Mississippi Measure 31 Passes

Mississippi Measure 31 – the important eminent domain reform initiative – has passed, probably by an overwhelming margin. Although the returns are not yet completely in, the “yes” side has 74% of the vote with almost 65% of precincts reporting. I outlined the case for Measure 31 here.

The overwhelming support for the measure is consistent with results in previous referenda on post-Kelo reform initiatives. No anti-Kelo referendum initiative has ever been defeated except in cases where a ban on Kelo-style “economic development” takings was packaged with some other, much less popular measure (as in the case of California Proposition 98). By contrast, all twelve “clean” anti-Kelo measures have passed, usually by lopsided margins, though a few of them fail to provide genuinely effective protection for property owners. I discuss all the referendum measures enacted up until mid-2009 in this article (see also here for an analysis of a Texas referendum initiative that passed after the article came out).

For reasons I summarized in my last post on Measure 31, reforms adopted by means of citizen-initiated referenda generally provide stronger protection for property rights than those enacted by state legislatures.

UPDATE: I have fixed the incorrect link to the vote tabulation.

UPDATE #2: With 90% of precincts reporting, Measure 31 is winning by a 73-27 margin. That makes it virtually certain that it will not only pass, but do so overwhelmingly.