Critics say referendums would encourage uninformed dissent and political gridlock. In what ways might adding deliberation to a referendum process address such criticisms? REDRESS-researchers Frank Hendriks and Charlotte Wagenaar examined three specific models in which a citizen forum strengthens the referendum process by preparing a proposal, informing voters or interpreting an outcome. The models are explained with real-world examples and vetted for their potential, challenges and design questions in this new open-access article in Administration & Society.