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Errington’s amendment requiring poll question on ballot initiatives defeated

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INDIANAPOLIS - Today (Jan. 29), State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) offered an amendment to House Bill 1265 that would require the county election board of each county to place the following question on the 2024 general election ballot: Shall citizens be allowed to initiate a ballot referendum in Indiana?

The Republican supermajority defeated her amendment by a vote of 27-66.

Please attribute the following response to Errington on the defeat of her amendment:

“At the very least, we should be able ask the question: Do Hoosiers want ballot initiatives? If we aren't willing to gauge public opinion, how can our legislature best serve those in our state? All this amendment does is create an opportunity for Hoosiers to have their voices heard at the polls.

“Twenty-six states allow citizen-led referendums and/or constitutional amendments. Our bordering states – including Michigan, Ohio and Illinois – allow citizen-led ballot initiatives. I suspect when asked, most Hoosiers would respond favorably as well. If we want to inspire confidence in our government, we need to do everything in our power to make sure their Hoosiers are heard in the decisions we make.

“It's a shame our Republican legislature continues to push against measures that better represent Hoosier voices. The staunch resistance to ballot initiatives only serves to restrict Hoosier opinion, an explicit contradiction of our responsibility as lawmakers. I hope that we can one day reach a point where we empower our citizens to fully tell the government what to do on issues like abortion, marijuana and beyond.”

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