J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California February 2, 2006
The Inherent Right of ALL People to Alter
or Reform Abusive Government
The Right Upon Which All Other Rights
The Torchbearer for J.A.I.L. Nationally - Support Them!
P.O. Box 412, Tea, S.D. 57064 - (605)
Update on The Initiative
Allowing The People To Directly Alter or
Reform Abusive Government.
J.A.I.L. Is Such A
All non-initiative states
must follow Alabama's example.
Statewide Ballot Initiatives:
Is it Time for a Change?
By Rep. Mike Ball (Alabama) firstname.lastname@example.org
It doesn't take a political scientist to sense the swelling distrust
and disillusionment toward the political process and elected government
officials. Many citizens are
convinced the process is controlled by big-moneyed special interests having
little concern for the common person with every day struggles. It is within this context that an
increasing interest in the initiative process, one of three basic forms of
direct democracy, has emerged.
Direct democracy is a general term that applies when anything is placed
on a ballot other than the election of a candidate. Initiatives, referendum, and recall are
all separate and distinct forms of direct democracy. A brief understanding of all three would
probably be helpful before we begin our examination of the initiative
Recall is the least common of the three basic forms of direct
democracy. It is the means by which
elected officials can be removed from office before the end of their term. Citizens collect the required number of
signatures to call a popular vote on whether to remove the official from
office. Californians utilized this
process in 2003 when they removed Governor Gray Davis from office. It marked the first time a statewide
official in California faced a recall election since 1911, when the
reform-minded Governor Hiram Johnson put the process in place. It is not uncommon for local officials
in California to be removed via the recall process. (Recall in California)
Referendum is the most common of the three, practiced throughout the
United States in three basic forms: legislative referendum, advisory referendum,
and popular referendum. All of the
states allow legislative referendum in which the legislature or other public
official can submit a proposition to a vote of the people. With the exception of Delaware, all of
the states require a referendum to amend their respective constitutions. Advisory referendums are items placed on
the ballot by the legislature or a public official to gauge popular sentiment,
without requiring legislative action in response to the results. Popular referendum, available in 24
states, is when citizens are allowed to collect petitions and accept or reject
specific legislation previously enacted by the legislature.
paper will focus upon the third form of direct democracy, the initiative
process. In contrast to
referendums, initiatives are not limited to allowing voters to approve or reject
previous legislative action because they are originated by means of a citizens'
petition. There are two basic
categories of initiatives, direct initiatives and indirect initiatives. A direct initiative is when a ballot
measure is originated by the people by petition and placed directly on the
ballot, while an indirect initiative must be submitted to the legislature before
being placed on the ballot (Waters, I and R for Alabama). If a proposition originates from a
petition by the people, it's an initiative; if it originates from a legislative
body or public official, it's a referendum. The initiative process gives more power
to citizens because the referendum process limited to only allowing voters to
respond to legislative action or inaction.
concept of popular sovereignty is not new to political thought in the United
States. Its traditions are the
evident throughout the history of our nation. In New England during the 1600's,
settlers placed issues and ordinances on the agenda for debate, followed by a
vote in town meetings. A proponent
of popular sovereignty, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Men by their makeup are
naturally divided into two camps: those who fear and distrust the people and
wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of higher classes; and those
who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and
consider them the most safe and most honest, although not the most wise
repository of the public interest." (Jefferson)
founding fathers of the United States did not create a democracy, but a
republic, where the nation's leaders derived their power from the approval of
the people. While there was hope
that the actions of the leaders would reflect the will of the people, there was
concern among them that the chosen rulers would become consumed with power and
cease to act in the interest of the people. It is because of this concern that a
system of checks and balances was placed upon the federal government, dividing
power among branches of government, in addition to provisions limiting the
powers of the federal government.
it is apparent the founding fathers of our nation believed political power
should rest with the people, they did not implement direct democracy into the
Constitution of the United States.
