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.

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.

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.

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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