For the People, By the People

Ballot measures in Colorado drive some of the state’s largest policy decisions, yet 75% of voters say they often find measures too complicated or confusing to understand. Accurate and unbiased information is not only difficult to come by, it is often obscured by misleading statements and advertisements by both sides of an issue.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review cuts through this noise by providing voters with unbiased and factual information using a unique deliberative process based on hard evidence.

The process begins by gathering a panel of Colorado citizens that is randomly selected and demographically balanced. The panel is given several days to fairly evaluate a statewide ballot measure, hearing directly from policy experts as well as the advocates for and against the measure. At the conclusion of the review, panelists collectively draft a statement highlighting the most important fact-based findings about the measure as well as the most relevant pro and con arguments.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review findings have been found to be extremely useful to voters. In Oregon, the first state to use the CIR, independent studies have found that over half of voters read the findings and two thirds find them useful when voting.

2014 marks the first year the Citizens’ Initiative Review will be conducted in Colorado, and if successful, the program could expand to multiple ballot measures in future election cycles.

If you have received an invitation to participate in a CIR or have questions about the selection process, don’t hesitate to email us.

What do former panelists have to say about their experience?

“Participating in the Citizens’ Initiative Review has been a unique and enriching experience for me. This opportunity to work side by side with fellow voters has affirmed my belief in the value of public participation in the democratic process. Over and over throughout the week we saw how putting many heads together helped us to come up with responses that were more thoughtful than any one individual could have generated. I hope this initiative review process eventually becomes the standard for voter-developed ballot measures.”

 

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