Same Sex Marriage Marijuana Top 2012 Ballot Measure List

11.02.12 | Jeremy Miller

Gay marriage


Voters in 37 states are facing at least one ballot measure when they go to the polls.  Overall, voters will see more ballot measures this year, compared to 2010.  There are 174 total measures on the 2012 ballot, up from 159 in 2010.  Same-sex marriage and marijuana top the list of issues voters will decide on.  Also on the list are measures concerning healthcare, abortion funding, affirmative action, education reform and capital punishment.


- In Maine, a ballot initiative would legalize same-sex marriage.  Maryland and Washington state have measures to determine if legalization bills passed by their respective state legislatures will stand.  In Minnesota, there is a measure to ban same-sex marriage.


- Six states have marijuana-related measures on the ballot.  Colorado, Oregon and Washington state have measures to legalize recreational use.  Massachusetts, Montana and Arkansas have initiatives concerning the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.


- Voters in five states will consider healthcare measures.  Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming have measures to prohibit mandatory participation in President Obama's healthcare law.  North Dakota will ask voters if smoking should be prohibited in public places and workplaces.  A California measure would require labeling of genetically engineered foods and Massachusetts voters will decide on a measure which would permit terminally ill patients to receive a lethal injection.


- Two states have measures addressing abortion.  A Florida amendment would bar public funds from being used to pay for abortion or for health benefits which include abortion coverage.  That prohibition wouldn't apply in cases of rape, incest or where the mother's life is in danger.  In Montana, there's a measure which would require parental notification before a minor could get an abortion.  The initiative also provides for judicial waivers of notification.


- A number of states are voting on tax initiates of significance.  In California, one measure would increase the income tax on earnings above 250-thousand dollars for seven years and raise the sales tax by a quarter of a percent for four years.  Another measure in California would increase all income taxes and set aside 60 percent of that revenue for education.  In Arizona, one measure would make permanent an existing temporary sales tax while at the same time mandating annual increases in state education spending.  A South Dakota initiative would raise the state sales tax to fund education and health care and a Missouri measure would increase tobacco taxes by a dollar per pack with revenue going towards health education.  In New Hampshire, voters will decide on a measure which would prohibit new income taxes.


- Several states have ballot measures dealing with discrimination.  An Oklahoma measure would prohibit discrimination or preferences based on race, sex, ethnicity and national origin.  In Alabama, a measure would delete constitutional references to segregation of schools by race and repeal poll taxes.  Maryland voters will decide on a measure to repeal a law which permits illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities if they go to high schools in the state and if their parents paid taxes.  In Montana, a measure would deny services to illegal immigrants.


- Key labor issues are on the ballot in a couple of states.  A California measure would prohibit union dues from being used for political purposes without being authorized by union members.  Michigan voters will decide on a measure which would create a new constitutional right to collective bargaining.


- A pair of states have big changes for teachers and teacher unions on the ballot.  In Idaho, there are measures to limit collective bargaining, put in place performance-based pay and modify school district funding.  A South Dakota measure would create a program for teacher merit bonuses, mandate an evaluation system for teachers and principals and do away with requirements for teacher tenure.


- California has a measure on the ballot which would do away with capital punishment.  The measure would commute convicted criminals to life in prison without parole.  Recent polls are showing voters across California nearly divided on this issue.