Strong majority support allowing ballot initiatives in NH - 372 participants, 667 responses

Nov 09, 2016

In addition to electing a new president, this election saw voters in several states weigh in on key policy issues that appeared on their ballots thanks not to legislators, but to the efforts of fellow citizens. These included ballot initiatives in Maine and Massachusetts that legalized the recreational use of marijuana, as well as moves in other states to tighten gun control rules and raise the minimum wage. But New Hampshire voters are unlikely to have the same option, as  the New Hampshire Constitution currently does not allow for citizens to vote directly on policy issues. On November 9, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you think citizens should be able to propose ballot initiatives in NH?”

“Do you think citizens should be able to propose ballot initiatives in NH?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 79% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 21% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this question received 667 responses from 372 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A strong majority, at 91% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, supported allowing citizens to propose ballot initiatives in New Hampshire.

  • “It would be nice to not totally be dependent on those who are supposed to be representing us to get things done.”
  • “We should be able to control the laws as a people and reform legislation whenever we see that a law has outlived its usefulness.”
  • “There comes a time when our elected officials simply aren't listening to the majority of those they serve. In those cases, it requires the citizens being given a chance to vote on specific issues.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 9%, opposed allowing citizens to propose ballot initiatives in New Hampshire.

  • “No. Work through your Legislature to get laws passed, as it is intended to work.”
  • “No. Obviously people are not voting with their minds and conscience, but instead with social media and memes

Other: As noted above, 21% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Marijuana legalization: “The dominoes have started to fall. There’s no stopping what the people really want in this country.”
  • Prostitution: “If prostitution became legal it would actually help a lot of people’s lives.”
  • Government reform: “We have the authority to fire every elected criminal in the state.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think citizens in New Hampshire should be able to propose ballot initiatives? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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