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When the People Decide
When the People Decide
Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy

When the People Decide, a podcast from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, explores the promise — and sometimes peril... more

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Episodes

Ballot initiatives in 2022 and beyond

Jenna Spinelle talks with Kelly Hall of The Fairness Project, one of the groups at the forefront of using ballot... more

08 Aug 2022 · 32 minutes
For the many or the few?

The final episode of the season explores whether ballot initiatives can withstand the challenges they’re up against, and some groups... more

01 Aug 2022 · 24 minutes
The war on the initiative

State legislatures across the country have taken notice of how ballot initiatives are creating political change. And now they're trying... more

25 Jul 2022 · 29 minutes
The invisible third party of reform

By design, ballot initiatives require coalitions that cross party lines to secure the votes needed to win. Some campaign organizers... more

18 Jul 2022 · 35 minutes
A matter of life and death

A referendum on the death penalty in Nebraska draws our attention to some of the thornier questions about direct democracy.

11 Jul 2022 · 25 minutes
Bastard Nation finds its voice

An online community of adoptees fight for their birth records in 1990s Oregon - framing the issue around civil rights... more

04 Jul 2022 · 35 minutes
Equal rights, not special rights

We travel to what some have described as “the most Southern city in the North” to explore a city-level ballot... more

27 Jun 2022 · 33 minutes
America, fast forward

In the words of one expert, California has “gone crazy for propositions.” In this episode, Jenna Spinelle tells the story... more

20 Jun 2022 · 30 minutes
What happens when the people decide?

Learn about the basics of the ballot initiative, the history of how it caught on in the United States, and... more

13 Jun 2022 · 32 minutes
Introducing: When the People Decide

From The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, When the People Decide explores the pros and cons of this... more

18 May 2022 · 1 minute
When the People Decide
Ballot initiatives in 2022 and beyond
When the People Decide