Report

Panoply of Ballot Measures Awaits Voters

When voters in Arizona, California and Colorado go to the polls on Tuesday (Nov. 4), they will be weighing in on a lot more than Barack Obama and John McCain. They also will be deciding the fate of 34 ballot measures, including proposals to ban gay marriage, criminalize all abortions and strip employers of their business licenses if they knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

The three states are the biggest battlegrounds in a busy year for ballot initiatives. A total of 153 proposals await voters in 36 states this election cycle, including 59 measures that were placed on the ballot by activist groups rather than state legislatures. So-called “citizen initiatives” often require the collection of tens of thousands of signatures to qualify for the ballot.

High-profile measures across the country range this year from a repeal of the income tax in Massachusetts to legalization of physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients in Washington. Only Oregon currently has a so-called “death with dignity” law.

Read the full report Panoply of Ballot Measures Awaits Voters on Stateline.org.