The state ballot measures the business community should watch in the 2020 election (Fortune)


    The state ballot measures the business community should watch in the 2020 election – By Rey Mashayekhi (Fortune) / Oct 27 2020

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    It’s not just politicians who will be on the ballot in November’s upcoming election. Across the country, state and local governments are giving Americans a chance to vote on hundreds of ballot measures—propositions, initiatives, and referendums that give citizens an opportunity to directly approve or reject laws that are being proposed in their communities.

    Ballot measures can relate to a wide array of issues, from taxes and election rules to criminal justice policy and the legal status of certain substances and activities. Whatever the matter at hand, they’re one of the few avenues for what’s called direct or pure democracy in the United States—a way for Americans to have a direct say in the laws that govern their land, rather than relying on elected representatives to craft and enact them instead.

    Of course, that’s not to say ballot measures are devoid of the special interest–fueled maneuvering that so characterizes our political process. To the contrary, they’re often a means by which interest groups across the spectrum manage to float policies that they would like to see adopted—with those groups often pouring millions of dollars into campaigning for, or against, their adoption. Just ask voters in California, where 12 statewide propositions are on the ballot this November; those measures have commanded more than $700 million in combined campaign contributions, resulting in an onslaught of advertising on TV, radio, online, and virtually anywhere else Californians care to look.

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