Guns to gay marriage: other ballot questions
Four states have election day referendums on the issue - Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington - and gay-marriage opponents are hopeful their winning streak can be preserved. (AP Photo File photo/Patrick Semansky)
The tradition of letting Americans vote on the laws that govern them started in 1898 in South Dakota, with a ballot on women’s right to vote. It was defeated, but another, to regulate the sale of liquor, passed. Since then, political parties, activists and state legislators have caught on to the idea of putting laws to a vote, with hundreds of initiatives to extend their liberal or conservative agendas. Dozens of referenda were slated throughout 2012, including 176 ballot questions in 38 states along with the presidential vote.
Some of the Nov. 6 highlights:
Alabama Vote on allowing the use of secret ballots in union voting.
Alaska Vote on exempting crime victims from responsibility for death or injury damages claims if they defend themselves.
California Vote to approve or defeat a tax increase to fund public education and other state services.
Florida Vote to bar public funding of abortion and to repeal a ban on the use of public funds for religious groups.
Louisiana Vote to add constitutional protections to existing state gun rights.
Maine Vote to overturn ban on gay marriage and to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Massachusetts Vote to allow assisted “death with dignity.”
Michigan Vote to make collective bargaining a right for all workers. And vote to make voters approve any new bridge or tunnel from the state to Canada.
Montana Vote on an act denying some state-funded services to “illegal aliens.”
Nebraska Vote to allow lawmakers to serve three, instead of two terms, and raise their salaries to $22,500 a year.
New Hampshire Vote to ban any new personal income taxes.
North Dakota Vote to make it a felony to “maliciously harm” a cat, dog or horse, except for those who work with animals.
Oklahoma Vote to ban affirmative action, except when gender is a “bona fide qualification.”
South Dakota Vote for a constitutional amendment that the budget must be balanced.
Utah Vote to exempt military personnel from property taxes.
Washington Vote to legalize and regulate the sale of “small amounts” of marijuana to people 21 and older.
Wyoming Vote to limit effects of ObamaCare by ensuring that no resident is forced to buy health care.