The Attorney General has certified 12 initiative petitions for ballot questions. Two of the petitions are for Constitutional amendments which will not appear on the ballot until 2022 at the earliest.  The other 10 petitions are for ballot questions to appear on the 2020 ballot. The proponents will now gather signatures to support their petitions.  The LWVMA board has reviewed the petitions and noted which ones the League has positions on.  While the League will not publicly take a stand on most of the questions until next summer when the final list of questions is set, this list will let local Leagues know which questions local Leagues can work on as a League.  League members are, of course, free to work on any ballot question as individuals.  Links in the list are to the petition text on the Attorney General’s website.

Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions supported by League positions

Local Leagues may work on these questions as a League, including collecting signatures.

19-03 Initiative Petition for a Constitutional Amendment to Restore the Right to Vote

This petition would restore the rights of incarcerated prisoners to vote.  The Constitution was amended in 2000 to remove that right, and LWVMA opposed that ballot question at the time.

19-10 Initiative Petitions for a Law to Implement Ranked-Choice Voting in Elections

This petition would establish ranked choice voting (RCV) in elections (except for President) in the state.  It is identical to the RCV legislation we are supporting.


Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions opposed by League positions

Local Leagues may oppose these questions as a League.

19-01 Petition for a Constitutional Amendment Regarding the Public Funding of Abortion

This petition would amend the state Constitution to exclude abortion services from state-funded health care.

19-15 Petition for a Law to Prevent Massachusetts From Becoming a Sanctuary State

This petition would provide new authority to state and local law enforcement officers to detain someone who would otherwise be released in order to transfer custody to federal immigration officials. LWVMA supports the Safe Communities Act and, therefore, opposes this petition.


Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions not fully covered by League positions

League positions apply to only part of these ballot questions, not to the complete question as written, therefore the LWVMA board decided that local Leagues should not work on them as a League.

19-02 Petition for a Law Relative to the Requirement for All Gun Owners to Secure All Weapons Stored, Maintained and Kept in their Place of Residence, Business and Vehicles Within a Certified Gun Safe

This petition would create a law requiring gun owners to store all weapons in a certified gun safe.  It would make gun owners liable for any action or crime committed by a person using an unsecured weapon obtained from a residence or business, with or without the owner’s consent.  League positions would support the requirement for safe storage of weapons, but the board does not feel the League positions support the liability provision in this petition.

19-08 Initiative Petition Relative to Political Spending by Non-Residents of Massachusetts

This petition would impose limits on how much state, county, or local political candidates or ballot question committees could accept in monetary contributions from political action committees organized outside Massachusetts or from individuals residing outside Massachusetts. While League positions support limits on campaign contributions, the board felt any limits should apply equally, regardless of where the donor lives.


Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions not covered by League positions

Since the League does not have positions covering these ballot petition subjects, local Leagues may not work on them as a League.

19-04 Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to the Humane Treatment of the Disabled

19-05 Initiative Petition for Law Relative to the Treatment of Persons with Disabilities

These two petitions would ban the use of electric shock therapy as a treatment option, and the League has no position on that.  The LWVMA board feels the state already has laws that would prevent abuse of disabled persons.

19-06 Initiative Law to Enhance, Update and Protect the 2013 Motor Vehicle Right to Repair Law

Concerns access to mechanical data in a vehicle’s on-board diagnostics or telematics system

19-11 An Act Establishing Adequate Funding for Residents of Massachusetts Nursing Homes

Changes the formula for Medicaid rate-making for nursing homes

19-14 Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to the Sale of Beer and Wine by Food Stores

Allows additional food stores to sell beer and wine

19-16 Petition for a Law to Limit Taxpayer-Funded Payouts to Employees Leaving State Service

Prohibits public employees from accruing more than 1,000 hours of unused sick leave


For questions about the ballot initiative petitions, please contact Nancy Brumback.