Ballot Question Process

Ballot Question Process

Speaking Engagement

The program provided a behind-the-scenes look at the ballot question process in Massachusetts. The biennial Statewide elections typically presented voters with one or more ballot questions that proposed new laws or constitutional amendments or the repeal of existing laws. The most recent election presented four such questions.

The program explored how such questions came to be on the ballot and what made the campaigns for and against the various proposals successful. It was designed for anyone interested in learning more, from the vantage points of key players in the process, about how to propose or oppose ballot questions.

During the program, attendees learned about the requirements of the Massachusetts Constitution, Statutes, and Applicable Case Law. They also explored the process of drafting proposals, navigating the certification process, and collecting signatures. Additionally, attendees learned about summaries, titles, yes/no statements, and publication, as well as campaign finance requirements.

The program also covered the process of litigating ballot questions, including recurring issues and obstacles. The faculty included Neal Quenzer, Esq., WilmerHale, Boston, as Chair, as well as Thomas O. Bean, Esq., Verrill, Boston, Anne L. Sterman, Esq., Office of the Attorney General, Boston, Michelle K. Tassinari, Esq., Office of the Secretary of State, Boston, and Hon. Dalila Argaez Wendlandt, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

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