Benefits You Will See With Initiative and Referendum
A detailed list of ballot measures by topic compliments of Ballotpedia Issues
- Ballot initiatives allow citizens to enact meaningful policy changes that otherwise have little chance of being passed by politicians. Just like legislators, voters can pass bad laws or fail to pass good ones. But historically, voters have a far better record.
- You will experience Greater discussion of ballot measures among friends, family, and coworkers. Look no further than the elections of Sept. 2012 and Nov. 2014. In 2012 most vertical surfaces in health care facilities had locally copied or professionally designed and printed flyers advocating passing of the measure. In 2014 the five ballot measures generated more on-line discussion into gun and hunting rights than the candidates themselves.
- You will be inclined to begin or join local civic and non-profits to counter the powerful professional associations monopolizing our legislative input. Research shows here are 27% more citizen groups in states with this right compared to states without as Alabama.
- Media coverage and greater citizen involvement into ballot measures will result in you being more informed voter.
- You will be more inclined to vote.
- As a result of your greater involvement into the election process, you may feel better of our state government and believe your legislators know how you feel.
- Greater voter turnout in both mid-term and presidential elections.
- An assortment of election laws reform. IVN.us reports that Rasmussen finds Congress approval rating is out of the single-digits. However 79% of the respondents believe "most members of Congress listen to party leaders and not he voters they represent," not any different than in Montgomery. Furthermore, the column states the political powers in states are with the parties and election laws are "manipulated to silence independent and third-party opposition."
- Beating Corporate Money - Multiple studies reveal that citizens tend to favor “grassroots” initiatives over “big money” initiatives, whereas legislatures usually vote on the side of big money. Special interests may be able to pay to play with elected officials, but it’s far more difficult to bribe a majority of the voters of a state. As just one example, that citizens of California enacted term limits despite being outspent by more than a 6 to 1 margin.
- Open primaries
- Recall of statewide public servants.
- Term Limits
- Reduction of corporate money into our election process
- Uniform ballot access for all citizens eliminating prohibitive signature collection for third party and independents wanting to serve the public. Montgomery Advertiser piece.
- Quite possibly a citizen commission, as compared to the incumbent party, with the responsibility to redistrict and thereby taking the power from the legislature to gerrymander our districts and unfairly aiding the incumbent party while inconveniencing citizens with different representatives and polling centers.
- Requiring political parties to cover the financial costs of their primary as compared to citizens. Case in point, for the June 2014 primary Macon County taxpayers paid $70,240.87 for the republican and democrat primaries while being reimbursed only $37,984 from the state.
State Finance Reform
- Most likely a decrease in state income tax liability, a slight tax increase at the county and local levels and a greater use of user fees to fill the loss of state revenue from income taxes. If you use bridges, roads, recreational facilities, or court house services then the user fees would apply, whereas you would pay little to nothing in taxes if you do not use these services.
- Voter approval of bonds.
- Environmental Reform
- Campaign Finance Reform
- Administration of Government Allowing citizens to challenge bad laws or introduce new laws puts a much-needed check on the monopoly power of state legislatures. In this way, the initiative helps hold government accountable to the people.
- Labor Law Reform
- Education Reform
- Minimum Wage - several states passed popular initiatives in 2014 and more are expected in 2015. City of Tacoma, Washington in Nov2015 will have a $15 per hour minimum wage initiative.
- Food Safety Reform
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Benton County, Oregon residents wanting to ban GMO from their foods expect to have the measure on their 19May2015 ballot.