Legislators are overturning voter initiatives

Even in locales that allow the electorate to place ballot initiatives up for a vote, and it passes, the fight doesn’t appear to be over. As Joan E. Greve writes in the Washington Post.


The issue the D.C. Council member Jack Evans had was the lack of voter turnout, about 17% overall.   It is a valid point, and one the Referendum Amendment addresses by requiring ballot initiatives be presented in conjunction with the Presidential Elections where turn-out is highest.

A second aspect of the Referendum Amendment, is it addresses scenarios where a bad proposal is passed by the electorate. The Referendum Amendment allows for a law to be  overturned by a super-majority of Representatives.

A third point is, the Referendum Amendment reduces the likelihood of a successful ballot initiative not being supported by the majority of the overall public (including non-voting) by requiring a 60% ‘yes’ vote threshold, ensuring it isn’t a close decision.  This generally will preempt the need for the Representatives to step-in and overrule the voters.

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