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Whether from a sincere belief in the ability of the body politic to arrive at optimal decisions, or from an instrumental attempt to generate legitimacy for policy choices, a large number of jurisdictions use referenda to settle political questions. This practice relies on assumptions about voter interest and competence that are subject to empirical tests. This project considers both cross-national data on the use of constitutional referenda, and experimental work within a case study of the U.S. state of Texas. The project has so far produced one chapter in an edited volume, and an article draft.