The initiative process was not a viable option to empower the people on
the federal or even the state level, largely because transportation and
communication limitations in combination with a mostly illiterate citizenry
during the first century of our existence as a nation. Those limitations began to disappear as
the 20th century approached.
groundswell of interest in the initiative process emerged in the late 1800's and
early 1900's as the populist movement grew from widespread dissatisfaction with
government controlled by wealthy special interest groups. Reforms advocated by the populists
included women's suffrage, secret ballots, direct election of U.S. Senators,
recall, primary elections, and the citizen initiative process. Because many of the reforms were blocked
by state legislatures, the populists believed the key to implementing them was
in establishing the initiative process.
In 1898, South Dakota, copying parts of the 1848 Swiss Constitution,
became the first state to implement a statewide initiative referendum process.
are three distinct periods of interest in statewide initiatives during the
20th century. A period
of great interest in the process occurred between 1900 and 1918. Utah, Oregon,
Montana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Maine, Michigan, Colorado, Arkansas, California,
Arizona, Nebraska, Idaho, Nevada, Ohio, Washington, North Dakota, and
Massachusetts followed South Dakota by adopting the initiative process. By 1918, nineteen states had adopted the
initiative process. Proponents of
the initiative movement were not very successful in the southern and east coast
states, largely because of the concerns by powerbrokers that masses of blacks,
immigrants, and lower classes would utilize the process.
this period in Delaware and Illinois, an advisory referendum was held in which
voters approved the initiative process by a large margin, but the respective
legislatures refused to obey the mandate.
Also during this period New Mexico implemented popular referendum. Mississippi voters twice approved the
initiative process, although opponents prevented its implementation. We will later delve deeper into
Mississippi's struggle for the initiative.
In Wyoming, 86% of those voting on a referendum to adopt the initiative
process approved, but it failed because of a provision in the state constitution
requiring a majority of all those voting in an election, making blank votes
count on the "no" side. Of
the 38 popular votes proposing whether to adopt the initiative process in
various states between 1898 and 1918, only in three instances did those voting
to support the proposal fail to outnumber those in opposition.
the period between 1904 and 1940, a total of 790 statewide initiatives were
placed on the ballot. In 1904,
Oregon became the first state to pass a statewide initiative, a direct primary
nominating convention law. Oregon
has remained the most prolific of all the states in utilizing the initiative
process, followed by California, and Colorado. During this growth period, initiatives
placed on the ballot had success rate of about 40%, although during the 1920's
the rate dropped to 23%. This drop
in initiative activity could have been a reflection of the general feeling of
satisfaction due to the prosperity enjoyed during the roaring twenties. During the 1930's, initiative usage and
success rates returned to pre-1920 levels.
initiative movement seemed to lose momentum and during the period ranging from
1941 through 1970. Interest in the
initiative process waned as the nation recovered from the Great Depression and
national threat of World War II loomed.
Between 1941 and 1970 a total of 346 statewide initiatives were placed on
the ballot, with the 1960's ranking as the decade with lowest number of
statewide initiatives. Although
fewer statewide initiatives were place on the ballot during this period, the
success rate of ballot initiatives remain constant at about 40%.
the initiative movement seemed stagnant during this period, there were some
advances. Upon being granted
statehood in 1959, Alaska adopted a state constitution that allowed the
initiative process for statutes. In
1968 Florida and Wyoming adopted the process followed by Illinois in 1970.
new period of interest in the initiative process has emerged during the 1970's,
a period of disillusionment fed by the Vietnam War and the Watergate
scandal. In 1977, Washington DC
adopted the initiative process with a vote of 83%-17%. In 1978, when California voters approved
Proposition 13 slashing property taxes 60%. The Proposition 13 vote seemed to awaken
citizens to the potential of the process to have substantive change and lead to
a marked increase in the use of the citizen initiative process during the 80's
1971 and 2000 citizens placed 861 statewide initiatives on the ballot, passing
45% of them. Not only has the
number of initiatives has increased during each decade, but the approval rate
has increased as well. During the
1990's statewide initiatives on the ballot totaled 389 making it the most active
decade for initiatives with an approval rate of 48%, the highest ever. (Waters, History)
states, Oregon, California, Colorado, North Dakota, and Arizona have been active
in utilizing the process and account for over half of all initiative activity;
although, the passage rate of ballot initiatives in those states is less than
40%. An explanation for the
activity in those states could be the petition requirements for those
states. Of the five, Colorado has
the lowest threshold in the number of signatures required, with 5% of those who
voted in the last Secretary of State election. Arizona is on the other end of the
spectrum in signature requirements, with 15% of gubernatorial voters for a
constitutional amendment and 10% of gubernatorial voters for a statute (Waters,
Primer). While the five states may
have differing requirements to get an initiative on the ballot, none of them
have a geographical distribution requirement for the petition signatures,
leading one to suspect that geographical distribution requirements may be one
way to prevent one overuse of the process.
