Progress by Ballot Measure


Despite heightened tactics and attacks against ballot measures, communities across the country are coming together to pass key ballot measures that transform their communities and empower people to thrive.

Progressive policies are passing at the ballot in states such as Arizona, Ohio, Missouri, Montana, and Florida. Through the power of direct democracy, the people are transforming power, advancing racial equity, and galvanizing a new progressive base.

Through ballot initiatives, citizens have passed policies such as: 

  • Protecting and expanding reproductive freedom
  • Medicaid expansion
  • Minimum wage increases
  • Legalization and decriminalization of marijuana and psychedelics
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Restoration of voting rights
  • Removing slavery from state constitutions
  • Gun safety reform
  • Taxing the wealthy


What happened in the 2023 election?

During the November 2023 election, ballot measures delivered on critical issues affecting our communities directly. The will of the people was a powerful voice towards the country we envision and are creating right now.

In Ohio, 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. 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.

What does that tell us?

Ballot measures transcend party lines and often receive higher vote percentages than candidates. We see voters supporting progressive policies even when they voted for conservative politicians. Ballot measures are a tried and true way of bypassing partisan politics and turning people power into policies that transcend divides and improve lives. This truly speaks to the unifying power of ballot measures.

Ballot measures pave the way forward. We know progressive issues transcend party lines and we believe it will help us build a new progressive base. We can deliver for our people.

Who made these wins possible?

These victories belong to our amazing partners and organizers who have worked so hard for so long in vulnerable communities and districts ensuring that their voices are heard and uplifted, when many others had long dismissed them. Their incredible work and perseverance changed the trajectory of this election and we have them to thank.

BISC has been organizing and on the ground with so many of these campaigns FOR YEARS, building deep relationships with campaign leaders, providing training, and ensuring that campaigns were being supported not only during election season but throughout the 360 ballot measure campaign lifecycle. We also know that we can run equitable campaigns AND win – THEY proved BISC’s theory of change. Congrats to our partners who have worked so hard to make ballot measures love letters to our people.

What’s next?

As we move forward, our work is clear. We must:

  1. Defend direct democracy and the Will of the People. 
  2. Implement voter-approved initiatives. 
  3. Build off these victories as we move towards equity, justice, and freedom for all. 

Together, we will ensure the Will of the People prevails.