Spending exceeds not only all previous ballot questions but all previous ballot items of any kind, including gubernatorial elections.
According to data compiled by iSolon.org and VotersEdge.org from the Maryland State Board of Elections website, ballot issue committees have raised $51.3 million to spend on Maryland’s statewide gambling question, Question 7. This is not only the largest amount spent on a single ballot proposition in Maryland’s history; it exceeds the previous record by 51%. The previous record, set in the 2006 gubernatorial contest between Martin O’Malley and Robert L. Ehrlich, was $34 million.
As of October 18, 2012, the aggregate amount received for all seven statewide questions is $57.4 million. The amounts raised for the other questions include $4.6 million for the Civil Marriage Protection Act, Question 6, and $1.5 million for the Tuition Rates(“Dream Act”), Question 4. The remaining four questions received negligible contributions.
Questions 4, 5, and 6 were placed on the ballot as a result of citizen petitions. Questions 1, 2, 3, and 7 were placed on the ballot by the General Assembly. Maryland’s Constitution requires that question 7, which includes the General Assembly’s proposed change in legal gambling venues, must be approved in a statewide referendum.
Launched on October 8, 2012, VotersEdge.org/Maryland provides an information clearinghouse for voters on the seven statewide ballot questions on the November 6, 2012 ballot. VotersEdge.org provides a national information clearinghouse on ballot questions. iSolon.org is VotersEdge.org’s Maryland partner.