United States differs from most modern democracies in that we have never held a
national election on a question of public policy. The United States Constitution does not
provide the opportunity for initiatives in federal elections; however, almost
all of the European nations as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have
referred major policy issues to voters in recent years. Great Britain utilizes regional
referendums rather than national elections in an effort to decentralize the
scope of its national government.
In spite of the tendencies of other most modern democracies toward
national referendums, the initiative and referendum process in the United States
is limited to state and local governments.
One should note that the initiative and popular referendum process is
more common on the county and municipal level than the state wide level. Almost all of the major cities practice
it in some form. (Donavan)
citizens of the United States consistently support the concept of ballot
initiatives. Since 1898, there have
been 47 statewide popular elections on adopting the initiative process. Of those voting on the issue in the
elections, 62% have given approval to the process, in most of the elections by a
margin of over 2 to 1. Those
opposing the process outnumbered those voting for approval in only 3 of those 47
elections. (Waters, History)
Rasmussen Research Portrait of America poll was conducted from 1999 to early
2000 in which voters in all of the states except Maine were asked, "In many
states, citizens can place initiatives on the ballot by collecting petition
signatures. If a majority of voters approve the initiative on Election Day, it
becomes law. Is this a good idea?"
The poll, with a 3% margin of error, yielded surprising results. In every state, voters approved the
initiative process 2 to 1 over those opposing it. It is also relevant to note that in
states with initiatives, support was consistently higher and opposition
consistently lower than in non-initiative states. In Alabama, 57% percent of respondents
favored the initiative process while only 18% opposed it (Portrait of
a nation such as ours where political power is believed to ultimately lie in the
will of people, one would expect that a concept with so much public support
would be easy to enact, but that is not the case. The legislative process often allows
interest groups to override public support. The traditional legislative process has
many steps in it that tend to make the passage of legislation difficult
requiring broad support in the governing body. Preventing the passage of legislation is
usually much easier, requiring the opposition of only a few key legislators,
such as the presiding officer, the chairman of the appropriate committee, or
enough members to sustain a filibuster.
Having no desire to surrender their power to block legislation adverse to
their interests, well-funded special interest groups team with legislators to
oppose the initiative process.
reason for the interest group opposition could be that the decentralizing effect
of the initiative process tends encourage citizen interest groups of citizens
rather more than economically-motivated special interest groups. Frederick Boehmke has conducted
extensive research on the effect of direct democracy upon state interest
groups. His findings reveal
that the initiative process can lead to an increase of 17% in interest group
population; however, citizen's interest groups show an increase of 29% while
economically motivated special interest only increase 12%. Because citizen interest groups are
traditionally under represented, their disproportional increase could lead one
to conclude that the initiative process leads to a more balanced representation
are concerns that the initiative process can lead to passage of laws that cannot
pass constitutional muster. About
half of the initiative states require some form of review for form, language,
and constitutionality of a measure before the petition is circulated. The review is most often only advisory
and is made by the Secretary of State, Attorney General, or a legislative
council. Another method to review
the initiative could be a requirement that the sponsor of be directed to an
agency such as the Legislative Reference Service, the Alabama Law Institute, or
other non-partisan legal entity for assistance in preparing the initiative. It is important the safeguards be placed
in the initiative process to minimize the prospect that the judicial branch
would override successful initiatives on constitutional grounds. Of course, no system is perfect and it
is not uncommon for laws enacted via traditional legislative methods to be
are also concerns about the economic and fiscal effects of the initiative
process. Research by John Matsusaka
examined the economic and fiscal effects of the initiative process by comparing
states that have it and those who do not.
