Ballotpedia:WikiProject Local Ballot Measures guidelines/Background

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This writing guide explains how to craft a "Background" section for a local ballot measure article.


The "Background" of an article can be created any time after the article is created as content becomes available. Not all local measures must have a "Background" section. It should be added if appropriate content exists.

The "Background" section can include:

  • A Timeline of events relevant to the measure
  • Important information concerning the context surrounding the measure
  • Any events that lead up to the measure
  • Relevant state or local laws
  • Related measures
  • Related history (e.g. attempts to pass similar measures earlier in the same jurisdiction or in another state, county, city or district)

NOTE: If the measure relates to another measure, bill, legislator or policy that Ballotpedia has a page on, make sure to add a wikilink to that page.


If the background section is short, it should be put below the "Text of measure" section and above the "Support" and "Opposition" sections. If the "Background" section has more than two subsections of contains more than three paragraphs, it should be placed below the "Support" and "Opposition" sections. Subsections are encouraged in this section.

*Subsections and content as appropriate* 


Opportunities for great background sections can often be found by looking at other content areas on Ballotpedia or by reaching out to staff writers on other content areas. For example, many measure articles concerning local fracking feature a "Background" section provided by Policypedia's Energy Policy team.


Below are links to the "Background" sections of several completed local ballot measure articles to serve as examples:

See also