Wisconsin Voters Want Direct Say in Government

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   October 28, 2010     Contact: Trevor Ford  O (703) 492-1776 ext. 222 C (202) 503-6295

(MADISON, WI) – The overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites want a direct say in government through statewide initiative and referendum rights, according to a recent poll.

Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process and the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, a free market think tank in Wisconsin, released the results of an opinion poll conducted in the state on voter support for initiative and referendum rights. The results were clear, with 63% of voters supporting and only 16% opposing.

“Perhaps it is a sign of their discontent with Madison; it is clear that citizens here want more direct say over how they are governed,” said MacIver President Brett Healy. “Right now, direct initiative is only done on the local level. Statewide referenda are only advisory or a binding effort requires you to amend the state Constitution, which can take years to accomplish.”

Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge jointly commissioned Pulse Opinion Research to conduct this poll in each of the 50 states to determine public support for initiative and referendum. The polling was conducted across the country between May 26 and July 19. Respondents in each state were asked this question:

“In 26 states, citizens can sign a petition to put laws or constitutional amendments on the ballot to be decided by the voters at a statewide election. This process is known as initiative and referendum. Would you favor or oppose the initiative and referendum process in your state?”

The results were clear in Wisconsin, and across the country. In every single state, Americans supported the initiative and referendum process by better than two-to-one margins.

“Wisconsin is one of 24 states that have no statewide initiative or referendum process,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “But the results of this poll show that voters across all demographics, income levels and political affiliations very much want a direct say in their government through ballot initiatives.”

ABOUT CITIZENS IN CHARGE FOUNDATION: Citizens in Charge Foundation is the only national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit us at www.CitizensInChargeFoundation.org.

ABOUT MACIVER INSTITUTE: For more information from the MacIver Institute contact: Brett Healy – 608-237-7290. The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is a Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government. For more information visit