chapter  3
16 Pages

Theoretical Foundations

This chapter examines each step of the ballot proposition process and demonstrate its contribution to our understanding of direct democracy elections and the role of political knowledge in participation in these elections. It has tested numerous theoretical developments in the relationship between political knowledge and direct democracy elections in the United States, demonstrating the effect of political knowledge on participation in these elections. The comprehension and participation experiment was tested under different topic areas to determine if some topics are ingrained in our society that provide gut responses that overcome complex ballot language. The direct democracy process has multiple components, and the chapter explores the development of ballot measures on the part of the petitioners. The study of Oregon petitioners in this analysis demonstrates that political comprehension is paramount in determining petitioner's activities. Petitioners have characteristics similar to those of typical voters and put time and effort into the petitioning process as well as the campaigning process.