Republicans are not just fighting to limit access to the ballot box but are increasingly battling what questions can even appear on ballots.
"Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions this year backing proposed ballot initiatives to expand voting access, ensure abortion rights and legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona, Arkansas and Michigan," the Associated Press reported. "Yet voters might not get a say because Republican officials or judges have blocked the proposals from the November elections, citing flawed wording, procedural shortcomings or insufficient petition signatures."
The AP noted GOP lawmakers in both Arizona and Arkansas are attempting to amend their constitutions to make it harder to put citizen initiatives on the ballot.
"The Republican pushback against the initiative process is part of a several-year trend that gained steam as Democratic-aligned groups have increasingly used petitions to force public votes on issues that Republican-led legislatures have opposed," the AP reported.
"In reliably Republican Missouri, for example, voters have approved initiatives to expand Medicaid, raise the minimum wage and legalize medical marijuana. An initiative seeking to allow recreational pot is facing a court challenge from an anti-drug activist aiming to knock it off the November ballot."
"In Michigan this past week, two Republican members of the bipartisan Board of State Canvassers blocked initiatives to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution and expand opportunities for voting. Each measure had significantly more than the required 425,000 signatures. But GOP board members said the voting measure had unclear wording and the abortion measure was flawed because of spacing problems that scrunched some words together," the AP reported.
In 2018, Florida voters restored voting rights to felons, but GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and GOP lawmakers severely limited the constitutional amendment in the legislature.
"In Arizona, the primarily Republican-appointed Supreme Court recently blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would have extended early voting and limited lobbyist gifts to lawmakers. The measure also would have specifically prohibited the Legislature from overturning the results of presidential elections, which some Republicans had explored after then-President Donald Trump’s loss in 2020," the AP reported. "Still on the ballot are several other amendments referred by Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature. Those measures would limit initiatives to a single subject, require a 60% supermajority to approve tax proposals and expand the Legislature’s authority to change voter-approved initiatives."
Read the full report.