Three Scary Ballot Initiatives

October 24, 2018

In this month’s entry in our grantmaking blog series, Voqal’s Director of Grantmaking, Brenda Sears shares three ballot initiatives that Voqal grantees are working hard to defeat.

Creepy and kooky. Mysterious and spooky. All together ooky. Some ballot initiatives.

In many places, the most important policy changes this year will not come from legislation, but from ballot initiatives. Through citizen-led ballot measures, voters are using direct democracy to bypass state legislatures and create new laws.

While we are excited to see so many progressive measures on the ballot, some measures are alarming and frightening. Here, we discuss a few of the darkest and most dangerous ballot measures. The real-life implications are terrifying for people and democracy.

Colorado: Amendment 74
The amendment would require state and local government to reimburse private property owners for any reduction in their property value.

Though Amendment 74 sounds like it will help property owners, property rights are already protected in the constitution. This is really a pro-fracking measure advanced by the oil industry. If Amendment 74 passes, it will allow corporations to sue local governments over any law they disagree with, opening the floodgates to frivolous and costly lawsuits. After a similar measure passed in Oregon, taxpayers faced nearly $20 billion in claims in just the first three years, threatening funding for schools, roads and public safety.

Save Our Neighborhoods is leading the campaign to oppose this measure.

North Carolina: HB 1092
This amendment would require voters to present photo identification to vote in-person.

Voter ID laws deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation and stand in direct opposition to our values around including more Americans in the democratic process. Many Americans do not have government-issued photo ID due to the costs one must incur to get one, including document fees, travel expenses and waiting time. In addition, states exclude forms of ID in a discriminatory manner (for example, allowing concealed weapon permits but not public assistance IDs, state employee IDs or Veterans Affairs IDs) and use enforcement methods that are also discriminatory. These laws disproportionately exclude low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly and people with disabilities. Considering that in-person fraud is extremely rare, this is an unneeded solution in search of a problem.

Advance Carolina is leading the campaign to oppose this measure.

Oregon: Measure 105
This measure repeals Oregon’s sanctuary state law which limits the cooperation of local law enforcement with federal immigration enforcement.

Measure 105 would throw out Oregon’s existing anti-racial profiling law. Right now, local police personnel, funds, equipment and facilities are not used to pursue and detain people based solely on suspicions of their immigration status. If Measure 105 passes, it would open the door to racial profiling and families being torn apart simply because someone is perceived to be an undocumented immigrant.

Oregonians United Against Profiling is leading the campaign to oppose this measure.

Gather your friends, dim the lights and tell your friends about these ballot measures. Don’t let them keep you up at night. Support organizations like Save Our Neighborhoods, Advance Carolina and Oregonians United Against Profiling that are fighting against these scary attempts to damage our democracy.