BISC Executive Director Chris Melody Fields Figueredo Shares 2024 Ballot Measure Trends + Responds to Yesterday’s Ballot Measure Results

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November 8, 2023

Caroline Sánchez Avakian
[email protected] 

BISC Executive Director Chris Melody Fields Figueredo Shares 2024 Ballot Measure Trends + Responds to Yesterday’s Ballot Measure Results

Direct Democracy Across the Country Delivers for Communities Despite Opposition Attempts

WASHINGTON — Despite heightened tactics and attacks against ballot measures, communities came together and passed key ballot measures that will transform their community and empower people to thrive. 

In Ohio, people are celebrating a landmark victory where hundreds of thousands of Ohioans voted to pass Issue 1 in which abortion rights were codified into law. Reproductive freedom remains undefeated at the ballot when put before voters since last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Last night, Ohioans also legalized marijuana and made it abundantly clear that the people will act when the legislature fails to respond to popular support for issues.

These victories were hard fought, and come at a time when opponents of direct democracy have been attempting to manipulate the ballot measure process by changing the rules and in some cases, applying confusing or manipulating the language appearing on the ballot in order to mislead the public on the measures’ intent. This is a huge victory, but we can expect conservatives to escalate and refine these acts as we head into 2024. Our work moving forward is clear: We must defend direct democracy and the will of the people. We must implement voter-approved initiatives. We must build off these victories as we move into 2024.

“Communities in Ohio, Maine and across the country won victories for autonomy, freedom, and access yesterday through the use of ballot measures despite opponents of direct democracy giving us a preview of the tactics they plan to use across the country in 2024,” said Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, Executive Director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. “The hard work of organizers, and the determination of the voters most impacted by these measures to do what is best for their communities in the face of manipulation and misinformation is an inspiring story that we hope carries forward into next year’s elections where voters in 25 states plus DC will have the opportunity to put issues on the ballot on matters affecting their lives.”

What’s next? We are preparing for continued success in 2024 with three issue trends leading the way: reproductive freedom, economic justice, and democracy. Florida, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada have filed reproductive rights ballot measures and in Maryland and New York, reproductive freedom and gender justice are already on the ballot. During a time when inflation, the economy and worker rights are front of mind, Alaska, California, Michigan and Missouri are looking to increase wages for workers and Nebraska and Missouri are gathering signatures for paid sick leave in 2024. In Connecticut, no excuse absentee voting has already made it to the ballot. BISC is also working closely with partners on the Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission Amendment which may appear on the ballot in 2024. This initiative would replace the current commission with a citizen-led redistricting commission.

This weekend, the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center’s Executive Director, Chris Melody Fields Figueredo also published an op-ed on detailing the latest attacks against ballot measures showing up in states. This year, opponents of direct democracy tested new strategies that they intend on using in 2024 to undermine the will of the people or to obscure the meaning and intent of a measure in an effort to stop voters from being able to pass popular laws that run counter to their agenda. As we’ve seen, within just hours of Ohio Issue 1 being approved, Republican elected officials were already announcing efforts to undermine and challenge the passing of Issue 1.

For more information or to speak to Chris Melody Fields Figueredo directly, please reach out to Caroline Sanchez Avakian, Director of Strategic Communications.