In a divided and bitterly fought election year, there was one issue that had a 100% pass rate across the country on November 8th, 2016: term limits.
Over 40 different ballot measures across the country had a 100 percent pass rate for term limits. These votes were spread across the nation from California and Texas to New York. Hawaii even got in on the action.
These term limits ballot amendments covered school boards, mayors, city and county boards. Citizens also defeated initiatives that tried to weaken their current term limits.
Philip Blumel, president of U.S. Term Limits, said “the American people are tired of career politicians forgetting who they are supposed to be serving. This outstanding result for term limits is a real victory for the people”.
The 100 percent pass rate was unprecedented. In 2014 the pass rate was 97 percent, so bipartisan support for term limits is not unusual. Each referendum for term limits averaged 74 percent of the vote with a mean of 75.5 percent.
The support for term limits ranged from 88 percent in Crestwood, IL to 57 percent in Honolulu. The Honolulu vote successfully fought off a bill that would have weakened local term limits.
Americans continue to show a preference for citizen legislators over careerist politicians. These results demonstrate a growing belief that elected officials have lost touch with the people.
“It is no surprise, after this historic year for term limits, that action is already underway to slap term limits on Congress,” said Blumel.
TERM LIMITS FACTS
-Gallup polling shows that 75 percent of Americans back congressional term limits, including 82 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of independents.
-The 1995 SCOTUS case U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton decided congressional term limits could only come by constitutional amendment.
-Citizens can bypass Congress to propose the amendment by passing resolutions through 34 state legislatures. This process creates an amendment-proposing convention of states. U.S. Term Limits introduced the Term Limits Convention strategy in 2016 to do just that, and has already passed in the Florida Legislature.
-Despite oft-cited myths, lobbyists and special interests are the primary opponents of term limits, with a long history of bankrolling campaigns to prevent, weaken or abolish term limits.
Jack Abramoff explains why lobbyists hate term limits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSFqaulSSyU
Campaign Finance Data Shows Lobbyists Oppose Term Limits: https://www.termlimits.org/myth-busting-101-lobbyists-love-term-limits/