Are you like me? Are you interested in the right of direct democracy, of initiative and referendum? Do you wish we had some nifty collaborative way toÂ aggregate fast-changing facts about citizen initiatives and other ballot issues?
No sooner do I wave my magic wand than somebody else has done the hard work of setting up Ballotpedia, a project of Citizens in Charge Foundation. Stick a “.org” on the end of it and youâ€™ve got the url for the site, ballotpedia.org. You can also click into it from the Citizens in Charge home page.
If you know about Wikipedia, you can guess that Ballotpedia is a Web resource with a similar format. The difference? Ballotpedia specializes: Itâ€™s everything about ballot measures, voter rights, citizen initiative rights, litigation about these, the ballot rules of different states, etc. Anyone with relevant information is free to add a new entry or expand a current one.
Ballotpedia has the familiar pluses and minuses of this freewheeling format. Somebody might get a fact wrong. But the open editorial process acts as a corrective.
Why do we need Ballotpedia? Weâ€™ve talked about the recent attempt in California, through Prop 93, to pull the wool over votersâ€™ eyes and weaken term limits. Ballotpedia was one place where voters could get accurate and honest information.
So check out Ballotpedia, friend of you and me(dia)! (Hey, just be glad I donâ€™t start a punpedia.)
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.