This year, voters across the country have dozens of opportunities to engage in direct democracy by voting for a number of ballot proposals, initiatives, measures, referendums, and state constitutional amendments in the general election.
With counsel from numerous progressive allies, including our friends at the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Democracy for America (DFA) is announcing its position on 41 statewide and municipal-level direct-democracy initiatives in 17 states across the country ahead of the 2020 general election.
The full list of DFA’s positions on these ballot proposals, broken down by state and (where necessary) municipality, is available below:
Ballot Measure 2 - Vote YES
Ballot measure 2 would implement a "top four" blanket primaries for state and congressional offices, where all candidates would appear on the same primary ballot and the top-four vote getters would advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. It then uses ranked choice on the November ballot voting for those four candidates as well as the presidential election.
Prop 208 is expected to raise hundreds-of-millions of dollars to fund K-12 education through a 3.5% surcharge on taxable income for individuals who make over $250,000 per year or couples who make more than $500,000 per year
Prop 15 increases funding for public schools, community colleges, and local government services by changing the tax assessment for commercial and industrial property, requiring that commercial and industrial property be taxed based on current market value.
Prop 22 would exempt large app-based companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, from having to hire drivers as employees, which means drivers would lose benefits like sick leave, healthcare, and unemployment.
Prop 25 replaces a cash-only bail system with a system that is based on public safety and flight risk assessments. Prop 25 would mean that those without the monetary means to “post bail” could have the opportunity to await trial outside of jail.
Measure J amends the county's charter to require that no less than 10% of the county's general fund be appropriated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as health services and pre-trial non-custody services.
Authorizes an additional tax of 0.1%-0.6% of gross receipts or 0.4%-2.4% of payroll expenses for businesses in which the highest-paid managerial employee earns more than 100 times the median compensation of employees, generating an estimated $60-140 million per year.
Amendment 76 would amend the Colorado state constitution to say that “only a U.S. citizen can vote”. This is already the case in Colorado and around the country. Amendment 76 would also strip the right of 17-year-old Coloradans to vote in Primaries should they turn 18 by the General Election.
This measure would repeal the piece of the 1982 Gallagher Amendment that limits residential property taxes to 45% of the total property tax base statewide. Removing the limit on property taxes will result in added revenue to be spent on schools, libraries, first responders, and more.
Proposition 113 allows Coloradans to approve the decision of the Legislature and the Governor to join the National Popular Vote, an electoral change that would replace the electoral college and its state-by-state winner-take-all system, therefore ensuring every vote matters and the candidates with the most votes wins the election.
Proposition 115 bans abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy and establishes criminal penalties for medical professionals who provide this care. Prop 115 has no exceptions for health or individual circumstances — even in cases of rape or risks to the woman’s health.
Proposition 116 will permanently reduce state income tax from 4.63% to 4.55%. Proposition 116 will result in $2 Billion in spending being eliminated in the first ten years. These cuts will likely come in the form of permanent cuts to K-12, higher education, healthcare and transportation.
Amendment 1 would amend the Florida state constitution to say that only a U.S. citizen who is at least eighteen years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, is able to vote. This is already the case in Florida and around the country. Amendment 1 could prevent any proactive legislation in the future that would allow 17 years olds to vote in a Primary or Special Election if they turn 18 by the General Election.
Amendment 2 - Vote YES
Amendment 2 would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.
Amendment 4 would require all proposed amendments to the state constitution to be approved by the voters in two elections, instead of one, in order to take effect. Florida already requires a 60% supermajority vote to pass a constitutional amendment, and this measure would limit the ability of everyday Floridians to pass Constitutional Amendments.
Allow for Graduated Income Tax Amendment - Vote YES
This amendment would change the Illinois state constitution to eliminate the requirement that Illinois tax income at a single rate, allowing instead for higher rates for higher incomes and lower rates for people with low and moderate incomes. Taxes will be increased on those who make more than $250,000 per year. This amendment will raise more than $3 billion a year for state and local government, schools, and human services.
Amendment 3 would repeal most of the provisions of the “Clean Missouri” Amendment passed by a 2-1 margin by Missouri voters in 2018. This legislatively referred amendment would eliminate the requirement that state legislative maps be drawn based on total population, meaning that 1.5 million Missourians — almost all of them children — would be uncounted and unrepresented. It also would undo the new requirement that voting districts be drawn by an independent state demographer, rather than politicians. In addition, Missouri citizens could not challenge gerrymandering in federal court.
LR-130 seeks to remove a local government’s power to regulate the permitted carrying of concealed weapons, including repealing the existing authority of local governments to restrict the open carry of firearms at public assemblies, parks, and school grounds.
Amendment 1 - Vote YES
Amendment 1 is a constitutional amendment that would remove a provision in the Nebraska state constitution that still allows slavery as punishment for the conviction of a crime.
Question 2 seeks to remove language from the Nevada Constitution that prohibits same sex marriage. Question 2 would amend the Nevada Constitution to say that Nevada shall issue marriage licenses regardless of gender and all marriages must be treated equally under the law.
Question 4 - Vote YES
Question 4 would enshrine the state's current statute, Declaration of Voters Rights, into the Nevada Constitution.
State Question 805 - Vote YES
SQ 805 is a criminal justice reform that would end “repeat sentence penalties,” or the practice of adding years to a person’s prison sentence for a nonviolent offense because they had a prior nonviolent conviction. If SQ 805 passes, people who are convicted of nonviolent crimes could be sentenced up to the maximum allowable time in prison for the current crime, but would not receive additional time in prison because of their past convictions.
Ballot measure 107 will amend the state constitution to allow laws and voter initiatives that require the disclosure of political contributions and spending; limit campaign contributions and spending and require that political ads disclose who paid for them.
This legislatively referred constitutional amendment would allow funds in the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Account to be invested to help ensure payment of benefits to eligible Washingtonians for their long-term care.
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