We Understand the Science of Ballot Measures

To implement our ideas effectively, we must understand the science of ballot measures.

That’s why the BISC Foundation commissions research helps organizations and funders understand the role ballot measures play in civic engagement and building state-based power so they can make better decisions about tactics, strategies, long-term investments, and messages that resonate with the public.

Our accomplishments include:

  • Exploring methods for engaging voters and preventing roll-off;
  • Delving deeper into a set of specific issues, including voting rights expansion, women’s health and reproductive justice, and economic fairness;
  • Continuously monitoring ballot measure concepts and voter attitudes through the Trendency platform. In 2018, the platform had a 74% success rate for predicting the outcome of 2018 ballot measures, and a 93% success rate among voters who self-reported that they voted;
  • In 2019, we conducted a deep-dive analysis of 26 proactive ballot measure campaigns to provide best practices and learnings for the field;
  • In 2018, conducted pre and post-election qualitative and quantitative research on Black, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters to better understand people of color’s experiences and motivations on a set of issues and direct democracy;In 2013, we commissioned focus groups and surveys in four states to explore how voters approach ballot measures and which issues have the greatest potential to engage them;
  • In late 2012, partnering with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to commission unprecedented post-election polling on how voters in Maryland and Washington State responded to multi-issue ballots that featured marriage equality and other issues;
  • In 2012, we commissioned focus groups and surveys on how voters psychologically approach ballot measures; and
  • In 2010, we conducted post-election polling to understand the interaction of multiple issues on the ballot in Washington State.


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