An Overview of Ballot Measures
Ballot measures are powerful policy-making, messaging, and political tools – and also a permanent part of the process in the 24 initiative states.
In recent years, initiatives have been used by well-funded, right-wing donors and special interests to deny rights to working families, public education, women, LGBT people, communities of color, immigrants, and the poor.
At the same time, we recognize that well-crafted ballot measures can become tools that truly represent communities and people whose elected representatives cannot or will not stand up for them. Initiatives and referenda, used this way, can be a force for good public policy and spur increases in voter turnout by those who are too often ignored by the broader electoral establishment.
The qualification process varies in each of the 24 initiative states and based on the type of initiative. Learn more about the types of initiatives or how to qualify. Also, find out which states currently have popular referenda.