In what is anticipated to be a contentious mid-term election, many current and aspiring politicians have made a name for themselves. And while whether or not Beto Cruz wins in Texas is certainly of extreme importance, it’s not just the “who’s” that will play a pivotal role in our nation’s future, but also the “what’s.” Here is a look at some of the most important ballot initiatives being voted on election day around the country:
Utah, Proposition 2: While the states surrounding Utah have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, Utah has remained the lone holdout in the region. This might change with Proposition 2, which would allow medical cannabis to be purchased with a medical marijuana card. It would also let qualified individuals grow up to six plants for personal use. While medical and recreational marijuana is on the ballot in other states, such as North Dakota and Missouri, if Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country, opens the door, it’s only natural that most other red states will follow suit.
Arizona, Proposition 127: Focusing on the environment is the drought-ridden state of Arizona, a state that knows what it’s like to have scarce natural resources. Proposition 127 would require the state’s utilities to derive 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, or hydropower by 2030. If the initiative passes and Arizona is able to accomplish the goal, then it will likely set the precedent for other states as well.
Maine, Question 1: As people live longer and longer than ever before, it can become challenging for them to live unassisted. Question 1, if passed, will cover Medicaid expansion, providing in-home care for senior citizens over the age of 65. While this is great news for younger adults who may worry about putting their parents in a nursing home someday, it’s also caused some concern amongst taxpayers who are worried that the middle class will feel the burden.
Florida, Amendment 4: Due to current laws that prohibit those with felony criminal records from voting, about 1.5 million people in the state are currently unable to vote. Amendment 4 will make it legal for those that have completed their sentences to vote (save for some exceptions of violent criminals and certain types of sex offenders). According to an analysis by The New York Times/Upshot, if 20% of the 1.5 million voted, that would be 300,000 new voters and in a traditional swing state such as Florida, that could cause the pendulum to swing drastically- especially as elderly residents start to die out.
Nevada, Question 5: While there has been a major push to get young people registered to vote this year, in 2020, that might not be an issue in Nevada, where if Question 5 passes, adults over 18 will automatically become registered to vote when they get a driver’s license. (If Michigan’s Proposal 3 and Maryland’s Question 2 pass, voters will be able to register at the polls on election day, as is currently the case in 15 other states.)
Measure 3, North Dakota: In addition to legalizing marijuana, if Measure 3 passes, the measure would also expunge the record of anyone convicted of a marijuana-related crime, a move that many have called humane and positive- especially in light of looser standards and greater legalization.
Additionally, there are literally hundreds of other measures, propositions, questions, and other initiatives that will be voted on today, such as Proposition B in Missouri, which would increase the minimum wage from $7.85 per hour to $12 by 2023 and Issue 5 in Arkansas, which would raise it from $8.50 to $11 by 2021. Campaign finance reform is also on the ballot in several states.
Not sure what you can vote on today? Enter your address into Ballotpedia for a list of measures in your area as well as quick, unbiased explanations.
See you at the polls!