November 4, 2014

What Are Other States Voting on Today? 2014 Ballot Measures

According to articles in Governing and the Washington Post, voters in 41 states and Washington D.C. will consider nearly 150 ballot measures today. The measures cover a wide variety of topics, including guns, elections, immigration, and labor law. For example, voters in:
  • Massachusetts will consider whether to repeal its automatic gas tax increase, which is currently tied to the inflation rate;
  • Arizona will decide whether terminally ill patients should have access to drugs that are potentially helpful but that the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved;
  • California will consider whether to require drug testing for doctors;
  • Florida will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana; and
  • Georgia will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the legislature from increasing the income tax above its current rate of 6%.
About one-fourth of the measures resulted from direct initiative or referendum—processes under which citizens can petition to have questions placed on the ballot.  (For more information on direct initiative and referendum, see OLR Report 2001-R-0611.)

Connecticut does not authorize statewide direct initiative or referendum, but voters will consider a legislatively referred proposed constitutional amendment. If passed, it would give the General Assembly greater authority to pass a law allowing voters to cast their ballots without having to (1) appear at their polling place on election day or (2) provide a reason for voting by absentee ballot.  (For more information on the proposed amendment, see OLR Report 2014-R-0221.)