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State Ethics & Elections Ballot Measures: National Recap

Government ethics remained a hot topic for voters around the United States in the mid-term 2018 elections. Citizens of at least 12 states had the opportunity on Election Day to vote on ballot measures that covered gifts, campaign contributions, elections, public officials’ conduct, and lobbyist activity. With few exceptions, these measures generally increase ethics oversight and restrictions.

A comprehensive article on this topic by Mike Kelly of Nielsen Merksamer appears in the current Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Guardian publication. More detail on each of these measures may be found on the Nielsen Merksamer website in our Essential Ethics political law updates. This weekly blog includes legislative and ethics commission developments as well.

2018 State Ballot Measures

Jurisdiction Measure Subject Result
Arizona Proposition 306 Campaign funds restriction Passed – 56% to 44%
Colorado Amendment 75 Campaign limit exception Failed – 66% to 34%
  Amendment Y Congressional redistricting commission Passed – 71% to 29%
  Amendment Z Legislative redistricting commission Passed – 71% to 29%
Florida Amendment 12 Restrictions on public officials Passed – 79% to 21%
Massachusetts Question 2 Commission on Citizens United Passed – 71% to 29%
Michigan Proposal 2 Redistricting commission Passed – 61% to 39%
Missouri Amendment 1 Comprehensive ethics reform Passed – 62% to 38%
New Mexico Constitutional Amendment 2 Independent State Ethics Commission Passed – 75% to 25%
North Carolina Legislatively Referred Constitutional Amendment (House Bill 4) Restricts Governor’s appointments to Board of Ethics Failed – 62% to 38%
North Dakota Initiated Constitutional Measure 1 Comprehensive ethics measure, including new commission Passed – 54% to 46%
Oklahoma State Question 798 Governor and Lt. Governor on a single ticket Failed – 54% to 46%
South Dakota Constitutional Amendment W Comprehensive ethics measure, including new ethics board Failed – 55% to 45%
  Measure 24 Prohibit out-of-state contributions Passed – 56% to 44%
Utah Proposition 4 Redistricting commission Passed – 50.7% to 49.3%

Nielsen Merksamer has been involved in measures on various topics across the country this election, provided analysis of many of these measures for clients, and will incorporate the results of campaign, lobby and government ethics law changes into Legal Summaries available on the Nielsen Merksamer Client Portal. Please contact one of the firm’s political law attorneys with questions about any of these ballot measures or other election results across the country.