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Ten states will require an increased of number signatures to get citizen-driven measures on the ballot in 2022.

How voting for people in '20 made it harder to vote for ideas in '22

The irony seems obvious: One consequence of the burst in voter participation this year is that it will be tougher for those same voters to participate next time.

Half the states give their people a shot at putting proposals to a statewide vote, the sort of citizen-driven democracy that many good-government voices say should be much closer to the rule than the exception. In 10 of those states, which are home to about one in six Americans, the petition signature minimums for getting referendums on the ballot are tied to recent turnout and registration numbers.

No surprise after an election when the highest share of eligible people voted in more than a century, the 2020 figures went up in all 10 states. But here's the surprise for those unfamiliar with the legal quirk: Millions more people will need to sign on to proposed plebiscites starting next year or else the measures won't be considered.

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Poor messaging is why ranked elections got rejected in Massachusetts

Bowe is a documentarian and journalist whose most recent project is "American Spring," a series of short films about aspects of the democracy reform movement.
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