Some of our staff attended the Townhall Meeting in Reston, VA hosted by Congressman Jim Moran and Howard Dean on August 25th.  We asked some of the folks waiting outside what they thought about the initiative, referendum and recall process.  They all had great things to say and we found support for the process from both sides of the aisle.  Check out the video to hear what people said.

The Citizens in Charge Foundation page on the history of ballot initiative & referendum in New Jersey begins:

It is ironic that New Jersey, the state where the national initiative and
referendum movement originated, never adopted provisions for I&R.
Certainly it was not for lack of enthusiasm among New Jersey’s I&R

The fight continues in South Dakota over banning smoking in state bars and restaurants. The focus is now on how referendum petitions were notarized, and the voices of over 2000 voters could be silenced in the debate.

According to Oregonians in Action, a group that supports the referendum process, the Oregon Legislature is attempting to ram a bill through at the last minute that would change the meanings of the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

Under a bill in the current legislature, Rhode Island voters could be asked to decide whether to change the state’s official name. The official name is ‘Rhode Island and Providence Plantations’. Some residents argue that the term ‘Plantations’ invokes images of slavery and want that part dropped from the name. Lawmakers note that ‘plantation’ referred to any farm, slaveholding or not, at the time the state was founded.

Read the story on Yahoo News

House lawmakers narrowly rejected a bill to repeal Maine’s controversial school-district consolidation law Wednesday but approved a separate measure granting communities a one-year reprieve from penalties if they fail to reorganize.

By voting against the repeal, the House effectively opted to place the issue in voters’ hands during a statewide referendum on school-district consolidation this November. A citizen initiative to repeal the law already has been filed with state election officials.

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.

Residents fed up with the promotion of red light cameras and speed cameras in Longview, Washington are looking to cut off the ability of city council members to impose the technology. Local activists Mike Wallin and Dave Grumbois last week announced a drive to collect the 2786 signatures needed to give voters a chance at the ballot box to block the expected installation of automated ticketing machines in the community of 35,000.

Read the story at The Newspaper

The Indian River School District’s current expense referendum that was scheduled for Thursday, June 11, has been cancelled, district officials said Friday.

Read the story from WBOC16

OLYMPIA – Calling themselves a “broad-based coalition,” same-sex marriage foes want to overturn a new law granting gay and lesbian couples most of the rights of spouses, short of marriage.

“This is both a referendum campaign and a statement of unity within the faith community,” the Faith and Freedom Network announced shortly after filing Referendum 71 this week.

Read the rest of the story at The Spokesman-Review

It’s time for a detour after Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday blocked one route to giving voters a shot at repealing the local half-percent transit surtax, Commissioner Carlos Gimenez says.

He plans a “two-pronged attack”: pushing measures to return to what he says voters were promised in approving the surtax, and seeking funding to launch a petition drive to get a repeal on the ballot.

Texas Mayor's lobbying surprise

Mon, May 4 2009 — Source: Journal Gazette

Mayor Tom Henry promised openness on Feb. 27 when he announced his support of a local referendum on casino gambling in Fort Wayne. But he neglected to say that 17 days earlier his administration contracted with a legal firm – Krieg DeVault of Indianapolis – to lobby the Indiana General Assembly to allow that referendum.

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You can still fight City Hall, but it’s not going to be as easy or as cheap as it used to be.The City Council has instituted a $500 deposit for filing a referendum, and a proposal before the council tonight would add language to limit the time for collecting signatures.

The deposit requirement surfaced after the council discussed a local fuel tax, and local business owners virtually promised they would ask voters to approve any tax the council approved.

A Shaw Island man has filed a referendum challenge today to the state’s participation in the national-popular-vote compact that would trump the traditional Electoral College pick for president.

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The Indian River School District will host a current expense referendum on Thursday, June 11, for the purpose of providing salary increases for teachers and all other employees . If approved, the measure will raise the local portion of district salaries by 6 percent for Fiscal Year 2009 (retroactive) and by an additional 6 percent for FY2010 by an increaseing property taxes.

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