Growing Use of State Ballot Initiatives for Political Change

Source: Diane Rehm Show, August 27, 2014
(audio)

Ballot initiatives have been in use since the early 1900s: Oregon was the first state to allow citizens to put laws on the ballot. This November, more than 100 ballot initiatives will face voters in 41 states. Issues on the ballot include minimum wage, medical marijuana and gun control. These measures have attracted more than $1 billion in campaign spending this year alone. As both parties use ballot measures to increase voter turnout, corporations are writing initiatives in some of the most expensive races in the nation. Diane and guests discuss the rise in ballot initiatives, who’s funding them and what they mean for the American political process.
Guests:
∙ Reid Wilson – staff writer, The Washington Post
∙ Norman Ornstein – resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute
∙ Josh Levin – vice president of programs, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center
∙ Susan MacManus – distinguished professor of political science, University of South Florida

Related Links:
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

Ballot Initiatives Become Pricey Playgrounds for Corporations and Political Parties
Source: Reid Wilson and Niraj Chokshi, Washington Post, Gov Beat blog, August 27, 2014