A left-leaning advocacy group called the Fairness Project has created a playbook for using ballot initiatives to go around GOP-led state legislatures. Since 2016, it has backed successful initiatives to raise the minimum wage and expand Medicaid.
The campaign needs to collect 383,923 valid signatures from voters by July 3 of next year in order to make the ballot, per a news release from the Fairness Project, a progressive nonprofit organization that is supporting this reproductive rights initiative along with similar ones across the country.
Abortion on the Ballot: Arizona Campaign Launches Signature Collection Effort for Nov. 2024 Amendment
Today, a groundbreaking campaign to put abortion on the ballot in Arizona announced the launch of its signature collection effort. The campaign, Arizona for Abortion Access, is seeking to enshrine access to abortion in the state’s constitution with an amendment that would go before voters in November 2024
“For reproductive rights, neither of the things that passed in 2022 are likely to impact that,” said Hannah Ledford, deputy executive director and campaigns director from The Fairness Project, a national nonprofit that works to pass ballot measures on issues such as increasing the minimum wage.
The Fairness Project, a national progressive group that specializes in ballot initiatives, has succeeded in 27 of 29 of its statewide campaigns since 2016. It has no equivalent on the right, and its budget has vastly grown since Dobbs.
Since the Dobbs decision, and as advocates for reproductive freedom have sought to use the ballot measure process to protect their rights in more states, legislatures in red states are fired up to strip voters of their right to direct democracy. We saw it in Ohio, and we will no doubt see it again.
Associated Press: The failed Ohio amendment reflects Republican efforts nationally to restrict direct democracy
According to a recent report by the nonpartisan Fairness Project, Ohio and five other states where Republicans control the legislature — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and North Dakota — have either passed, attempted to pass or are currently working to pass expanded supermajority requirements for voters to approve statewide ballot measures.
Progressives are already worried about Issue-1 style restrictions: “Legislators in Arizona will try to make the process harder," says Hannah Ledford, deputy executive director and campaigns director at The Fairness Project, a left-leaning advocacy group. "No question.”
"The 111-year-old process tried and true in Ohio will continue to be the process for this core issue that opponents of abortion have said they wanted returned to the states, and now this decision is going to be made by the state of Ohio and the voters of Ohio come November," Kelly Hall, executive director of The Fairness Project, told CBS News.