Washington, DC – In case you missed it: Kelly Hall, Executive Director of Fairness Project, published an op-ed in Slate highlighting an under-the-radar campaign by Republican-dominated state legislatures to shut down the citizen-driven ballot measure process. Kelly warns that this effort is part of the larger attacks on voting rights, and if people are denied access to ballot measures, voters will lose their only guaranteed pathway to making progress—on wages, on health care, on paid leave, and on protecting voting rights themselves.
“Not taking this threat seriously means risking the loss of a vital tool in American self-governance. For over a century, in scores of states and cities, voters have been able to petition and place issues on the ballot and enact them directly into law, forcing their government to respond to their needs,” Hall writes.
Last year, there were more than 87 attempts in state capitals to prevent voter-driven campaigns from reaching the ballot. Legislators in states like South Dakota and Arkansas are trying to redefine the meaning of majority rule, proposing constitutional amendments that require 60 percent voter approval in order for an approved policy to take effect.
“The bottom line: Across the country, progressives are in danger of losing an important state-based tool to advance policy. It’s already slipping away. And while patchwork advancement of economic priorities may seem tedious, it is the real alternative to stalled federal-level policymaking,” writes Hall.
Last year, Fairness Project launched the Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign, a $5 million effort to fight back against states attempting to make ballot measures inaccessible across the country. The GOP’s Latest Assault on Democracy Is Flying Under the Radar. Read it in Slate HERE.