Ballot Question Campaigns Quietly Press On

As candidates staged rallies around Massachusetts in a last hurrah to drum up support, supporters and opponents of the three state ballot questions took a less flashy approach. Without well-known faces to push their issues, the campaigns took to the streets in shoe-leather politics style.

The supporters of Question 1, a ballot measure that would repeal the state’s year-old sales tax on store-bought alcohol, employed campaign signs in liquor stores. While alcohol distributors support the repeal, their partnership with the Massachusetts Package Stores Association helps them reach voters.

Opponents continued their broadcast media campaign to get their message out to voters.

11th Ward Democrats in Boston left flyers reminding voters to turn the ballot over to also vote on ballot questions. (Curt Nickisch/WBUR)

11th Ward Democrats in Boston left flyers reminding voters to turn the ballot over to also vote on questions. (Curt Nickisch/WBUR)

Proponents of Question 3 spent the weekend doing “stand-outs” (holding signs at prominent intersections), handing out flyers and putting up yard signs, said Carla Howell, chairwoman of the Alliance to Roll Back Taxes. If passed, the initiative would cut the state sales tax by more than half, to 3 percent.

Steve Crawford, spokesman for the Coalition for Our Communities, which opposes Question 3, says his campaign was also focused on “retail” politics. Opponents held signs at malls and street corners urging voters to defeat the measure.

Least visible of the ballot questions over the closing weekend before Election Day were campaigns for and against Question 2. Developers favor the repeal of the affordable housing law known as 40B. But Sondra Peskoe wrote in a Brookline TAB op-ed that, if passed, the initiative would hurt communities like hers “that have a vision for their community which includes using 40B.”

Some groups urged voters to not to overlook the ballot questions amid the prominent statewide and congressional elections. Flyers handed out Sunday in Boston’s 11th Ward reminded voters to “turn over Ballot to vote on some questions!”

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