Writing:Introductory section of a ballot measure article

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See also: Writing:Articles about ballot measures and Ballotpedia:WikiProject State Ballot Measures
This page is a content-and-style guide about how to write an "Introduction" for a state ballot measure article.
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The introductory paragraph should include the following features:

  1. The measure descriptive name and official title
  2. The ballot year it may/did appear on
  3. State
  4. Type of measure (#Measure type templates|see below)
  5. Measure description
  6. Measure status - The introductory section should have a sentence familiarizing the reader with the barebones of the status of the initiative. Examples include: "It has been certified by the Secretary of State for circulation;" "Its supporters turned in 321,592 signatures on July 2 to qualify it for the fall ballot;" "It won, with 51.2% in favor;" "The initiative was heading for the November 2008 ballot, but its supporters did not collect sufficient signatures to qualify it for the ballot."


Multiple descriptive names - The introductory paragraph should refer to whatever names people might know the initiative by, within reason. This is a courtesy to the reader, so that they can quickly tell whether they are reading an article about the initiative they were looking for.

An example of this is when there is a controversial initiative whose supporters and opponents, within their constituencies, refer to the same measure by very different titles. For example, a ballot measure to ban gay marriage might be known by different people as a:

  • Protect Marriage Amendment
  • Gay Marriage Ban

In cases like this, it is important to say something like, "Proposition 520 is also known as the Protect Marriage Amendment and the Gay Marriage Ban.

Measure type templates

Ballotpedia:WikiProject Templates

For ballot measure articles, the long version is generally used in the intro.

Type Template (short ver.) Appears as (short ver.) Template (long ver.) Appears as (long ver.)
Legislative {{lrca}} LRCA {{lrcafull}} legislatively-referred constitutional amendment
{{lrss}} LRSS {{lrssfull}} legislatively-referred state statute
{{bi}} BI {{bifull}} legislatively-referred bond question
Initiative {{ica}} CICA {{icafull}} initiated constitutional amendment
{{iss}} CISS {{issfull}} initiated state statute
{{icaiss}} CICA/SS {{icaissfull}} combined initiated constitutional amendment and state statute
{{iica}} IndICA {{iicafull}} indirect initiated constitutional amendment
{{iiss}} IndISS {{iissfull}} indirect initiated state statute
{{vr}} VR {{vrfull}} veto referendum
(Washington State) {{witl}} ITL {{witlfull}} Initiative to the Legislature
(Washington State) {{witp}} ITP {{witpfull}} Initiative to the People
Other {{abr}} ABR {{abrfull}} automatic ballot referral
{{aq}} AQ {{aqfull}} advisory question
{{cc}} ConCon {{ccfull}} constitutional convention question
{{ccr}} ConConRef {{ccrfull}} constitutional convention referral
{{cr}} CR {{crfull}} commission referral

All ballot measure type templates can be found here.


Proposed measure

See article: Maryland English Language Amendment (2012)

This is an intro for a proposed measure that has not been certified to appear on the ballot.

A Maryland English Language Amendment may appear on the 2012 ballot in the state of Maryland as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.
The measure would make English the official language of the state if sent to the ballot and enacted by voters. The measure would also make all government documents to be in English, with some federal exemptions, such as medical and courtroom documents, according to Delegate Patrick McDonough, who has introduced similar bills in the past, and is expected to introduce the current proposal.


See article: Ohio Judicial Office Age Amendment, Issue 1 (2011)

This is an intro for a certified measure that has not yet been voted on.

The Judicial Office Age Amendment will appear on the November 8, 2011 general election ballot in the state of Ohio as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.
The measure would raise the age of those occupying judicial office from 70 to 76. The measure was debated on during 2011 state legislative session. The measure was sent to the ballot before the end of that year's session.

Measure approved/defeated

See article: Ohio Judicial Office Age Amendment, Issue 1 (2011)

This is an intro for a certified measure where an election has passed and the measure was voted on.

The Colorado Regulation of Games of Chance, Amendment P was on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was defeated.
The proposal called for transferring the licensing of games of chance from the Department of State to the Department of Revenue.

See also