Summary of Election-Related Ballot Measures for the November ballot

In November voters in 14 states and Puerto Rico will weigh in on 20 ballot measures impacting how they vote and conduct elections.
2020’s ballot questions take on a range election topics such as the Electoral College, Ranked Choice Voting, Redistricting, Open Primaries, and Restoring Voting Rights to citizens with a past conviction.  Here are some highlights.

Virginia voters are asked to adopt a citizen-led nonpartisan redistricting commission. It would give citizens more power in the redistricting process. In contrast, Missouri legislators are asking voters to undo their nonpartisan redistricting commission approved by voters in 2018 by 62% of the vote.

Voters in Alaska and Massachusetts have the chance to make their states the next after Maine to adopt ranked choice voting for state and federal elections. It gives voters the option to rank their choices in order of preference with a built-in runoff to ensure the winner has majority support.

California will be the 21st state to restore the vote to all persons upon release from prison if they vote to give people on parole the right to vote, as the state already does for those on probation.

Mississippi is on track to eliminate its 1890 Jim Crow era requirement that candidates for Governor and statewide offices win both the popular vote and the highest number of votes in a majority of the state’s 122 House districts. Facing a lawsuit challenging its racial bias, the Legislature has already agreed to make the change subject to voter approval in November.

The Florida-based advocacy organization Citizens Vote is backing identical questions in Colorado, Florida, and North Dakota. The measures would amend their state’s constitution to say only U.S. citizens can vote. The purpose is unclear as their state constitutions already cite U.S. citizenship as a qualification for voting state elections, as does federal law for federal elections. Opponents call it “a redundant stipulation that ‘only’ citizens, instead of ‘every’ citizen can vote,” as the states currently define it.

For more background, use the links below for Ballotpedia’s summary of each question and who’s for or against.

Type
LRCA: Legislature Referred Constitutional Amendment
CICA: Citizen Initiated Constitutional Amendment
CISL: Citizen Initiated State Law
LRSL: Legislature Referred State Law
STATE TOPIC(s) TYPE A YES VOTE – 

Alabama

Amendment 1

Citizen Voting LRCA  Replaces every citizen can vote with only citizens can vote in the state constitution.

Alaska

Ballot Measure 2

Top 4 Primaries, Ranked Choice Voting, Campaign Finance CISL  Calls for Top-Four primaries for state legislative and congressional offices; Ranked-choice voting for general elections; Disclosure of outside donations of  $2,000 or more.

Arkansas

Issue 2

Term Limits LRCA  Lowers term limits to 12 years for state legislators with the opportunity to run again after a 4-year break.

Arkansas

Issue 3

Ballot Measure Requirements LRCA  Creates stricter requirements to qualify citizen ballot initiatives and initiatives referred by the legislature.

California

Prop. 17

Voting Rights Restoration LRCA  Allows Californians on parole for a felony to vote.

California

Prop. 18

Voting Age for Primaries LRCA  Allows 17-yr-olds who will be 18 by the general election to vote in primary elections.

Colorado

Amendment76

Citizen Voting CICA Replaces every citizen can vote with only citizens can vote in the state constitution.

Colorado

Prop 113

Electoral College CISL  Confirms the legislature’s vote to have Colorado join the Interstate Compact for a National Popular Vote for president.

Florida

Amendment 1

Citizen Voting CICA  Replaces every citizen can vote with only citizens can vote in the state constitution.

Florida

Amendment 3

Top 2 Primaries CICA  Calls for Top-Two open primaries. The top two vote-getters, regardless of partisan affiliations, advance to the general election.

Florida

Amendment 4

Ballot Measure Approval CICA  Requires voter-approved constitutional amendments to be approved by voters again at a second general election.

Massachusetts

Question 2

Ranked Choice Voting CISL  Adopts Ranked Choice Voting for state and federal elections starting in 2022.

Missouri

Amendment 3

Nonpartisan Redistricting LRCA  Repeals most of the 2018 voter approved initiative that established a process for nonpartisan redistricting.

Mississippi

Ballot Measure  2

Modernizing State Elections LRCA  1. Removes the requirement that statewide candidates get the most votes in a majority of all state house districts. 2. Has a runoff if no candidate has a majority, instead of having the winner chosen by the State House of Representatives.

Nevada

Question 4

Statement of Voting Rights LRCA  Adds a new section to the Nevada Constitution guaranteeing specific voting rights to all qualified and registered voters in the state.

New Jersey

Question 3

 Delay in Redistricting LRCA  Delays redistricting until after the 2021 state election if the census data is not ready by Feb 15 2021.

North Dakota

Measure 2

 

Ballot Measure Approval LRCA  Requires a voter-approved constitutional amendment to be voted on a second time if the State Legislature doesn’t vote to approve its initial passage.

Oregon

Measure 107

Campaign Finance Limits LRCA  Authorizes state and local government to limit campaign contributions and   expenditures; require disclosure of donors and spending; and have ads identify who paid for them.

Virginia

Question 1

Nonpartisan Redistricting LRCA  Creates a nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Puerto Rico

Referendum

Statehood LRSL  A non-binding yes or no vote on whether Puerto Rico should seek to become a state.

 

Prepared by George Pillsbury, Senior Policy Advisor, Nonprofit VOTE, gpillsbury@nonprofitvote.org

Source: Ballotpedia, 2020 ballot measures

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