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Prop 129 Empowers Arizonans to Make Informed Decisions at the Ballot

November 1, 2022

Special interest groups shouldn’t be able to mislead Arizonans with deceptively titled ballot measures that include multiple topics within the same initiative. That’s why Arizonans should vote “Yes” on Proposition 129, a commonsense reform that amends the Arizona Constitution to require ballot initiatives to be limited to a single subject.

Currently, more than 60% of U.S. states that allow citizen-initiated ballot measures already have single-subject requirements. However, in Arizona, these ballot initiatives can cover multiple topics that are not reflected in the title, which makes it difficult for voters to understand what it is they are actually voting on.

By voting “Yes” on Prop 129, Arizonans can protect themselves from out-of-state special interest groups who often intentionally include multiple subjects within one ballot initiative. It’s a practice that undermines voters who are forced to vote on the entirety of the initiative, even though they may support some aspects of it and oppose others. Worse yet, these groups can use inaccurate titles that purposely deceive voters into supporting the measure. Prop 129 can help fight back against these practices by limiting initiatives to a single subject and requiring that subject to be expressed in the title.

As if packing an initiative with multiple, sometimes unrelated, changes to the law weren’t problematic enough, these changes are all but permanent once passed at the ballot. That’s because Arizona’s Voter Protection Act (VPA) severely undermines the Arizona Legislature’s ability to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives. To make changes to a voter-approved initiative, the legislature must have a three-fourths majority vote in each chamber, and the changes must further the initiative’s purpose. In fact, the VPA is so powerful that it is nearly impossible to make necessary changes such as small technical adjustments.

Fortunately, Prop 129 is a much-needed reform that helps prevent these confusing, multisubject measures by ensuring that ballot initiatives apply to a single subject with an appropriate title. This empowers voters by making initiatives easier to understand and allows Arizonans to support or oppose ideas one at a time.

Arizonans should vote “Yes” on Prop 129 to help voters to better understand what they are setting into law at the ballot.

 You can find out where the Goldwater Institute stands on other 2022 Arizona ballot measures here.

 Ryan McDonald is a Government Affairs Analyst at the Goldwater Institute.



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