With the majority of media attention focused on the presidential race, it takes extra efforts, usually at state and local levels, to hear about other candidates and issues. At AlterNet, Steven Rosenfeld provides a list of state ballot measures, “11 Hot Topics in 2012′s Other Electoral Frontline.” From that article:
There’s more at stake in the November election than who will sit in the White House next year. Voters in 37 states with ballot initiatives and legislative referenda will vote on 174 different proposals that range from overturning anti-union laws passed by Republican legislatures, to tax measures to fund education, to legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use, to upholding gay marriage, to ending the death penalty and labeling food with genetically modified ingredients.
The list includes:
There are more tax questions on November ballots than any other topic-31 in all.
States which will have some kind of tax related measure or measures include: California, Arizona, South Dakota, Missouri, Washington, Michigan, Illinois.
2. Labor Unions
Like the Illinois pension proposal, there are other anti-union measures on state ballots. California’s Proposition 32 puts a proposal defeated in 1998 and 2005 back on the ballot. It would prohibit union dues from being used for political purposes without an individual member’s approval and would ban government contractors from donating to campaigns.
States with labor union measures on the ballot: Illinois, California, Idaho, South Dakota, Michigan.
3. Democracy Issues
There are a range of democracy issues, starting in Michigan with repealing emergency powers legislation that the state’s GOP-controlled legislature passed enabling it to allow local governments … to revoke and rewrite existing contracts, including wages and benefits.
States with “democracy issues” measures: California, Maryland, Ohio, Colorado, Montana.
4. Gay Marriage
… This fall, four states will vote on marriage-related propositions.
Those states: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington.
Marijuana legalization measures are on the ballot in six states … .
The six states: Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Massachusetts, Arkansas.
After the Affordable Care Act became law, four states passed ballot measures saying no individual or business would be forced to participate in a healthcare system (Arizona, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma). Colorado’s voters rejected a similar statement. This November, voters in four more states will vote on similar measures.
The four: Alabama, Florida, Montana, Wyoming.
7. Illegal Immigrants
Anti-immigrant sentiments are behind two measures on opposite sides of the country.
The two states: Maryland and Montana.
All of these topics-taxes, unions, democracy issues, marriage, pot, Obamacare, illegal immigrants-are on the ballot in more than one state. But there also are a handful of single-state issues that are important and could make waves beyond their borders.
8. Affirmative Action (Oklahoma) …
9. Death Penalty (California) …
10. Assisted Suicide (Massachusetts) …
11. Food Labeling (California) …
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