He concludes that states with the initiative process have lower combined
state and local government spending than the non-initiative states and the
spending in the initiative states is systematically decentralized. Local
government spending is higher and state government spending is lower in the
initiative states. It is clear that
when given the initiative, voters have a preference for spending decisions to be
made close to home. He
found evidence that indicates initiative states tend to raise more revenue by
charging those who utilize the government services. Matsusaka also concludes that initiative
states with lower petition signature requirements have a greater difference in
fiscal outcomes with the purely representative states. (Matsusaka).
2001 S. Brock Bloomberg expanded Matsusaka's work to consider if voters used
statewide initiatives to allocate government resources in a more productive
manner. He discovered that
initiatives can lead state to more efficient economies, with findings to suggest
that states with initiatives waste between 20 - 30 percent fewer resources. He also discovered that initiatives
accelerate economic convergence by about a third. (Bloomberg).
concern is the effect of direct democracy upon minorities. Many in Alabama, with a large
African-American population and a history of racial discrimination, should be
especially concerned about the effect of the initiative process upon rights of
minorities. This concern seems
ironic when placed in the historical context that during the early 1900's a
primary motive of the ruling class opposition to initiatives in the East and
South was to keep minorities disenfranchised. It was Alexander Hamilton's argument
that tyrannical tendencies of the majority could be controlled by "enlargement
of the orbit" (Hamilton), or spreading the process over a large geographical
territory. James Madison warned
that smaller areas, "more frequently will a majority be found of the same party"
and "more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression"
(Madison, Federalist 10) and agreed with Hamilton's suggestion to spread the
process over a large geographical territory writing that, "society itself will
be broken into many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights
of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested
combinations of the majority" (Madison, Federalist 51). The argument in favor of spreading the
initiative process over a large geographical area to protect minorities was
reinforced by a study conducted by Todd Donovan and Shaun Bowler in 1998. The results strongly suggest that
initiative states are not likely to pass legislation adverse to minority groups
and that adverse initiatives are more likely to occur on the local level.
a study conducted for the Public Policy Institute of California, Zolton Hajnal
and Hugh Louch concluded that in California initiative votes over the past 20
years where nonwhite voters indicate a clear preference, they voted on the
prevailing side 59% of the time. A
statewide survey conducted in January 2000 by Mark Baldassare for the Public
Policy Institute asked if citizen's initiatives or the governor/legislature were
the best way to address California's problems. Responses to the poll question indicated
that 76% of Whites, 73% of Asians, 83% of Latinos, and 92% of African Americans
preferred citizen's initiatives.
Minorities do not often vote as a bloc on initiative; however, when they
do vote as a bloc they usually win, because a substantial number of initiatives
are decided by a margin of less than 10%.
While California's initiative process is one of the most active in the
nation, only 35% of initiatives placed on the ballot actually pass (Hajnal).
has a direct initiative process that allows citizens to place both statutes and
state constitutional amendments on the ballot, without submission to the
legislature. Before a petition for
an initiative is circulated, it must be presented to the Attorney General's
Office. The Attorney General
receives a fiscal analysis from the Department of Finance and the Legislative
Budget Committee and prepares a title and a 100-word summary to be printed on
the top of each petition. After
paying a $200 filing fee the petition is circulated. After the initiative is filed, in cannot
petition for a constitutional amendment must have at least 8% of the number of
ballots cast in the last Governor's race, a statute requires at least 5%, a
relatively low threshold when coupled with the lack of a geographical
distribution requirement for the signatures. Petitioners must gather the required
signatures within 150 days. County
Clerks validate the signatures and may use random samples of at least 500 or 3%
of the signatures whichever is greater.
