Rick Weiland, co-founder of the group Dakotans for Health.
Activists in Ohio could be right behind them with an abortion-rights ballot efffort.
“We see it as a matter of when, not if,” said Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of public affairs and public policy at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.
Three Ohio Right to Life-endorsed Republicans won state Supreme Court judicial races, dimming Planned Parenthood’s prospects for prevailing in a legal challenge to the state’s six-week abortion ban. “While we will do everything in our power to fight and win this litigation we know we can’t put all of our eggs in any basket,” Blauvelt-Copelin said. “We definitely see a potential ballot initiative as the best way to protect and expand rights to health and justice in Ohio when it comes to abortion access.” — Alex Ebert, Tiffany Stecker, Alex Ruoff
- South Dakota Votes to Expand Medicaid, Eyes Turn to Abortion
- Restaurant Chains Fund Effort to Kill Fast-Food Wage Act (Restaurant Business Online)
- Judge Says Wait Until 2024 (CalMatters)
- D.C. Tipped Worker Wage Vote Portends Action From More States
ARIZONA: VOTERS SAY YES
The Associated Press has called the race for Arizona Proposition 308, concluding that voters endorsed extending cheaper in-state college tuition to some non-citizens.
Arizona joins at least 18 other states, including California and Virginia, that offer in-state tuition to all students who otherwise qualify regardless of immigration status. READ MORE
FLORIDA: MAP LAWSUIT
A challenge to Florida’s new congressional map will continue, after a three-judge panel ruled the Florida NAACP and other voting rights group adequately stated claims for intentional discrimination under the 14th and 15th Amendments.
“First, the congressional districting plan negatively impacts Black voters in Florida because it destroys or diminishes two opportunity or crossover districts. Second, Florida has a history of suppressing Black voters,” according to the order from the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
“Third, there were departures from procedural norms,” the court said, detailing how Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) rejected lawmakers’ attempts to preserve a minority access district before the Florida Legislature accepted a map drawn by the governor’s office.
A separate lawsuit challenging the Florida congressional map is pending in state court. —Jennifer Kay
FLORIDA, GEORGIA, IOWA, TEXAS: VOTING LAW IMPACT
Of the four states with major voting law changes in effect, a preliminary analysis shows a decline in turnout among registered voters in Florida, Iowa and Texas, while Georgia turnout declined slightly.
In Texas, the bumbling rollout of new voting restrictions in the state’s March primary resulted in officials throwing out nearly 23,000 mailed ballots as confused voters struggled to navigate new ID requirements. But preliminary reports after last week’s election showed rejection rates reverting to closer to more normal levels, which election officials attributed to outreach and mail voters figuring out the new rules.
In Georgia, more votes were cast in this general election than in any prior midterm election — although with more voters on the rolls than four years ago, the actual turnout rate was lower. — Associated Press
LOUISIANA: CAMPAIGN KICKOFF
Three states will elect a governor in 2023: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) announced his candidacy in early October to replace Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who is term-limited, and he’s already picked up an endorsement from the state’s Republican Party leadership.
But it might be a crowded primary: US Sen. John Kennedy, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, and Treasurer John Schroder all are exploring potential gubernatorial campaigns.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) could face the state’s Republican attorney general in his re-election campaign. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) hasn’t yet announced whether he’s running for a second term. —Jennifer Kay
Caught Our Eye
- Judge considers delay opening 1,200 ballots that could impact U.S. Congress (Syracuse.com)
- How tech ballot measures fared this election cycle (Washington Post)
To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Ebert in Madison, Wisconsin at firstname.lastname@example.org; Jennifer Kay in Miami at email@example.com; Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at firstname.lastname@example.org; Alex Ruoff in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org