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Review of 2009 Ballot Measures: Elections and Officials

29 October 2009
Written by

There are twenty-six statewide Ballot Measures up for election on November 3rd, which are spread among six states: Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.  Six of these are initiatives, two are citizen referenda, and eighteen are legislative referenda.   If enacted, seventeen would amend state constitutions, seven would change state law, and two would allow the state to issue bonds for certain projects.

There are three constitutional amendments proposed that would directly affect elections and officials themselves:

  • Question 7 on Maine's ballots would extend the amount of time local officials have to certify direct initiative petitions by five days.   To accomplish this, the final deadline for submitting petitions to the Secretary of State would be pushed back by 10 days, and other deadlines would be redefined.  Depending on which day of the week the deadline falls and if there are any legal holidays, petitioners could have up to 2-4 additional days to submit signatures.  This amendment would also change the  deadline of submitting signatures for a people's veto from 5 days before the final deadline to 3 business days before the final deadline.

  • Proposition 7 in Texas would "allow an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices."

  • Texas's Proposition 10 would extend the terms of elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts from two years to four years.  There were also efforts in South Dakota this year to extend term lengths for elected officials.   SJR3 in South Dakota proposed to change state senate terms from two years to four years for those whose term of office begins in a year that ended in a 3 or 7.  While this passed in the state senate, the state house rejected it.  Had it received a majority in both houses of the legislature, this would have appeared as a ballot measure as well. 

-Kristen Vicedomini, Research Director

Related tags: 2009-election, ballot-measures, blog, elections, Maine, New-Jersey, New-York, Ohio, South-Dakota, Texas, Washington

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