Washington, DC — This week, the New York Times covered recent efforts by conservative politicians to crack down on citizen-initiated ballot measures in order to block pro-choice legislation from being passed directly by voters.
Last year, voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont all passed ballot measures to defend or expand reproductive freedom; voters in Kentucky, Kansas, and Montana also chose to reject anti-abortion measures that were put on the ballot by state legislatures. Now, citizens in states such as Ohio, Missouri, Florida, and others are considering using ballot measures to defend reproductive rights in their states. Republicans are aiming to preempt those efforts by making ballot measures more difficult to pass.
READ: Losing Ballot Issues on Abortion, G.O.P. Now Tries to Keep Them Off the Ballot
“‘There are a lot of elected officials leading state legislatures that are being unapologetic, brazen, relentless — choose your adjective — about the fact that they don’t care what voters think on this issue and that their ideological stance on this is going to dictate the outcome,’ said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, which supports citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives across the country as a check on gerrymandered state legislatures.
Republicans in Ohio have said openly that their efforts to make ballot amendments harder to pass are aimed at blocking abortion rights. They are putting their measure on the ballot in August, typically a time of low turnout. It will not include the word ‘abortion,’ which abortion rights supporters say will make it hard to engage their voters.”
The Fairness Project has organized over $5.6 million to defend direct democracy as part of its Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign, and is actively working with in-state organizations across the country to monitor and push back against attacks on the ballot measure process.
Read additional coverage of this issue and the Fairness Project here:
CNN: Abortion foes take aim at ballot initiatives in next phase of post-Dobbs political fights
Politico: Abortion on the ballot? Not if these Republican lawmakers can help it.
Stateline: As Abortion Measures Loom, GOP Raises New Barriers to Ballot Initiatives
The Washington Post: At least three red states could make it harder for voters to keep abortion legal
Vanity Fair: Republicans are only getting sneakier with their antiabortion proposals