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State ballot measures to watch on Election Night

The midterm election was not just an opportunity to change the face of Congress and statehouses nationwide....

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 6:28 AM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 4:15 AM

The midterm election was not just an opportunity to change the face of Congress and statehouses nationwide. Voters in 37 states also considered ballot measures on social and political issues such as health care, marijuana and election policies.

Some were initiated by citizens, others by lawmakers. The questions included whether to restrict abortion access, expand Medicaid, or change voting requirements.

Here are some of the ballot measures we're keeping an eye on nationwide. We'll continue updating the results as they come in.

Abortion

Three measures in three states concerned abortion access and funding.

In Alabama and West Virginia, voters approved changing their state constitutions to say that they do not protect the right to an abortion or require funding of abortions.

Alabama's Amendment 2 will also change the state constitution to say that it supports the rights of unborn children, giving them constitutional protections.

West Virginia's Amendment 1 also prevents state taxpayer money from being used to pay for abortions for those on Medicaid.

Oregon voters rejected Measure 106, which would have prohibited publicly funded health care programs from covering abortion.

Crime, justice and sentencing

Voters in six states -- Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina and Oklahoma -- voted to approve some version of a measure often called "Marsy's Law." South Dakota passed one in June.

The proposals varied from state to state, but each would add specific protections for victims of crime to a state's constitution. Such protections include the right to be notified about hearings or the release of the accused, the right to restitution or the right to refuse an interview or deposition at the request of the accused.

Supporters of Marsy's Law say it gives victims more say in what happens in their cases. Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, said victims already have these types of rights through state laws and warned that enshrining victims' rights in state constitutions creates a false equivalency between them and the rights of the accused. They warn that Marsy's Law could undermine the rights of the accused and divert resources from those in need.

Washington state's initiative 940 would change the legal standard for use of deadly force in officer-involved shootings. It would effectively lower the bar for prosecuting officers by establishing a good faith standard for opening fire.

The measure would also require law enforcement officers to receive ongoing training in violence de-escalation and how to interact with people with mental health issues. And it would establish a duty for officers to render first aid.

Election policies

Florida voters passed Amendment 4, which restores voting rights for felons after they complete their sentences, including parole or probation, except for those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense. The law is expected to give the right to vote to 1.5 million people.

Ohio voters in May approved a statewide measure to establish a new redistricting system. Four more states -- Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Utah -- weighed similar measures for their state legislatures, their congressional districts, or both.

Measures passed in Colorado and Michigan. The Colorado initiative will create a 12-member independent redistricting commission instead of having the state legislature draw district maps. Michigan's Proposition 2 establishes a 13-member redistricting commission and provides criteria for members and maps.

More states considered measures related to voting requirements and ballot access.

Voters in Arkansas and North Carolina approved amendments requiring voters to present a photo ID to vote in person.

Maryland voters chose to authorize the general assembly to pass legislation that lets qualified people register to vote on Election Day. Ballots in Michigan and Nevada asked whether to allow automatic voter registration for those who interact with certain government agencies.

Marijuana

Six measures on four state ballots concerned the legalization of recreational or medical marijuana.

Voters in Michigan approved a measure that allows people 21 and older to use marijuana and changes current violations from crimes to civil infractions.

Missouri had three competing measures. All of them proposed to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but with different proposed sales tax amounts and revenue uses:

- 2% tax, with revenue to be spent on veterans' services, drug treatment, education and law enforcement

- 15% tax, with revenue to be spent on a biomedical research institute

- 4% tax, with revenue to be spent on health care services for veterans

Voters in Utah are deciding whether to legalize medical marijuana, and Michigan and North Dakota voters weighed citizen initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana.

Oklahoma voted in June to approve medical marijuana.

Minimum wage

Two measures in two states proposed increasing the minimum wage to $11 by the year 2021 in Arkansas, and to $12 by 2023 in Missouri.

Medicaid expansion and health care

Four measures on four state ballots concerned Medicaid expansion or funding for Medicaid expansion.

Voters in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska considered whether to require their state governments to accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. In Montana, voters had the chance to force the state to continue accepting the expansion.

Nebraska, Utah and Idaho voters said yes to expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, including individuals under age 65 whose income is 138% or below the federal poverty line who aren't eligible for other state insurance coverage.

The initiatives in Montana and Utah proposed a tobacco tax increase and a sales tax increase, respectively, to provide funding for the expanded coverage. In January, Oregon voters approved a measure upholding legislation to provide funding for expanded Medicaid coverage through a tax on health insurers and revenue of certain hospitals.

In Nevada, Question 2 would amend the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955 to remove taxes on feminine hygiene products, also known as the pink tax.

More to watch

Massachusetts voters chose to keep a state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places.

Florida voters passed Amendment 13, which creates a prohibition on racing or betting on greyhounds or other dogs by 2020.

More than 70% of Alabama voters approved an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments on state and public property, including schools, and to prohibit spending public funds to defend the constitutionality of the amendment.

California's Proposition 6 would repeal fuel and vehicle taxes passed by the legislature in 2017 for road repairs and public transportation.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20224

Reported Deaths: 339
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah465393
Washington294324
Marion278968
Umatilla216726
Clackamas148438
Malheur73412
Deschutes5678
Lane5523
Jackson4371
Yamhill41312
Lincoln4119
Union3922
Jefferson3413
Morrow3293
Polk30112
Linn26510
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1783
Benton1616
Douglas1451
Josephine1102
Columbia900
Coos900
Clatsop830
Crook431
Baker370
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant30
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 541339

Reported Deaths: 10021
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2012004869
Riverside39741770
Orange38711697
San Bernardino34635490
San Diego31127583
Kern21724152
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10334196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8532134
Ventura795379
San Francisco722863
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5891120
Marin519978
Monterey512035
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma320842
Madera220836
San Luis Obispo204716
Placer203920
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12134
Butte10608
Napa10259
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6330
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3614
Glenn3523
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2122
Amador1560
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou900
Inyo841
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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