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1A Remaking America: Ballot measures and direct democracy

Election material is shown at a ballot Zoom party to go over measures up for a vote in Los Angeles, California.
Election material is shown at a ballot Zoom party to go over measures up for a vote in Los Angeles, California.

Come November, voters will likely decide on more than 100 ballot measures across the nation, according to a database from the National Conference of State Legislatures. These ballot measures concern issues ranging from Medicaid expansion and recreational marijuana in South Dakota to digital privacy in Montana.

Ballot measures let citizens bypass their elected officials to make a direct change. But so far this year, lawmakers have proposed hundreds of tweaks to the processes in their states or cities, according to tracking fromBallotpedia. Lawmakers have sought to raise the majority needed to approve measures or decide exactly who can gather signatures for an initiative. 

Critics say these changes attempt to reign in the ballot measure and curtail direct democracy. 

We talk about how the ballot measure furthers democracy, how it’s imperfect, and what citizens are pushing for.

This conversation is part of our Remaking America collaboration with six public radio stations around the country exploring Americans’ trust in institutions and the health of our democracy. Remaking America is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Appalachia Health News Reporter, jleffler@wvpublic.org, 502-377-0438, @june_leffler

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