ballot measure

Citizens for Limited Taxation, which has been involved in numerous ballot referendum efforts, called on lawmakers Wednesday to kill three bills that the group says will make it harder for activists to put questions before voters.

Read the story from The Boston Herald

Citizens will find it easier to bring petitions to merge or abolish local governments ”” from villages to fire districts to sewer agencies ”” under legislation that won final legislative approval Wednesday night in the State Senate.

Read the story from Buffalo News

BBNToday Citizens in Charge Foundation officially launced a new website called, a newswire providing the latest information about ballot initiatives and government reform from around the country. Sing up for national or state specific news feeds. You can also follow BallotBoxNews on twitter.

Today the California Supreme Court upheld ballot proposition eight banning gay marriage in the state. The 6-1 decision ruled that voters legally outlawed same-sex marriages via a voter passed ballot initiative in November. The court also ruled that the estimated 18,000 gay couples that were previously married in California before the law took effect would continue being married.

Prop. 8, as it is commonly referred to, has been in the media spotlight for several months as Californians struggled to decide what is the legal definition of marriage.

Much has been made about the results of California’s ballot measures. Some articles denounce the system as convoluted, and others praise it for providing the people a voice. Californian voters sent a loud message to the government: deal with the budget. Others unhappy with the result want a constitutional convention to do away with the system.

What do you think should happen?

Some interesting articles:

LA TIMES: Distrust of lawmakers came through loud and clear

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger discussing the results of the California ballot measures.


“Don’t come to us for extra help. That was the message,” Schwarzenegger said after a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“And you know something. I appreciate that when you hear that from the people. It gives us a chance to go and adjust, and say ‘OK, we went in the wrong direction. Now lets go in the right direction and lets go do what the people want.’ “

After voting absentee in an election that will go a long way in determining the state’s finances, Schwarzenegger flew to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama as he announced higher fuel-efficiency standards.

Read the story at AP

One of the big political stories of 2009 has been the surge in American public approval for gay marriage and the growing number of states - including the heartland bastion of Iowa - that have legalized the practice, but here in Pennsylvania the pages of this political thriller are still blank.

Read the story at

If California voters defy expectations and pass the half-dozen propositions on the May 19 ballot, it will be a start toward filling the yawning hole in the state’s budget. But it’s only a start.

Read the story at Alamanac News

Last week, Face The State reported on the efforts of Englewood residents to place a “homeowner immunity” measure on this November’s ballot. State law and Englewood’s city charter guarantee residents the right to place issues on the ballot upon collecting voter signatures equal to at least 5 percent of the city’s last gubernatorial vote count. While activists are hitting the pavement collecting the nearly 1,000 signatures they’ll need for ballot access, Englewood’s city council is tweaking local law to clarify the initiative and referendum process.

In a few hours California voters will take to the polls and decide the fate of their state. Using the initiative and referendum process millions of people will weigh on important measures. In Paul Jacob’s weekly column he writes how he is “jealous” of Californian’s power.

Californians live in one of 24 states that have the power of initiative and referendum. While he agrees the process is not perfect but states it provides people with options.

Ballot measures beyond voters

Mon, May 18 2009 — Source: The Dickson Press

In the last days of the 2009 session, the Legislature ended its revolt and decided to honor the decision of the voters to use tobacco lawsuit money to fight tobacco addiction. The Legislature justified its temporary rebellion with the argument that the voters didn’t know what they were doing when they voted on the measure.

Tuesday’s special election isn’t only about the ballot measures aimed at bailing the state out of its financial troubles and annual budget battles. Two Bay Area cities and one school district are also begging voters for help in separate tax measures.

Read the rest of the story from San Francisco Chronicle

The Panetta Institute’s annual survey of U.S. college students was released a few days ago and it reported that for the most part, students are optimistic about where our country is headed, despite the continuing economic uncertainties. This year’s survey was in dramatic opposition to last year, where far more students thought things were going wrong. The students’ hopefulness, however, might have been tempered if the Cal State Monterey Bay team conducting the survey had reframed the questions toward California issues.

Battling anger and indifference on the part of California voters, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger implored them Sunday not to make the state “the poster child for dysfunction” by defeating a host of measures on Tuesday’s ballot that seek to restructure the state’s bleak finances.

Read the story from the L.A. Times