Washington, DC — In the wake of several attacks on direct democracy by state lawmakers this year, several media outlets have highlighted the Fairness Project and its work to defend ballot measures from extremist attacks.
On Saturday, CNN spotlighted the impact of these attacks on the ballot measure process on potential initiatives to protect abortion rights in several conservative states.
“Attacks, through state legislatures, on the ballot measure process have been pretty consistent and pretty aggressive for the last several (election) cycles,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, which has helped pass progressive measures in red states. Hall said the abortion issue, while not the sole focus of current efforts to curb ballot initiatives, has put “additional fuel on an already burning fire.”
The Fairness Project has won over 30 progressive ballot measures, including all seven Medicaid expansion campaigns, in addition to its work to defend the ballot measure process from attacks by extremist state legislators in South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri, and other states. Read more coverage of the Fairness Project and attacks on the ballot measure process below below:
Heartland Signal: Republican-led state legislatures working to limit the ballot initiative process
After the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last year, the preservation of abortion rights began to see passage through the ballot initiative process even in traditionally Republican states like Kansas and Kentucky. These victories for abortion rights seemed to have stirred anti-ballot measure efforts, as more than 20 bills to limit direct democracy have already been introduced in state legislatures in 2023, according to Alexis Magnan-Callaway, the Communications and Digital Strategy Director for the Fairness Project.
Politico: Abortion on the ballot? Not if these Republican lawmakers can help it.
“I call these bills ‘death by a thousand cuts,’” said Kelly Hall, the executive director of the progressive ballot initiative group The Fairness Project. “When you hear about each one in isolation, they seem like not that big a deal. But taken together, they have an exclusionary effect on people’s participation in democracy.”
Stateline: As Abortion Measures Loom, GOP Raises New Barriers to Ballot Initiatives
Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, which backs progressive state ballot measures across the country, described last year’s abortion rights victories as “accelerant on an already burning fire.” But Hall also pointed to recent triumphs on issues such as Medicaid expansion and minimum wage hikes as driving factors. She said the GOP’s antipathy toward ballot initiatives points to a broader problem for the party.