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Here Are Some of Election Day's Biggest Referendums

Marijuana, abortion, Medicare among the ballot initiatives
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2018 7:14 PM CST
A voter enters a voting booth at Laurel High School on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Laurel, Mont. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)   (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

(Newser) – It's not just lawmakers on the ballot in Tuesday's midterm elections. Some of the biggest issues on ballots across the US, per Bloomberg, Quartz, and Paste:

  • Legalizing weed: Michigan and North Dakota are voting whether to legalize recreational use of cannabis, while Missouri, Ohio, and Utah are deciding on medical use. (Florida and Kentucky are also voting on criminal penalties related to marijuana.)
  • Abortion: In Alabama, voters are considering an amendment to the state's constitution that would "recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life." A proposed West Virginia amendment would assert that there is nothing in the state constitution to protect a right to abortion. And Oregon residents are voting on a measure that would bar publicly funded health care programs from covering abortion.

  • Medicaid: Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah are deciding whether to expand Medicaid to cover lower-income Americans. Montana residents are voting on whether to keep the Medicaid expansion approved by legislators in 2015.
  • Transgender rights: Massachusetts is voting on whether to repeal a 2016 law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in places of public accommodation, a category including hospitals and stores.
  • Minimum wage: Missouri voters are deciding whether to increase it to $12 by 2023; Arkansas voters are voting on whether to increase it to $11 by 2021.
  • Voting rights: These are on the ballot in a number of states. Florida is voting on whether to restore voting rights to more than a million ex-convicts, while North Carolina is voting on whether to start requiring a photo ID in order to vote.
Track key ballot initiatives at NPR. (Read more 2018 midterms stories.)

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