Ballot Initiatives

Two much-watched health policy ballot initiatives went down on state ballots in Colorado and California. Both were fashioned to address voter concern over the affordability of health care. On the other hand, voters in eight states approved initiatives to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use. 

Yesterday voters in five states (Arizona, Colorado, Maine, South Dakota and Washington) weighed in on the minimum wage through ballot initiatives. All of the initiatives were approved except one: voters in South Dakota rejected a measure that would roll back the minimum wage for workers under 18 from $8.50 to $7.50. That means that minimum wage earners in four states will see a raise in coming years.  

On Friday, Sept. 23, Facebook, the social media giant and member of the CSG Associates program, pushed out a banner message to its American users reminding them to register to vote. The message read, “Are you registered to vote? Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election.” The reminder also included a link to the federal directory of state voter registration websites, and an option to share with your friends that you had registered. Facebook kept the banner up through Monday, Sept. 26. This is not the first time...

Tuesday November 8th appears likely to be a pivotal Election Day for the nation’s transportation and infrastructure. With control of The White House and Congress on the line, the future direction of the federal transportation program is also at stake. With control of governorships and state legislatures on the line, so too could be initiatives to seek additional state transportation investment. Meanwhile, communities like Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Seattle will consider ballot measures that could enable major investments in public transit over the next few years. And voters in Illinois and New Jersey will decide whether to place constitutional protections on the use of transportation funds.

On Monday, Sept. 19, Thomas Hicks, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, or EAC, announced the winners of the “Election Workers Best Practices Competition.” This national competition was created in order to identify and acknowledge quality poll worker management practices from states throughout the country. “The EAC received more submissions than had been expected,” said Hicks. Each submission was reviewed in depth by a seven-...

Voters in Colorado will face a choice on the ballot this November regarding medical aid in dying for the terminally ill. The “Colorado End of Life Options Act,” or Initiative 145, is a proposal that would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medications to adult Colorado residents who have a terminal illness with a prognosis of six months to live or less.

A record number of ballot initiatives regarding marijuana have been proposed this year. According to Ballotpedia, nine states have initiatives concerning marijuana on the ballot this fall. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are considering initatives to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota are voting on legalizing medical marijuana.

Since April, environmental groups in Colorado have been working to gather signatures for two statewide initiatives that would amend the state constitution to increase regulatory control on energy industries. Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development submitted two measures, Initiatives 75 and 78, that would grant local governments the authority to regulate energy industry development and establish that facilities be at least 2,500 feet from an occupied structure.

Voters decided only 28 state-level ballot propositions in 2015, as direct democracy activity continued to cool in the 21st century. High profile issues included rejection of marijuana legalization in Ohio, selection of the chief justice in Wisconsin, and sales tax changes in Michigan and Washington.

On November 8, 2016, California voters will head to the polls to vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana. According to Fortune, eight states are expected to vote on marijuana initiatives this November.

Pages