If an initiative conflicts with another initiative on the same ballot,
the one receiving the most votes prevails. (Simmons)
is also a requirement that an initiative can only deal with a single
subject. The purpose of the single
subject rule is to prevent "logrolling" by inserting multiple unrelated items
within an initiative in an attempt to obtain a majority vote. Logrolling is undesirable because it
tends to confuse voters and makes the choices murky.
to Robert Hertzberg, Speaker of the California Assembly, the initiative process
has evolved into a virtual fourth branch of government in California. In January 2002, Speaker Hertzberg
authorized a commission to examine California's initiative process and recommend
ways to improve upon it. The
commission recommended the establishment of an indirect process in addition to
the existing direct process. The
commission also recommended improvement in initiative proponents' financial
disclosures, tightening the single subject rule, and a requirement that petition
signature gathering be permitted in large public spaces such as shopping centers
and large retail establishments.
contrast with California's established and active initiative process is
Mississippi's process. In 1912,
Mississippi voters who supported the process outnumbered opponents 65% to 35%,
but it was not implemented because of a requirement for a majority of those
voting in the election rather than a majority of those voting on the issue. Two years later, 69% of Mississippi
voters were able to narrowly overcome the supermajority requirement and
implement a process that only needed 7,500 signatures to place a constitutional
amendment or statute on the ballot.
Legal challenges led to a 1917 ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court
upholding the initiative and referendum amendment; but the triumph of the
initiative proponents was short-lived as the court reversed itself in 1922
finding it to be "unconstitutional and void". Attempts to have the court revisit the
issue have since proven unsuccessful.
1992, Mississippi finally joined the ranks of those with an initiative process,
with voters approving 70% to 30%.
The process adopted in Mississippi is one of the most stringent allowing
only for indirect constitutional amendments. A signature requirement 12% of the all
the voters in the previous gubernatorial election, geographical dispersion by
congressional district, and a twelve-month time limit, does not make getting an
initiative on the ballot either simple or easy. The process is also limited to
constitutional amendments and cannot change the Mississippi Constitution's Bill
of Rights, the Mississippi Public Employee's Retirement System, right to work
laws, or the initiative process itself.
Additionally, there is an additional requirement that the majority vote
approving the initiative must be at least 40% of all votes in the election,
resulting in ballot drop off giving favor to the no votes on an initiative
1995, after a term limits initiative was narrowly defeated, the Mississippi
Legislature passed HB 472 with the effect of virtually insuring that such a
measure would never reach the ballot again. The already stringent requirements were
made even tighter, making it almost impossible to collect enough signatures to
move an initiative through the system.
The new law prohibited citizens from other states from circulating
petitions, restricted signature gatherers from receiving pay based upon the
number of petitions circulated or signatures gathered, and authorized the
Secretary of State to refuse to file the petition if "one or more signatures"
were found to be obtained in conflict with the law (Garriga). While there are still legal questions
surrounding the more restrictive law, Mississippi voters were able to vote again
on the term limits measure in 1999, utilizing signatures obtained before HB 472
took effect. The voters rejected
the term limits proposal. Opponents
of the initiative process have been successful in their efforts to restrict its
has been an initiative state since 1912, the result of a constitutional
convention. The process allows for
constitutional amendment via direct initiative and statutes via indirect
initiatives. To qualify an
initiative a committee of 3 to 5 people must be designated by the
petitioners. A written petition
signed by 100 electors is submitted the Attorney General who reviews the full
text and summary of the initiative.
A copy of the initiative, summary, and Attorney General's certification
is then filed with the Secretary of State, who draws up the petition for
circulation. The petition
circulation period has no time limit.
order to place a constitutional amendment upon the ballot, the petition must
have the signatures of equal to 10% of the number of voters who voted in the
previous gubernatorial election.
Ohio's process also has a geographical requirement. Signatures must be gathered in 44 of the
88 counties. In each of the 44
counties signatures must total 5% of the number of gubernatorial votes in the
previous election in that county.
