UMass Boston’s McCormack Grad School, WBUR, Boston Globe Host Ballot Debate on Farm Regulations

Office of Communications | September 19, 2016
UMass Boston’s McCormack Grad School, WBUR, Boston Globe Host Ballot Debate on Farm Regulations

UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, WBUR, and The Boston Globe on Tuesday, September 20, will host the second in a series of weekly debates exploring in depth the four statewide ballot questions to be decided by voters in the November 8 election.

Tuesday’s debate will focus on Question 3, which would prohibit certain forms of confinement of animals raised for eggs or slaughter.

Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for The Humane Society, will speak in favor of the measure. Bill Bell of the New England Brown Egg Council will speak in opposition.

WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti will be joined by The Boston Globe’s Joshua Miller to moderate the hour-long debate, held at UMass Boston’s McCormack Theatre and broadcast live on WBUR’s “Radio Boston,” from 3 to 4 p.m. The event will also be livestreamed by the sponsors at,, and

The debate is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Scheduled debates on the other ballot questions are as follows:

Tuesday, September 27 – Question 1: would allow for an additional slots gambling parlor
Tuesday, October 4 – Question 4: would legalize the recreational use of marijuana

The first debate was held September 13 on Question 2, a proposal to raise the limit of the number of publicly funded, privately run charter schools that can operate in the Bay State. Watch the debate here.

This series of debates is intended to raise the profile and further the discussion of the important ballot questions facing Massachusetts voters, as ballot questions often get little public notice.

Since 1990, the number of ballot questions in Massachusetts has varied from one to eight, with an average of four on each biennial ballot. All four of this year’s questions are initiative petitions that would enact new laws. The Massachusetts Constitution also provides for two other types of ballot questions: initiative petitions that would amend the state Constitution, and referenda that would repeal existing laws. Massachusetts is among 26 states and the District of Columbia that allow some form of initiative or referendum. Since 1990 in Massachusetts, 27 of 50 ballot questions, or just over half, have been approved by the voters.

Audience members are encouraged to arrive early for the live broadcast. Doors at the McCormack Theatre open for seating at 2:30 p.m. and close at 2:45. For travel and parking information, visit

Tags: ballot questions , debate series , election 2016 , mccormack graduate school , mccormack theatre

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