Key Ballot Initiatives: What Passed, What Didn’t?

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Voters cast their Election Day ballots at Harrison High School in Harrison, Montana. The high school is a polling station for Harrison, Pony, Norris and other surrounding rural areas. (AP Photo/Janie Osborne)

Two weeks ago, we put together a list of ballot initiatives we were watching related to ten hot-button issues. The results are in. Here’s a look at what passed and what didn’t.

Same-Sex Marriage
Ballot initiatives allowing same-sex marriage passed in Washington state, Maryland and Maine. A Minnesota ballot initiative seeking to define marriage as “Solely Between One Man and One Woman” failed.

California Public School Funding
Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to raise income taxes on the wealthy and raise sales taxes statewide passed. A competing measure to raise taxes on most Californians, backed by the millionaire Munger siblings, failed. It is good news that one of the tax measures passed; many Californians worried the measures would cancel one another out, leading to massive funding cuts for the state’s schools.

Labor
California Prop 32, which would limit unions’ ability to spend for political purposes, failed. Two Michigan proposals that would have guaranteed public and private employees the right to bargain collectively also failed.

Marijuana
Ballot measures legalizing pot in Colorado and Washington both passed, but a similar initiative in Oregon did not. Initiatives legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in Massachusetts and Arkansas also passed.

Immigration
The Maryland state DREAM Act passed. A Montana ballot initiative requiring proof of citizenship to apply for state services also passed.

Campaign Finance
Both Montana and Colorado passed ballot initiatives (by an overwhelming margin) charging elected officials to work to blunt the effects of Citizens United.

Genetically Modified Food
A California ballot initiative that would have required all food manufacturers to label food that containing genetically modified organisms failed.

Health Care
Ballot initiatives seeking to blunt the impact of Obamacare by making parts of the law illegal on the state level passed in Wyoming, Montana and Missouri, but did not pass in Florida.

Affirmative Action
An Oklahoma ballot initiative successfully made affirmative action illegal in that state.

Voter ID
An amendment to the Minnesota constitution requiring voters to present ID to vote did not pass.

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  • Dave

    I am a native born Californian and have lived here most of my life. I voted for Mitt Romney but as usual our vote did not count because of the way our Electoral collage works. Romney had about 30% of the vote in Ca. but all the EV went to Barack, this is not fair and needs to be changed. I can’t wait to see what the next four years, or B.O., has in store for America. It won’t be good!

  • Stephen

    President Obama won both the electoral college and popular vote.

  • Anonymous

    The fact that people in CA voted to deny themselves the knowledge of what food they eat that is GM shows two aspects: the impact of spending FIFTY Million USD misinforming voters on the allegedly frightful impacts of the legislation such as on food cost — this when the food cost increases have indeed been substantial over the last decade and so people are already afraid; but also the way people identify themselves with the care they put into what they eat, and those who cannot know or afford better food, say organic, are simply trying to help themselves from feeling bad when buying what they are used to.

    Food is more than a staple, and in an educationally diverse and competitive society, its character and quality can bring personal identity into play. Also, many people know they are ignorant and don’t want to be scared by what they eat, and implicitly don’t want to be told they are eating lesser food. Still, while self-elected ignorance may ameliorate personal feelings of inadequacy it won’t contribute to the transparency and perfect information required by a truly free market and by consumers who are not afraid of knowledge and can be responsible for themselves and the whole of the environment.

    Finally, there are elements of elected fascism in the choice of anti-intellectualism. The only solution is more education with critical thinking ability for the voter to elect courage and hope versus fear and subservience to ignorance.

  • Democrat

    It is COLLEGE bonehead republican, not collage! Ignorance is our worst enemy!