State ballot measures to watch on Election Night

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

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 8:55 AM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 6:30 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15523

Reported Deaths: 734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
Leflore26431
Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
Oktibbeha23912
Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
Adams19915
Noxubee1866
Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
Grenada943
Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Montgomery851
Sunflower843
Union835
Marshall833
Jefferson Davis773
Tippah7311
Panola713
Webster692
Calhoun654
Amite641
Humphreys607
Walthall560
Tunica553
Prentiss533
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Pontotoc353
Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17952

Reported Deaths: 630
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00
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