Category Archives: Ballot Referendas and Initiatives

If you want to put a citizens initiative on the 2020 ballot, you had better file it by early 2019

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and voters overwhelmingly supported expanding access to the ballot box. Voting Rights Were The Biggest Winner In The Elections:

One clear winner emerged from last week’s elections: voting.

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and in almost all of them, voters overwhelmingly supported initiatives that expand access to the ballot box and make the right to vote easier to exercise.

In Colorado, Michigan, and Missouri, ballot initiatives aimed at replacing gerrymandering — the redrawing of legislative districts by political incumbents to strengthen their party’s electoral representation — with nonpartisan methods of redistricting all received more than 60% of the vote. Colorado’s proposal to allow independent commissions to handle redistricting garnered over 70%.

Marylanders turned out in favor of same-day voter registration. Nevadans ushered in “motor voter” automatic registration for those who visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Floridians, meanwhile, restored the right to vote for 1.4 million released felons(excluding those convicted of murder or sex crimes).

Perhaps the most significant victory for voting rights came in Michigan, where two-thirds of voters adopted Proposal 3. Among other provisions, the new law guarantees same-day voter registration, automatic registration at the DMV, and no-excuse absentee voting. Voting has never been easier in one America’s most important swing states.

This bodes well for the millions of Americans who have expressed a newfound interest in democratic participation in recent years.

In Arizona, the “dark money” forces of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the “Kochtopus” network blocked voters from even considering the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative. Anti-‘dirty money’ initiative knocked off ballot in Arizona, Supreme Court rules.

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What the Arizona GOP fears most: becoming California

Republican California governor Pete Wilson in 1994 pushed hard for California Proposition 187 which prohibited illegal immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the State of California.

Three days after Proposition 187 was approved by voters, on November 11, federal district court judge Matthew Byrne issued a temporary injunction against the state of California, forbidding the enforcement of Prop 187. Federal judge Marianna Pfaelzer then issued a permanent injunction, which California did not appeal and it remains in effect.

This was the defining moment when California began to shift from the state that gave us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into a Democratic stronghold. Proposition 187 Turned California Blue.

Twenty-four years later, the death of the California GOP is near complete. POLITICO reports, RIP, California GOP: Republicans lash out after midterm election debacle:

In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch.

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A reform agenda for voting rights

Despite all the horror stories about “red state” voter suppression efforts in this election, there was also some good news for voting rights in the states as well. The New York Times reports, Before the Fights Over Recounts: An Election Day Vote on Voting:

In Tuesday’s elections [there was] a wave of actions aimed at making voting easier and fairer that is an often-overlooked strain in the nation’s voting wars.

Floridians extended voting rights to 1.4 million convicted felons. Maryland, Nevada and Michigan were among states that made it easier to register and vote.

From the Brennan Center for Justice:

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is gaining momentum across the country. Currently fifteen states and D.C. have approved the policy, meaning that over a third of Americans live in a jurisdiction that has either passed or implemented AVR. A brief history of AVR’s legislative victories and each state’s AVR implementation date can be found here. This year alone, twenty states have introduced legislation to implement or expand automatic registration, and an additional eight states had bills carry over from the 2017 legislative session. A full breakdown of these bills, as well as those introduced in 2015, 2016, and 2017, is available here.

Where AVR Has Passed 11-8-18

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A Voter Guide to the Democratic Nominees Blog for Arizona Interviewed this year

With the election days away, we have included links to all the articles pertaining to profiles compiled on the federal, state, and local Democratic nominees running for office this year. Please review them so they can help you make the best decision when voting these next two and a half weeks.

Furthermore, please consider the following when deciding whether or not to vote this election:

  • If you think we can do better than one in four children in Arizona living in poverty, then vote in November.
  • If you think we can do better than being near the bottom in the nation in education funding, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with gubernatorial candidate David Garcia that “no one should be left behind,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Kathy Hoffman that the “future of Arizona is in our schools,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Attorney General candidate January Contreras that public service should be about the “little guy and democracy” and the people, especially the most vulnerable (like those with pre-existing health conditions), need to be protected, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Treasurer candidate Mark Manoil that local and state Arizona economic development would be better served with local community banks than Wall Street banks, then vote in November.
  • If you want Arizona to be the solar capital of the country and greater utility investments steered towards solar, water, and wind like Corporation Commission candidate Kiana Sears, then vote in November.
  • If you want the stench of Dark Money removed from the public arena as most of the Democratic local and state candidates want, then vote in November.
  • If you want public servants like this year’s Democratic candidates that listen to their constituents and show up to public forums and debates, then vote in November.
  • If you want all civil rights protected, including the right for women to choose and the newly recognized rights for members of the LGBTQ community, then vote this November.

All elections are important. The 2018 elections may be more so because if the forces of reaction, intolerance, and backwardness are allowed to prevail, it may be a long time before we recover.

Please Remember To Vote In November.

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Democrats arrive late, but ‘blue wave’ momentum is building

Anyone who has ever been active in Democratic Party politics knows that Democrats always arrive late and no event ever starts on time.

After a slow start in early mail-in ballot returns in the first couple of weeks of early voting, for which I chastised you, Democrats finally started showing up late in the final week of early voting. Keep it up through Election Day.

Arizona Democrats have seen a massive surge in early voting over the past week, bolstering predictions for a “blue wave” in Tuesday’s elections. ‘The blue wave is real’: Arizona Democrats see major surge in early voting turnout:

Early ballot returns released Friday [Secretary of State Early Ballot Statistics] show Democrats are on track to narrow the voter-participation gap with Republicans to its lowest level in any midterm election in recent history.

That surge in Democratic participation could help the party flip close races or win contests for the U.S. Senate, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction.

Democrats had significantly lagged Republicans when early ballot returns started coming in three weeks ago, leading some to speculate that the blue wave had crested.

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But that changed over the past week as Democrats shaved the GOP’s early-vote advantage to less than 8 percentage points. Republicans typically have a 12 percentage-point turnout edge in midterm elections.

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