More than 160 ballot measures going before voters this year
’Legalize it’: On Election Day, voters in different states get a say on recreational marijuana; hiking the minimum wage; and more.
On Nov. 8, Americans won’t just get their say on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: voters will weigh in on a slew of ballot measures concerning everything from the minimum wage to marijuana.
More than 160 statewide ballot measures are certified to go before voters this year in 35 states, according to Ballotpedia. While that’s down from some past years, the issues remain the kinds that stir voters up. Here’s a look at some hot-button measures facing Americans around the country on Election Day.
Minimum wage: There are measures to boost the minimum wage on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington. And in a referendum that may prove to be the bane of South Dakota teenagers, voters in that state will decide whether the minimum wage should drop by $1 an hour for workers under the age of 18.
Plastic bags in California: In 2014, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the country’s first statewide ban on disposable plastic bags. On Nov. 8, Golden State residents will vote whether to uphold the law or throw it out. The law bans single-use plastic bags and also lets grocers charge customers 10 cents for paper bags or reusable plastic bags.
Read: The truth about reusable shopping bags.
Marijuana: “Legalize it,” goes reggae legend Peter Tosh’s hit song about marijuana. “Don’t criticize it.” Some 40 years after Tosh’s song came out, voters in nine states get the opportunity to act on his advice. Five — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — have ballot initiatives to legalize pot for recreational use and four — Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota — for medical use.
Stefanie Miller of Height Securities said in a note Friday morning she believes all recreational measures but Arizona’s are “highly likely” to pass; and all medical initiatives except Arkansas’ are likely to be approved. (Miller says it’s “possible” that measures will get through in Arizona and Arkansas.)
Recreational marijuana is now legal in four states and the District of Columbia. Here’s a look at proposed excise taxes in the five states voting on recreational use next month:
Taxing tobacco: Voters in four states will consider increasing tobacco taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: California, Colorado, Missouri and North Dakota. And smokers should be prepared for a hefty increase. In Colorado, for example, the tax would go from 84 cents a pack to $2.59. The median state tax on a pack of cigarettes was $1.53 as of January.
See the NCSL’s ballot measures database.
New Jersey’s casino question: Atlantic City’s casinos have gone through some very trying times, with the Trump Taj Mahal earlier this month becoming the latest to close its doors. Now, voters will get a say on adding two casinos elsewhere in the state. If voters approve Public Question 1, notes Ballotpedia, it would end a four-decade monopoly in Atlantic City.