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Ballot Initiatives

Ballot measures are either initiatives, which are drafted by citizens, or referenda, which are written by government officials. There is a perception that interest groups control the initiative process, and that interest groups can influence ballot measure elections through their campaign spending.

Importance of Campaign Spending on Ballot Measures

Real campaign spending on ballot measures has been steadily rising for decades and reached new heights in the 1990s. In 1992, $117 million was spent in 21 states on supporting and opposing measures on ballots, but in 1998 interest groups spent close to $400 million in 44 states. In comparison, in the 2000 presidential elections, all presidential candidates combined, for both the primary and the general election, spent $326 million. Candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate ...

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