The just-finished election included three ballot questions that left voters scratching their heads! And that points to the need for our current ballot question process study.
For Question 1 on nurses staffing, many said they did not know why or how voters should be expected to decide this issue. This question may break the record for the most expensive ballot question, set in 2016 by the charter school question at $44 million. Question 1 is currently at $38 million, with the final expenses yet to be reported.
For Question 2 on a commission to consider constitutional amendments, we heard “Now what is this going to do?”
And for Question 3 on transgender rights, the first referendum on an existing law to come before us in decades, we heard, “Why are we voting on this?”
All three questions met the legal requirements to get on the ballot. But are we happy with this process, developed 100 years ago? Can and should LWVMA advocate for change? LWVMA has no positions on the ballot question process, and yet it is major part of our state elections and our voter service/citizen education efforts. Read more
The State Ballot Question Study Committee dug deep into the process in Massachusetts and around the country, and the study is now in the hands of local Leagues to educate their members and reach consensus. The materials are posted on the study webpage.
LWVMA is pleased that 32 of our 48 Leagues and Units have informed us that they are participating. Although that is a great response, we think all our members would be interested in this topic and want to make sure they all have an opportunity. The Study Committee is reaching out to each League that has not yet agreed to participate.
If your League has not done so already, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the email address of the contact person or persons. We will be distributing materials, etc., to the contacts and don’t want anyone to miss out. We would also like the date and location of your consensus meeting(s) when known. If your League cannot participate, please let us know that too. We will make every effort to find a way for interested members to participate, either through a League in the region or perhaps a webinar.