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Some Election Day Initiatives

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  • tonycpsu

    Would it be possible to draft a ballot initiative that would end ballot initiatives, sort of like turning the “three more wishes from the genie” logic on its head? Because that would be fantastic.

  • Richard

    As of the latest poll (yesterday), the initative to modify three strikes by requiring the third strike to be a violent felony is ahead by about 8 points. That doesn’t mean it will win. There are a lot of undecideds and they will probably break in favor of not changing the law. There is no initiative on the ballot to get rid of Three Strikes.

    There is also an initiative to get rid of the death penalty which is doing very well in polling. Will still probably lose but it has gained more votes than any similar vote in the past.

  • mark f

    We also have an assisted suicide measure here in Massachusetts. I haven’t seen any polls but the opposition lobby has been the only public advocacy I’ve seen.

  • One note: If EJ is correct and the Minnesota anti-marriage amendment gets 51% yes votes, it probably loses. Constitutional amendments in Minnesota require a majority of *all ballots cast* to pass; if a voter leaves the amendment question blank, it’s effectively a “no” vote. That means amendments usually have to hit 53% or so in order to be passed.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Reason for optimism!

    • Joe

      It’s up with 2/3 vote in.

  • rea

    Don’t forget the all-important proposal on the ballot here in Michigan to bar the state from allowing Canada to build (and pay for) a bridge to the US absent approval of the voters at at a general election. A sriking example of how money (personified in the billionaire owner of the present bridge) can buy ballot access–we’ll see if it can buy elections.

    • Prop 6 is too crazy even for the Republicans. I guess we could be surprised, but even just the language on the ballot looks more like a billionaire tantrum than anything else. There were “Yes on 6” signs outside my polling place though, so points for effort.

      • Linnaeus

        Seriously. When the Republican governor, the state Chamber of Commerce and (most) of the state’s labor community (the Teamsters being an unfortunate exception) is lined up against you, it’s got to be really bad.

        • The Dark Avenger

          There has been a history of candidates running for, and losing, California-wide elections, where their only qualification was having made a lot of money, Schwartznegger is the only exception and I think the voters learned from his time as Governor not to repeat the same mistake.

          The latest 2 examples are Demon Sheep Fiorina and Ms. Whitman.

    • Linnaeus

      Ugh. If Matty Moroun wins that vote, it’ll be terrible for Michigan.

    • McKingford

      I grew up in Windsor, so obviously this has great import – not just for the city, but for trade with Canada generally.

      IT’S A FREE FUCKING BRIDGE! FREE!!! If he gets Michiganders to vote against that, well, I guess you have to tip your hat to the power of money.

      Between stealing public land for his bridge plaza in Detroit, and destroying an entire neighbourhood in Windsor (where he thinks he will land the second span) Matty Maroun is the closest thing to the devil there is.

  • Sadly it looks like Prop 2 here in Michigan (collective bargaining) is going down (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/11/obama-up-6-stabenow-13-in-michigan.html):

    “Ballot initiatives to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the constitution (35/55) and to create a state renewable energy standard (31/62) both appear to be headed for pretty lopsided defeats.”

    It’s just one poll, and those are hard to predict anyway, but the anti-2 forces have been really nasty. Oh well, on the plus side it looks like Prop 5 (California style 2/3 majority for tax increased) is also going down, and I might trade that being defeated for the rest of of them anyway.

    • Linnaeus

      A Proposal 2 loss isn’t good, but isn’t the end of the world, either. I give some credit to Michigan labor for going on the offense here, even if it may not succeed.

      • I’m holding out a little bit of hope, but not much. Defeating 2 has been a big right wing priority here, for obvious reasons. That poll result aside, I’m slightly more optimistic for Prop 3 (clean energy). It’s been getting bashed pretty hard, but it’s one of those things that just looks good on a ballot. We’ll see.

