Writing:How not to write articles about ballot measures
This is a list of editing and writing techniques to avoid in writing about ballot measures.
Avoid long, technical, nuanced descriptions of what the measure does at top of article
You want to translate proposed laws, some of which are complex, into lay terms. You want to be concise and use as few sentences as possible in the first paragraph. Later on, you can include the nuances and technical details.
Avoid long lists of supporters and opponents
It is generally not advisable to include a long list of the initiative's supporters or opponents. These lists can include 50 or more groups or individuals--sometimes into the hundreds. It is boring and distracting to the reader to include these lists in the main Ballotpedia article about a ballot measure. Instead of inserting the names of all the supporters and opponents in the main Ballotpedia article, either:
- Give a number for the endorsing or opposing groups, a link to a list, and mention no more than 5-10 of the most notable groups. For example, "45 organizations have endorsed Measure 999 (link); most notably, Groups A, B and C."
- Create a separate page/article on Ballotpedia about the ballot measure's supporters and link to that article from the main article.