Jackson, MS — A strong majority of voters — 65% — support restoring the citizen-initiated ballot measure process in Mississippi, according to new polling from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned the state’s ballot measure process entirely in response to a voter-passed measure legalizing medical marijuana. The court ruled that a new process must be passed by the legislature to account for a decrease in the number of congressional districts in the state. The state legislature has yet to pass a law that would restore the ballot measure process, although some lawmakers have shown signs of progress.

“Ballot measures are a critical tool for voters to make their voices heard, and it’s a shame that Mississippi has gone this long without a process for citizens to initiate and pass their own laws,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project. “This new polling from the Southern Poverty Law Center demonstrates the urgency and widespread popularity of restoring the ballot measure process in Mississippi. As part of its work to support ballot measure campaigns and defend the ballot measure process, the Fairness Project is providing guidance and expertise to advocates and legislators working to restore this essential process.”

Currently, only 23 states and Washington D.C. have a process for citizens to collect petition signatures and put questions on the ballot; only 17 have a process to do so for state constitutional amendments.

In recent years, the Fairness Project has supported more than 30 ballot measure campaigns in red, purple, and blue states to secure wins for working families on issues like raising the minimum wage and expanding health care access.

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