2016 Ballot Questions



Post-Election Update

On a night that proved rather grim on the national level, Massachusetts showed itself to be a beacon of progressivism by voting #NNYY on the four ballot questions. Thank you everyone who took the time to volunteer and spread the word! The fight continues.


Get to Know the Ballot Measures


This November at the polls, we will vote on four statewide ballot measures.

Historically in Massachusetts, ballot measures have both propelled us forward as a state and hamstrung progressive change. That’s why your vote is key. Progressive Mass recommends NO on Question 1, NO on Question 2, YES on Question 3, and YES on Question 4.

We have offered detailed explanation of each question below. Full ballot measure text is available here (separate website). 

  • Question 1 would allow the Gaming Commission to issue an additional slots license. -- VOTE NO

  • Question 2 would lift the cap on charter schools. --VOTE NO 

  • Question 3 would ban methods of farm animal containment deemed inhumane. -- VOTE YES

  • Question 4 would legalize recreational marijuana for individuals at least 21 years old. -- VOTE YES


Question 1: Slots Parlor

Vote NO on Question 1 to prevent the expansion of predatory gambling.

Question 1 would authorize a license for an additional slots parlor. The 2011 gambling law allowed for up to three resort casinos and one slots parlor. Penn National Gaming currently holds the sole slots parlor license, for Plainridge Park Casino, which has faced declining revenue. Five casinos are already expected to open in the state by 2019, with unproven benefits. Moreover, the ballot question was written by the very real estate developer who plans to benefit from it (Eugene McCain, who has proposed such a site by Suffolk Downs), attempting to bypass the legislature and setting a troubling precedent.

Facts on Question 1:

 navigate to [ top ] [ Q1 ] [ Q2 ] [ Q3 ] [Q4 ]

Question 2: Charter School Cap

Vote NO on Question 2 to protect our public schools.

Question 2 would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year, forever, without community input or additional funding. The charter schools authorized under Question 2 could open anywhere in the state, with no limits to how many could be opened in a single community. In 2017, charter schools will siphon off more than $450 million in funds that would otherwise stay in public schools despite serving only 4.2% of the state preK-12 public school population. Charter schools often do not take the students with the highest needs and tend to have harsh disciplinary practices, particularly targeted at students of color and students with learning disabilities. We need to be investing in our public schools to help improve opportunities for all of our students.

Facts about Charter Schools & Question 2:

Allies with No on 2

Allies with Yes on 2

 navigate to [ top ] [ Q1 ] [ Q2 ] [ Q3 ] [Q4 ]

Question 3: Farm Animal Confinement

Vote YES on Question 3 to protect farm animals, workers, and public health.

Question 3 would ban inhumane practices of farm animal containment in the sale of eggs, veal, or pork, specifically practices that “prevent a covered animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending the animal’s limbs, or turning around freely.” Cramming animals into cages so small that they can’t turn around or extend their limbs is bad for animals, bad for consumers, and bad for workers. The practices of farm animal containment that Question 3 seeks to ban have been shown to increase rates of Salmonella, a lead cause of food poisoning, as well as to exacerbate air and water pollution. Moreover, better conditions for farm animals lead to better conditions for the workers.

Facts about Question 3:

 navigate to [ top ] [ Q1 ] [ Q2 ] [ Q3 ] [Q4 ]

Question 4: Marijuana Legalization

Vote YES on Question 4 to end the drug war.

Question 4 would legalize the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons age 21 and older and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories, and marijuana products. Although Massachusetts has decriminalized possession, significant racial disparities exist in enforcement: in 2010, black individuals in Massachusetts were 3.9 times more likely to be arrested for possession than their white counterparts. Removing the penalties still associated with marijuana possession can help address this disparity, and Question 4 also contains provisions to promote participation in new marijuana businesses by people whose communities have suffered most from the drug war. The drug war has proven costly—in terms of lives ruined and heavy sums spent on policing and surveillance, and it’s time to render it a thing of the past, allocating money away from enforcing drug prohibition and toward investing in our communities.

Facts on Question 4 & Marijuana Legalization  

 navigate to [ top ] [ Q1 ] [ Q2 ] [ Q3 ] [Q4 ]


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published this page in 2016 Elections 2016-10-07 08:09:01 -0400
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