You are cordially invited to attend the Harvard Law School Election Law Clinic's

DEMOCRACY: A Harvard Law School Lecture Series

Session 4: Are ballot initiatives good for democracy?

Monday, February 7, 2022
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM ET
Register Now


DEMOCRACY is a Harvard Law School Lecture Series co-hosted by Guy Uriel-Charles, Ruth Greenwood, Larry Lessig, and Nicholas Stephanopoulos. This six-part series of panel discussions will bring together scholars, lawmakers, activists, and the HLS community to discuss and debate the most pressing issues facing American democracy.


Guest Speakers:

Katie Fahey
Executive Director, The People
Adav Noti
Vice President & Legal Director, Campaign Legal Center

Chris Melody Fields Figueredo
Executive Director, The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center


Professor Guy-Uriel Charles
Charles Ogletree, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

In the last five years, dozens of pro-democracy ballot initiatives won, seemingly against all the odds, including enfranchising some 1.4 million formerly incarcerated people in Florida, and delivering independent, citizen-led, redistricting commissions in a number of states. The voices of the people were, ostensibly, heard. Yet, it was just over ten years ago that marriage equality proponents sought to overturn Prop 8 (which won a majority of votes in California) through the Courts, rather than at the ballot box. With more and more groups proposing and sponsoring pro-democracy ballot initiatives, we ask: are ballot initiatives actually good for democracy?