2018 Massachusetts ballot measures

Three ballot measures were certified for the November 6, 2018, general election in the state of Massachusetts.[1][2]

The Constitution of Massachusetts can be amended through initiative, and state statutes can be proposed through initiative. The first and second certified measures, "Nurse-Patient Assignment Limits" and "Advisory Commission for Amendments to the U.S. Constitution Regarding Corporate Personhood and Political Spending", were both initiated state statutes. The third measure, "Gender Identity and Anti-Discrimination", was a veto referendum.

In Massachusetts, after the state determines which measure(s) will appear on the ballot, an official name is assigned to each question. The Secretary of the Commonwealth has discretion over the ordering of questions on the ballot.

Binding statewide questionsEdit

No. Type Initiative Title Subject Description[1] Result Ref.
1 ISS Nurse-Patient Assignment Limits Healthcare Establishes a limit on how many patients a nurse can be assigned in various healthcare settings Rejected
2 ISS Advisory Commission for Amendments to the U.S. Constitution Regarding Corporate Personhood and Political Spending Definition of a corporation and federal constitutional issues Creates a panel of citizens to propose amendments to the US Constitution about campaign finance and corporate personhood Approved
3 VR Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination LGBT Issues Referendum on a 2016 law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity (a 'yes' vote would preserve the law, a 'no' vote would repeal it) Approved

VR = veto referendum
ISS = initiated state statute
Vote percentages as of November 8, with 100% reporting


Question 1Edit

On October 23, 2018, The Boston Globe editorial board endorsed a 'no' vote on Question 1, saying the nursing staff ratio is wrong for Massachusetts.[8] On October 26, the Boston Herald also advocated for a 'no' vote.[9] Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker said he would vote 'no',[10] while Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh said he would vote 'yes'.[11] A "yes" vote was also advocated by United States Senator for Vermont Bernie Sanders.[12]

Question 3Edit

A 'yes' vote on Question 3 has been "wholeheartedly" endorsed by The Boston Globe in an October 17, 2018, editorial.[13] Actress and LGBT advocate Laverne Cox also advocated for a 'yes' vote.[14]

Removed questionEdit

A measure titled "Income Tax for Education and Transportation Amendment", which sought to create a four percent tax on incomes that exceed $1 million, to be used for education and transportation purposes, was removed after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in June 2018 that the measure had been incorrectly certified by the Massachusetts Attorney General.[15]

Other potential questionsEdit

Several additional measures received a required number of signatures by December 6, 2017,[1] but ultimately were not added to the ballot:

  • $15 Minimum Wage Initiative
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative
  • Sales Tax Decrease and Tax-Free Weekend Initiative

A new law enacting a majority of content from these three measures was signed into law in late June by Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker. Hourly minimum wage will be increased from $11 to $15 by 2023, workers will have paid medical leave of 12 to 20 weeks (depending on circumstance), and there will be an annual August sales tax holiday; the state sales tax was not decreased. Initiative organizers agreed to withdraw the associated ballot initiatives.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Massachusetts 2018 ballot measures". Ballotpedia. July 13, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "2018 Ballot Questions". sec.state.ma.us. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Dayal McCluskey, Priyanka (November 6, 2018). "Voters reject Question 1, which would have mandated nurse staffing levels". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  4. ^ "Election results 2018 - Mass. Race - the Boston Globe".
  5. ^ a b "Massachusetts Election Results". The New York Times. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Election results 2018 - Mass. Race - the Boston Globe".
  7. ^ "Election results 2018 - Mass. Race - the Boston Globe".
  8. ^ Editorial, Board (2018-10-22). "Editorial board endorsement: Vote 'no' on Question 1. The nurse staffing ratio is wrong for Mass". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  9. ^ "Vote no on Question 1: Don't handcuff nurses". Boston Herald. October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Baker To Vote 'No' On Ballot Question 1 Nurse Staffing Mandates". CBS Boston. AP. October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Walsh To Vote 'Yes' On Ballot Question 1 Nurse Staffing Mandates". CBS Boston. AP. October 15, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  12. ^ Schoenberg, Shira (29 October 2018). "U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders endorses nurse staffing ballot question". MassLive. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Stand up for equality: Vote Yes on 3". The Boston Globe. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  14. ^ Lannan, Katie (October 25, 2018). "Laverne Cox Urges Mass. To Vote Yes On Question 3, To Send Message To Nation". WBUR. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  15. ^ Brown, Steve (June 18, 2018). "'Millionaire's Tax' Won't Be On The State Ballot, Mass. SJC Rules". WBUR. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  16. ^ ""Grand bargain" keeps voters from deciding ballot questions". Boston Herald. AP. July 1, 2018. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Massachusetts Ballot Measures
Succeeded by