What role does petitioner perception of quality of life play in the desire to petition for initiatives? The ideal of direct democracy was the incorporation of citizen preferences into public policy. However, there have been changes to the direct democracy system: The inclusion of professional petitioners, interest groups, and political parties into the system leaves questions about whether it represents the will of the people. These changes are refl ected in the participation and quality of referenda and initiatives in the past decade. Our research examines ballot measures and quality of life to determine the eff ects that quality of life has on participation, thereby determining if there are underlying factors that contribute to participation.