INSTITUTE INDEX: 2020 ballot measure outcomes shape a more just South

Voters in Mississippi overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure adopting a new state flag, seen here. It replaces one that the state legislature decommissioned earlier this year because it included Confederate symbolism.

Number of Southern states that put ballot measures before voters in the November election: 8

Total number of ballot measures considered in those states, which included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia: 32

With Florida voters' narrow passage of Amendment 2 to incrementally boost the state's current $8.56 hourly minimum wage, year by which the wage will reach $15: 2026

Amount spent opposing the minimum wage hike by Save Florida Jobs, a group whose top donors included the state's Farm Bureau, Home Builders Association, and Restaurant and Lodging Association: at least $692,746

Percent of Florida voters who voted against Amendment 4 — which some opponents called "Amendment Number 4" to avoid confusing it with the 2018 ballot measure by the same name restoring voting rights to former felons — that would have made it more difficult to adopt constitutional amendments via ballot measures by requiring they be passed twice by voters with a 60% supermajority each time: 52

Amount spent to support Amendment Number 4 by Keep Our Constitution Clean, a secret-money outfit that raised the money from groups funded by business interests including Florida Power & Light and U.S. Sugar Corp.: over $9 million

In another win for direct democracy, percent by which Arkansas voters rejected Issue 3, which opponents called the "petition killer amendment" because it would have made it much harder for citizens to put initiatives on the ballot by stiffening qualifying requirements: 56

In Alabama, percent by which voters approved Amendment 4, a ballot measure that will begin the process of removing racist language from the state's Jim Crow-era constitution, which still includes bans on interracial marriage and racially integrated public schools: 66

Besides the Foundation for Moral Law, an organization led by far-right former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and accused child molester Roy Moore, number of groups that formally opposed Amendment 4: 0

In another rebuke to Jim Crow-era politics, percent by which Mississippi voters passed Ballot Measure 2 ending the requirement that a candidate for governor or state office receive the highest number of votes in a majority of the state's 122 House districts or be chosen by the state House, with those races now going to a runoff: over 78

After the Mississippi legislature decommissioned the state's Jim Crow-era flag due to its Confederate imagery earlier this year, percent by which Mississippi voters this week approved Ballot Measure 2 adopting a new state flag that features the image of a magnolia flower and the words "In God We Trust": almost 72

Percent by which Mississippi voters also passed the more liberal of two medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot, part of a broader national trend that saw voters in five states approve measures relaxing drug laws: 74

Percent by which Virginia voters approved an amendment to create an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission in order to reduce the partisan gerrymandering of the state's legislative and congressional districts: 67

Amount reform advocates spent to promote the passage of the amendment, which divided Democratic Party leaders, some of whom did not want to give up the chance to draw their own electoral maps next year: $2 million

(Click on figure to go to source.)