Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2008
From press release:
The November election is roughly five weeks away. While ballots are taking their final form across the country, the total number of ballot questions is expected to be just shy of 160. 63 of these are citizen initiatives. In 2006, the number of initiatives totaled 76, the second-highest total. (The record of 87 ballot initiatives occurred in both 1914 and 1996.)
This year, some of the most controversial issues include abortion (California, Colorado and South Dakota), anti-affirmative action (Colorado and Nebraska), immigration (Arizona, California, Missouri and Oregon), and same-sex marriage (Arizona, California and Florida, and a ban on adoption by gay couples in Arkansas). Other issues on the ballot in more than one state include environmental protection and land/water conservation (Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota and Ohio), criminal justice (multiple measures in both California and Oregon), elections (Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Oregon), campaign finance reform (Colorado, Oregon and South Dakota), and legislatures (Colorado and South Dakota).
Major tax limitation initiatives are on the ballot in Massachusetts, North Dakota and Oregon. The measures before voters in Massachusetts and Oregon this year will look familiar — voters rejected virtually the same measures in those states in 2002 and 2000, respectively. The Massachusetts proposal would eliminate more than a third of the state’s budget. Estimates are that Oregon’s would cut state revenues by about 10 percent, and North Dakota’s by about 15 percent.
Voters in Colorado, Oregon and California have the most measures on the ballot this year. 18 measures will be before voters in Colorado and 12 each in Oregon and California.