When enough signatures are submitted and verified the constitutional
amendment is then placed on the next ballot. The signatures must be submitted
at least 90 days before the election.
a statutory initiative the petition initially must contain 3% of previous
gubernatorial voters with geographical distribution of 1 ½% in 44 of the 88
counties. When the signatures are
submitted and verified, the measure is submitted to the state legislature, who
may approve or reject it. If the
legislature does not act up it, proponents may circulate a supplementary
petition with the same requirements as the initial petition. After the supplementary petition is
submitted and verified, the initiative is placed on the next ballot. (Blackwell)
have proven to be judicious in their use of the initiative process, even though
the requirements to place a measure on the ballot do not appear to be overly
restrictive in comparison with other states. During the 20th Century 63
statewide initiatives were placed on the ballot in Ohio, but voters have only
approved 16, an abnormally low success rate of only 25%. One explanation could be that many of
the statutory initiatives that are likely to pass never make it to the ballot
because are acted upon by the legislature first. Although reluctant to pass
initiatives, 66% of Ohioans believe initiatives are a good idea and only 18% do
not, according to the previously mentioned Portrait of America Poll completed in
2000 (Portrait of America).
Successful Ohio initiatives include granting counties home rule, a 10
mill property tax limitation, a sales tax prohibition on food, the elimination
of straight party voting, term limits on certain elected officials, and a
prohibition on wholesale taxes on carbonated non-alcoholic beverages.
have discussed the initiative process and have examined differing applications
of it in three culturally diverse states: California, Ohio, and
Mississippi. While the process has
obviously had a major impact upon the state government in California, its overt
effects in Ohio and Mississippi appear minimal. While some of the effects of the
initiative process are evident and quantifiable to some extent, there are latent
advantages that are difficult to measure.
the most important of the hidden effects of the initiative process is the impact
its very existence has upon the legislature. In his address to the Ohio State
Constitutional Convention in 1912 Theodore Roosevelt explained, "I believe that
the initiative and referendum should be used, not as substitutes for
representative government, but as methods of making such government really
representative. Action by the initiative or referendum ought not to be the
normal way of legislation; but the power to take it should be provided in the
constitution, so that if the representatives fail truly to represent the people
on some matter of sufficient importance to rouse popular interest, then the
people shall have in their hands the facilities to make good the failure."
well-formulated initiative process can be utilized to encourage, rather than
undermine, legislative action on issues of concern. An indirect initiative process with a
provision requiring legislative action after a number of preliminary signatures
could actually empower, rather than diminish, the ability of the legislature to
address politically sensitive issues.
As he encouraged the Ohio Constitutional Convention to adopt elements of
direct democracy, Theodore Roosevelt made evident his support for the
empowerment of state legislatures when the told the delegates, "Give the
legislature an entirely free hand; and then provide by the initiative and
referendum that the people shall have power to reverse or supplement the work of
the legislature should it ever become necessary." (Roosevelt)
In addition to its effects upon the legislature, consideration should be
given to the potential of the initiative process to generate interest and
involvement of citizens with issue-oriented political activity. A traditional political campaign usually
revolves around the personality, general ideas, and values of a candidate. Ballot measures are more likely to yield
substantive discussion of an issue during both the petition phase and the
election phase. In addition to the
encouragement of issue oriented political dialogue, the likely consequence of an
initiative is not as difficult to predict as when electing a candidate. Voters can only guess what a candidate
will do, if elected. A ballot
measure allows voters greater opportunity to know what law will be enacted (or
not) as a result of their vote. In
addition, there is evidence that ballot initiatives improve voter turnout
(Tolbert). Having the
opportunity to contribute to the implementation of substantive change can lead
to improvement in the morale of a skeptical and often disillusioned
2002, a task force appointed by the National Conference of State Legislatures
studied the initiative process and made several recommendations for reforms to
make it more flexible and more transparent. As one would expect from an organization
representing state legislators, the NCSL does not support the implementation of
the initiative process in non-initiative states; however the study thoroughly
examined the problems that have arisen in the states that actively utilize
ballot measures. The reforms
recommended by the task force report could alleviate many of the concerns
expressed by opponents.
