BISC X Ballot

With our democracy at a crossroads, BISC and ballot measures are more relevant than ever. From advancing voting rights and economic justice to fighting to preserve LGBTQ and immigrant rights, BISC and ballot measures are working at the intersection at many of this year’s most important policy battles. Here are the ballot trends we have our eye out for in 2018.

01


Measures to Create a More Equitable Economy

States such as Michigan, Maine, Missouri, Colorado, Oregon, and Massachusetts are working on campaigns to reduce economic disparities. They are doing this through revenue measures to fund social services, paid family and medical leave, funding in-home and long-term care for seniors, increasing the minimum wage, combatting predatory payday lending, fighting for corporate transparency, and more. Many of these campaigns are working with BISC as part of its Roadmap to 2020 strategy which strengthens the economy and reclaims our democracy through ballot measures.

01


Measures to Create a More Equitable Economy

States such as Michigan, Maine, Missouri, Colorado, Oregon, and Massachusetts are working on campaigns to reduce economic disparities. They are doing this through revenue measures to fund social services, paid family and medical leave, funding in-home and long-term care for seniors, increasing the minimum wage, combatting predatory payday lending, fighting for corporate transparency, and more. Many of these campaigns are working with BISC as part of its Roadmap to 2020 strategy which strengthens the economy and reclaims our democracy through ballot measures.

02


Initiatives that Expand Democratic Participation

With a lot of voters feeling exhausted by politics as usual, they’re increasingly taking democratic reform to the ballot. Maine and Massachusetts voters will likely decide on ranked choice voting this year, while the Florida’s Second Chances campaign is seeking voting rights restoration for people with prior non-violent felony convictions. The Clean Missouri campaign is taking a desperately needed legislative reform measure directly to voters to make state government more transparent, limit the power of big money, and hold legislators accountable. Voters in Michigan, Ohio, and Utah are all likely to see measures on the ballot to ensure fair representation in our democracy through redistricting reform. States like Nevada and Michigan are moving voter modernization policies at the ballot that aim to increase access and participation in our elections.

03


Criminal Justice Reform

Advocates in Ohio are gathering signatures right now that will reform Ohio’s regressive sentencing laws, and put savings gained from a smaller prison population into drug treatment programs. The Florida Second Chances Campaign (mentioned above) is working to restore rights for returning citizens. Marijuana decriminalization measures filed in several states will also help to reverse a system of mass incarceration across the country. We’re also keeping an eye out for measures trying to roll back progress in California, Missouri, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

03


Criminal Justice Reform

Advocates in Ohio are gathering signatures right now that will reform Ohio’s regressive sentencing laws, and put savings gained from a smaller prison population into drug treatment programs. The Florida Second Chances Campaign (mentioned above) is working to restore rights for returning citizens. Marijuana decriminalization measures filed in several states will also help to reverse a system of mass incarceration across the country. We’re also keeping an eye out for measures trying to roll back progress in California, Missouri, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

04


Attacks on Labor

For the anti-worker movement, everything that’s old is new again. Attacks ranging from targeting union dues to right-to-work, and the prevailing wage are cropping up on the ballot in multiple states. Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and Oregon are all potentially facing regressive measures this year.

05


Attacks on Immigrants

Nationwide, conservatives are taking a page from Trump’s race-baiting playbook by trying to use sanctuary cities as a campaign issue. After using anti-immigrant rhetoric this year to try to win elections from Virginia to Albuquerque, it’s no surprise that conservatives are taking the issue on the ballot in 2018. BISC is tracking potential anti-sanctuary city ballot measures in Missouri, Oregon, and Colorado.

05


Attacks on Immigrants

Nationwide, conservatives are taking a page from Trump’s race-baiting playbook by trying to use sanctuary cities as a campaign issue. After using anti-immigrant rhetoric this year to try to win elections from Virginia to Albuquerque, it’s no surprise that conservatives are taking the issue on the ballot in 2018. BISC is tracking potential anti-sanctuary city ballot measures in Missouri, Oregon, and Colorado.

06


LGBTQ Attacks

Similar to the anti-immigrant measures, conservatives are directly targeting the transgender community with fear and misinformation. A referendum on protections for transgender people is already on the ballot in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, a Montana initiative which would prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom that conforms with their gender identity is currently under legal review after a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of Montana.

07


Attacks on Women’s Health

As part of an ongoing battle to restrict women’s health care, voters in two states may see anti-choice measures on the ballot. A “personhood” measure was referred to the Alabama ballot by the legislature and a petition to prevent poor women from accessing abortions is circulating in Oregon.

07


Attacks on Women’s Health

As part of an ongoing battle to restrict women’s health care, voters in two states may see anti-choice measures on the ballot. A “personhood” measure was referred to the Alabama ballot by the legislature and a petition to prevent poor women from accessing abortions is circulating in Oregon.

08


Healthcare on the Ballot

Given the federal battle over the Affordable Care Act, it’s no surprise that healthcare measures are popping up on ballots across the country. BISC is tracking measures that address the health care system in a number of states, including drug price initiatives, limits on dialysis pricing, Medicaid expansion measures, several ACA-focused initiatives, and an initiative that regulates nurse-patient ratios.

09


Attacks on the Ballot Measure Process

After ballot measures became one of the few progressive bright spots in 2016, conservative groups have sought to restrict people’s access to direct democracy. In 2017, state governments from Maine to Arizona tried to impose restrictions on the ballot measure process. In what is perhaps 2018’s most meta, yet anti-democratic, ballot measure trend, conservatives are using ballot measures to attack ballot measures. BISC is also tracking a wave of anti-ballot measure legislation in statehouses across the country.

09


Attacks on the Ballot Measure Process

After ballot measures became one of the few progressive bright spots in 2016, conservative groups have sought to restrict people’s access to direct democracy. In 2017, state governments from Maine to Arizona tried to impose restrictions on the ballot measure process. In what is perhaps 2018’s most meta, yet anti-democratic, ballot measure trend, conservatives are using ballot measures to attack ballot measures. BISC is also tracking a wave of anti-ballot measure legislation in statehouses across the country.

JUNE 5, 2018

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