Arizona is the product of the progressive era. As a result of the bipartisan wave of people asking for a more democratic democracy, Arizona’s constitution has all sorts of “by the people” parts to it. The initiative, referendum, and recall are all pretty basic parts of Arizona’s law. The initiative is the ability of people to petition for amendments and the referendum is the ability for legislators to bring up proposals that voters must approve. As for recall, Arizona was actually denied statehood until the territory took the ability to vote to recall judges out of the constitution – but in the state’s first election it was reinstated.
Every election we have a plethora of propositions brought up by initiative or by referendum. I know last election I talked a bit about the fun ones (like the idea of counting every missing vote as a no-vote for finance-related propositions) and the bad ones (defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman). This year we’ve got the expected “hands off our healthcare” proposition. But we also have an effort to make the right to hunt part of our constitution – right up there with speech and bearing arms; there’s also putting an end to affirmative action and stopping early childhood development and health programs. I’m not usually a fan of most propositions, and this election cycle isn’t any different, it seems.
I’m not sure if other states are like Arizona. I know most don’t have the ability to vote appointed judges out of office. I’m assuming most people in other states don’t vote every four years for the office of State Mine Inspector (I have heard there are up to 120,000 abandoned mines in Arizona). Do you all have the option to vote for school boards? How about justices of the peace? What’s weird about your state’s political process?