        In the meantime, and not to shamelessly self link or anything, but I figure the crowd here might like a decent way to kill some time before we start (FINALLY!) getting real results and data:


    • At least Michigan’s ballot proposal to let the governor appoint a board to “set criteria” which, if met, would let a “special manager” take control of a town or school board and void contracts looks like it’s going down.

      And if you’re going to blogwhore I’ll mention I’m live-blogging the thing.

      • witless chum

        Well, the Gov. and AG are going to argue that it only strikes down the current law, which is a somewhat stronger version of a law we’ve had since 1990, so we’d revert to the pre-2010 version of a emergency manager with slightly less draconian powers.

        • Linnaeus

          Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

  • Joe

    MN’s measure seems gratuitous but if the anti-EP brigade wins there, it is a rear guard action that just reaffirms what is already the law there. The MD effort to overrule what the legislature passed would be much more depressing, shades of ’08 CA.

    I would add that “DOMA” should be written in quotes whenever used. Such a b.s. term.

    • Joe

      It will put a roadblock for legislative reform but if this passes, the chance of that happening soon is unclear. Taking away a legislative SSM win would to me be noticeably worse. I guess longer term, debatable.

      • I’m somewhat skeptical of the claim that African American voters are really breaking that heavily against the proposal here in Maryland, but either way a) it’s going to be a close vote, b) Maryland will have marriage equality within five years.

        • Yeah, Maine was in the same position of having the voters override the legislature passing a marriage equality bill in 2009, and three years later it looks like the voters will be going the other way (fingers crossed).

          In other ballot initiative news, I hear Alabama has one that would remove segregation from their state constitution. I, for one, stand ready to welcome Alabama into the 1960s.

  • MAJeff

    I’m so worried about the MN vote. My folks are moving from MN to IA this month, but made it a point to stay until after the election to vote on the marriage amendment. I would hate to be too ashamed and angry to return to my home state. Although I’m no longer living there, MN has always been home. This would definitely make it less home-like. It’s difficult to know that a majority of your fellow citizens view you as a lesser human being.

    • MAJeff

      Having said that, I”m excited about the possibility of WA-74 passing. My aunt and her spouse were married in Vancouver, BC in 2005. It might finally be recognized in their Vancouver, WA home.

      • Linnaeus

        We’re trying. It’s gonna be a close one, though. I’m cautiously optimistic, but we won’t know for several days.

        • Linnaeus

          Then again, maybe we will know sooner than that.

  • Uhm, polling on Maryland question 6 has very consistently shown a comfortable edge for pro-equality forces. Turnout is heavy here today, and I’ve a suspicion that’s related to our unusually large collection of ballot questions, but a question on gambling has gotten much more attention than question 6. While the heavy turnout has me mildly concerned about success, Maryland is about as blue a state as there is. There’s absolutely no reason to write marriage equality off in Maryland at this point.

    • Jim

      Yeah, I was curious about her analysis that advertising against Question 6 was “heavy.” I’ve seen a few anti-marriage equality ads, but they’ve been pretty well balanced out by pro ads. As you said, the whole thing has been eclipsed by the gambling advertising.

  • Warren Terra

    I just heard about Alabama Amendment 4. Those guys are so screwed.

    Apparently, Alabama’s state Constitution still enshrines Jim Crow in the public schools. An addition to the constitution in 1956, after Brown V Board, stated that the state doesn’t believe there’s a right to public education.

    In 2004, a clean vote to remove both of these stains on the state constitution failed, with 49.9% of the vote.

    This year, there’s an amendment that would remove Jim Crow – but would reinforce the notion that public schools are an abomination.

    The voters of Alabama will look like scum however they vote. Great work, guys!

  • The California initiative does not eliminate the 3-strikes law. It narrows it so that a third “strike” can only be a violent felony.

  • Stag Party Palin

    You guys are pissants. In Los Angeles we have Proposition B – would mandate inspectors on porn film sets to make sure dudes wear condoms.

    Paid inspectors.

    I’ve already sent in my job ap.

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