Government by the People is a non-partisan political action committee working to reform our political system and make it more genuinely democratic through ballot proposals for ranked choice voting in states with the initiative - a powerful form of direct democracy that allows citizens to propose and pass legislation without the approval or involvement of the state legislature or governor.  

The Initiative: A Powerful Form of Direct Democracy

States with the initiative must take the lead in reforming our political system.

Twenty-four states allow citizens to propose and pass legislation and/or amendments to state constitutions, without the involvement or approval of a state legislature or governor, through the initiative.  The process involves submitting a proposal for a law or constitutional amendment, gathering the required number of signatures on petitions to get a proposal on the ballot, and then having the voters approve it.

Although there are some Democrats and Republicans in Congress and state legislatures who support ranked-choice voting, our best chance of enacting this fundamental reform is through ballot proposals in states with the initiative.  It is no accident that the first state to enact RCV (Maine) did so through a ballot proposal or that all three of the state-wide campaigns currently underway are in states with the initiative (Missouri, Massachusetts, and Alaska).

The twenty-four states with some form of initiative are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The process is easier in some states than others.  Some states require a greater number of signatures to place a proposal on the ballot, require a super-majority for a proposal to become law, or have restrictions on what can be done through the initiative.


Ranked Choice Voting = More Choices for Voters



Ranked-choice voting allows voters to vote for more than one candidate, ranking their choices in order of preference, for an executive office (governor, lieutenant governor, etc.) or for seats in state legislatures with multiple member districts.  

Using ranked choice voting with multi-member districts to elect members of a legislative body results in proportional representation – with political parties holding a percentage of the seats in a legislature equal to the percentage of the votes candidates from each party receive in an election.

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