The task force supported changes to the
process that first provide legislatures the opportunity to act upon an issue,
placing an initiative on the ballot as a last resort. The use of advisory ballot measures was
suggested in order to allow legislatures some degree of flexibility in
addressing the issue. There was a
strong preference for the indirect initiative process over the direct initiative
process. It was also hoped that
states adopting an indirect initiative allow an opportunity for the legislature
to offer an alternative for the voters to consider.
initiatives were preferred to constitutional initiatives. If a constitutional amendment process is
adopted, a statutory process should also be adopted with a lower threshold to
encourage statutory changes rather than constitutional amendments. The task force recommended that the
single subject rule be applied. A
draft, summary, and title of the initiative should be prepared by the
legislature or a state agency and a fiscal statement attached.
gathering signatures, proponents should be required to file a statement of
organization. To prevent fraud
there should be a prohibition against pecuniary gain for signing or not signing
a petition in addition to a signed oath by the circulators that the circulator
witnessed each signature on the petition and that to the best of the
circulator's knowledge, the signatures are valid. The task force also recommended that the
circulators reveal whether they are paid or volunteer. A reasonable time limit and geographical
distribution of the signatures was also preferred.
task force recommended that states should also make the disclosure requirements
for initiative campaigns consistent with the disclosure requirements for
candidate campaigns. Public funds
should not be used to support or oppose a ballot measure. Initiatives should only be voted on
during a general election and a procedure should be adopted in the event there
are two conflicting initiatives in the same election cycle. (Initiative and
Referendum in the 21st Century)
more non-initiative states adopt the process? If there is enough interest and support
for the process among the electorate, the answer is a resounding, "yes";
however, interest and support for the initiative process is a reflection of
confidence in the legislature's willingness to address issues of major
importance to them. If citizens do
not believe that the existing legislative process in their state yields results
that represent an adequate reflection of their will, they need the power of the
initiative. In order to receive
trust from the people, legislators must first demonstrate willingness to give
trust to the people and give them the power of the initiative.
Frederick J. "The Effect of Direct Democracy on the Size and Diversity of State
Interest Group Populations", The Journal of Politics 64 (August
Todd and Shaun Bowler, "Direct Democracy and Minority Rights: An Extension"
American Journal of Political Science 42 (1998): 1020-24
Zoltan and Hugh Louch. "Are There Winners and Losers?
Race, Ethnicity, and California's
Initiative Process" (2001) Public Policy Institute of California,
13, 2440 www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_1001ZHR.pdf
Alexander. 1788. "Federalist 9". The Federalist Papers. The American New Library of World
Literature. (1961: 73)
Thomas. 1824. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Vol. 16, Page 73. 1903-04
Memorial Edition (Lipscomb and Bergh, editors)
James. 1788. "Federalist 10." The Federalist Papers. The American Library
of World Literature. (1961):83
James. 1788. "Federalist 51." The Federalist Papers. The American Library
of World Literature. (1961):324
John. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years."
Journal of the Political Economy 103 (1995): 587-623
in California." IGS. Berkley.edu.
January 2004. Staff. Institute of
Governmental Studies, University of California. 18 July 2004 http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/
David D. 1989. Citizen
Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution. Temple University Press
Speaker's Commission on the California Initiative Process" January 2002.
Speaker' Commission Website. (06/13/2004) http://www.cainitiative.org/
Caroline J., John A. Grummel, Daniel A. Smith. "The Effects of Voter Turnout in
the American States". American Politics Research 29 (November 2001):
M. Dane, Initiative and Referendum in the United States: A Primer
(September 2002) Citizen Lawmaker Press, Washington D.C. July 13, 2004 http://iri.usc.edu/studies.htm
M. Dane. "Initiative and Referendum for Alabama: Empower the People." (March 6,
2002). Comments for Auburn University's simulated Constitutional Convention.
June 16, 2004 http://www.iandrinstitute.org/Studies.htm
M. Dane, ed. "Handout: The History of Initiative and Referendum in the United
States". Leesburg, VA: Initiative and Referendum Institute. http://www.iandrinstitute.com/
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