Massachusetts Statewide
Ballot Measures: An Overview

The table below indicates the total number of each type of binding question appearing on the ballot since 1919 and the number of each type approved. It also includes a short description of the requirements for approval for each type of question.

Type of Question

Requirements for Approval

# of Questions on the Ballot since 1919

# of Questions Approved

Approval %

Initiative Petition for a Law

30% or more of the voters casting ballots at the election must vote affirmatively.

A majority of the ballots cast on the question must be affirmative.

72

32

44.44%

Initiative Petition for a Constitutional Amendment

30% or more of the voters casting ballots at the election must vote affirmatively.

A majority of the ballots cast on the question must be affirmative.

3

2

66.6%

Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Majority of ballots cast on the question must be affirmative.

63

53

84.13%

Referendum Petition on an Existing Law

30% or more of the voters casting ballots at the election must vote against the law.

A majority of voters casting ballots on the question must vote against the law.

18

10

55.6%

Legislative Advisory Question

Nonbinding advice to the legislature if approved by a majority.

13

8

61.5%

U.S. Constitutional Amendment (Advisory)

A majority of voters casting ballots at the election must approve.

3

1

33.3%