Election Results: Ballot Initiatives

Voters in seven states took to the polls on Tuesday to vote on 27 ballot measures. In a year that had very few legislative and executive elections, some of the measures gained media attention over the last several months. The two that were seen as the most controversial, the Mississippi personhood amendment and the Ohio collective bargaining issue, were handily defeated. Below is a summary of the results from all seven states:

With an 83-18 percent vote, Arkansas voters approved a measure that would authorize local areas, cities and counties, to create special economic districts and issue bonds for retail projects in the state.

Voters in Maine rejected two measures to expand gambling in the state. With a vote of 55-45 percent and 63-37 percent against, the measures that would have increased the number of casinos from two to five, were rejected.

Citizens approved the rejection of LD 1376, which ended election-day registration and set a two-day pre-registration requirement for new voters. They also approved a constitutional amendment to change the Maine redistricting years after 2013 from 2023 to 2021.

The controversial personhood measure that would have changed the definition of a person to include “from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof,” was defeated 58-42 percent.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment that would require a person to submit a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Citizens also voted yes on a measure to prohibit the government from taking private property by eminent domain and giving it to another person or business.

New Jersey
Voters in New Jersey approved a constitutional amendment to legalizing sports gambling. While the state is still prohibited by federal law from legalizing sports gambling, the passage of this amendment could set the state up to pursue a lawsuit on the matter.

With a 61-39 percent margin, voters elected to repeal the recent law passed by the Legislature that limited the ability of public employees to collectively bargain. Voters also defeated a measure that would increase the maximum age for a person to be elected or appointed as a judge. In addition to these measures, voters approved an amendment that would allow Ohioans to opt-out of the new federal health care law.

Seven of the 10 proposed constitutional amendments on the state’s ballot were approved by voters. A majority of the amendments dealt with the issuance of bonds.

In a close 51-49 percent vote, citizens defeated a measure that would prohibit the use of motor vehicle fund and toll revenue monies for non-transportation purposes. Voters approved all other measures and resolutions on the ballot, including Initiative Measure No. 1183 which will allow the privatization of liquor sales.