West Virginia Voters Want Direct Say in Government

By westvirginia on October 11, 2010
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New polling shows that West Virginia citizens wish for a ballot initiative and referendum process in the state.

Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, released the results of an opinion poll conducted in the West Virginia on voter support for initiative and referendum rights. With 66 percent of voters supporting, 13 percent opposing, and 21 percent unsure, a majority of West Virginians want statewide initiative and referendum rights.

Citizens in Charge and the Citizens in Charge Foundation commissioned Pulse Opinion Research to conduct this poll in each of the 50 states between May 26 and July 19 to determine public support for initiative and referendum. The poll asked 500 likely voters the following question:

“In 26 states, citizens can sign a petition to put laws or constitutional amendments on the ballot to be decided by the voters at a statewide election. This process is known as initiative and referendum. Would you favor or oppose the initiative and referendum process in your state?”

According to the polling results, people in every state support the initiative and referendum process by better than two-to-one margins.

“West Virginia is one of 24 states that have no statewide initiative or referendum process,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “But the results of this poll show that voters across all demographics, income levels and political affiliations very much want a direct say in their government through ballot initiatives.”

When broken down into party affiliation 70 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats supported initiative and referendum rights, as did 69 percent of those listing “other.” Ideologically 75 percent of conservatives, 59 percent of moderates, and 52 percent of liberals support initiative and referendum rights. You can see the full results of the poll at the end of this article.

In a February report from Citizens in Charge, West Virginia received the grade of F for an almost complete lack of initiative and referendum rights except in a handful of municipalities. The report, titled “Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights,” graded all 50 states on the quality of their I&R programs.

Citizens in Charge Foundation describes itself as “the only national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process.”

For more information visit us at www.CitizensInChargeFoundation.org.

West Virginia Survey of 500 Likely Voters

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  1. The Engaging Essentials at

    [...] WV Supports I and R – WV Watchdog highlights an interesting new study showing that a near supermajority of West Virginians favor a more open, direct democracy over the current system.  We wonder how our work at http://www.WV4Marriage.com has affected the attitudes and actions of our fellow statesmen.  For our part, we are big fans of the initiative and referendum idea. [...]

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