The LWVMA study of the ballot question process in Massachusetts will be ready for local League and Unit consensus meetings to be held between Dec. 1 and Feb. 15. This study incorporates the intersection of two League missions: voting and advocacy. LWVMA has not studied the initiative and referendum process in the state and has no positions on this aspect of voting and elections.
Two key study documents, the Study Guide (including consensus questions) and the Study Report (background information), will be posted on the LWVMA website by Friday, Sept. 7. Local League study committees should plan on meeting after that date to begin research and planning.
The study committee plans to have all materials, including appendices, a PowerPoint presentation and other resources to help with successful consensus meetings posted by Oct. 1. Two webinars are planned between mid-October and mid-November, one for daytime and one in the evening. The webinars, one of which will be recorded and posted for later viewing, will cover the same material.
What Should Local Leagues and Units Do Now?
Form a Study Committee
The study committee will use the materials to become familiar with the subject and the consensus questions. It will coordinate a consensus meeting and report the results to the LWVMA. The committee should check the LWVMA website regularly and begin reading the materials posted. The committee will become the local “experts,” and an important link between local Leagues and the LWVMA study committee. A large committee is not required; it can be as small as three people.
Schedule Consensus Meetings
As you plan your calendar, include at least one time for a consensus meeting. Some Leagues may want to schedule two, one in the daytime and one in the evening. It is up to the local League to determine the best format. Consensus meetings should be held between Dec. 1 and Feb. 15. The local board must approve the consensus report, so be sure to leave time to complete this step. Each League’s consensus report is due to the LWVMA by Feb. 16.
How Do We Get Started?
- Visit the study webpage. Find the link on lwvma.org under Quick Links (on the right sidebar) or click here. The committee posts materials, as they are finalized, on the study page of lwvma.org. Start with the newly-revised “Handbook for Successful Consensus Meetings” on the webpage. Browse the other materials and check back often.
- See our local League flyer for information and advice. Distribute it at your fall membership meetings.
- After Sept. 7–Dig in!
How Can My League or Unit Get Help?
If your League or Unit is a little rusty on doing studies, has never done a study, wants to join another League in the study, or just needs some help getting started, the study committee can help!