Ohio Issue 1 fails 62/38; Texas Prop 10 passes handily – A look at the voting data

Ohio Measure 1

The track record for increases to judicial retirement ages in the last 20 years now stands as 4 wins to 3 losses as Ohio voters rejected Measure 1 Tuesday night. Unofficial results from the Ohio Secretary of State indicate Measure 1 failed with 1,246,535 votes in favor and 2,036,080 against. The measure failed to carry a single county.

The interesting aspect is with respect to the other two items on the ballot. The light and heat was on Measure 2, the repeal of the collective bargaining restrictions passed earlier in 2011. Measure 3, the state law to prohibit any individual mandate to purchase health insurance, was also of particular note and given far more press than Measure 1 ever was.

At a partisan level, the state Democratic Party came out with its “No-No-No” position: no on all measures. Meanwhile the Ohio Republican party had no apparent position on Measure 1, while backing Yes votes on Measures 2 and 3.

The vote totals reflect some of this dynamic. The No on 2 and No on 3 votes were fairly highly correlated (0.73), but so too were the No on 1 and No on 2 votes (0.62).

Of course, correlation does not imply causation, but it could (as a former stats professor told me) “maybe, possibly, perhaps” indicate that “No, No, No” was a strong message that was persuasive for some voters, especially considering 25% of those surveyed had not made up their minds until days before the election.

Correlation between No on 1 & No on 2, county level voting
Correlation between No on 2 & No on 3, county level voting
Correlation between No on 1 & No on 3, county level voting 0.420051

If nothing else, the loss of Ohio Measure 1 in 2011 seems much akin to the 1995 loss of a similar increase in judicial retirement age in Louisiana. There, the focus was on a term limits measure that restricted the number of years legislators could serve. The correlation at the county level between voters in favor of legislative term limits but against upping the judicial retirement was even more powerful (correlation = 0.99).

That might be some solace for those in Ohio favoring an increase in judicial retirement ages (Ohio’s Chief Justice told the Cleveland Plain Dealer “Progress sometimes takes time.”) Louisiana did eventually get an increase, albeit 8 years later.

Texas Proposition 10

The marginal (30 day) change in the state’s “resign to run” provision for local judges and others won 56%-44%. The unofficial results put the win smack in the middle of the other 9 items on the ballot on Tuesday (average Yes vote=54.7%). The only items more popular with voters were proposals to provide tax exemption for surviving spouses of veterans (Prop 1), allowing interlocal agreements (Prop 5) and expanding the Governor’s power to pardon those completing deferred adjudication (Prop 9).

% yes Proposition
82.88% 1
57.77% 5
57.31% 9
55.94% 10
54.52% 3
51.57% 6
51.52% 2
48.30% 7
47.00% 8
40.28% 4