Do Massachusetts’ Ballot Questions Work? Will the Legislature Honor Them?

  • Yes, Massachusetts ballot initiatives are implemented automatically without needing legislative approval. That’s why they are the most powerful tool available to voters to directly change government policy.
  • Since 1919 there have been 57 questions put directly to the voters of Massachusetts; 26 have passed and stand as law today.  (Source:; updated manually for 2006 and 2008)
  • The overwhelming majority of ballot initiatives that were approved by voters stand as law today — including the last 2 tax cut initiatives to pass. Together they have saved Massachusetts taxpayers $12.7 billion over hte last 10 years!
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