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Marijuana, abortion, weapons: what else do Americans vote for on election day

Voters across the country today, November 3, will decide more than choosing between the two main presidential candidates. Residents of different states will voice their opinions on several different issues, including legalizing marijuana, restricting access to abortion, voting reform, and more. Some of the most important questions for voting on election day are cited CNN.

Photo: Shutterstock

Legalizing marijuana

Eleven US states have legalized recreational marijuana, and four more may join them this year. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota will consider measures to legalize marijuana, authorize the sale of cannabis, and introduce drug-related criminal justice reforms.

"Offer 207" in arizona if approved, will allow adults 21 years of age and older to own, consume or transfer up to one ounce of marijuana and grow a maximum of six plants for personal use, but will also ban smoking weed in public. This will allow retail sales of marijuana while imposing an excise tax of 16%. The proposal will also give courts the ability to overturn certain arrests, charges and sentences for marijuana.

Montana will vote on two marijuana-related initiatives. Initiative 118 will amend the state constitution to allow for a legal age to buy, consume or possess marijuana. Initiative 190 will make recreational marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. If approved, marijuana will be sold commercially in the state and taxed at 20%. The initiative will also allow a person serving a sentence for marijuana-related crimes to apply for a reconsideration or conviction.

“Public Issue No. 1” in New Jersey Is a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for personal, non-medical use by adults over the age of 21.

South Dakota could become the first state to simultaneously approve medical and recreational marijuana. Amendment A on the state ballot would legalize recreational marijuana for all adults, and Measure 26 would legalize medical cannabis. The state currently imposes severe penalties for possession of even small amounts of “grass”.

В Mississippi There are two competing ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for medical use. On the ballot, voters are asked whether they support Initiative 65 or Initiative 65A, or oppose both. Initiative 65 will allow selected patients with debilitating diseases to use medical marijuana for pain relief; Initiative 65A proposes to create a program to allow the use of marijuana-based products for medical purposes.

Meanwhile, “Initiative No. 81” in Washington DC empowers voters to decide whether the use of entheogenic (psychoactive) plants and fungi should be decriminalized.

On the subject: US Presidential Election: Latest News and Results Map

Voting formats by state

Alaska and Massachusetts decide whether to introduce ranged voting in the election. It is a system in which voters rank their preferences rather than voting for just one candidate. Measure # 2 in Alaska proposes a move to an open primary system of the top four and universal ranked voting. Question 2 in Massachusetts provides ranked choices for the state and federal primary and general elections, but not for the presidential elections.

“Amendment 3” in Florida if approved, will change the state's closed primaries to allow registered voters to vote in the primaries for the state legislature, governors, and cabinet regardless of their political party. All candidates will be entered on the same primary ballot, with two main voters competing in the general election. If adopted, the amendment will enter into force in 2024.

“Measure 2” in the state Mississippi asks voters whether the Jim Crow-era voting clause, which requires a candidate to win a majority in a state popular vote, and win a majority in 122 Mississippi counties, should be removed. Currently, if none of the candidates meets both requirements, the Mississippi House of Representatives selects the winner. Measure 2 instead proposes to establish a second round of elections.

Alabama Amendment 1, Florida Amendment 1, and Colorado Amendment 76 - if they are approved, they will change the constitutions of each state. Instead of “every citizen”, the United States will write “only citizen” of the United States. It is about who can vote in elections - not just US citizens who have reached the age of 18, but only citizens who have passed voter registration.

“Proposition 17” in California proposes to restore the right to vote for persons who were deprived of it while serving a prison sentence. “Proposition 18” in California asks if 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote. If accepted, the proposal would allow 17-year-old voters to vote in the primary, provided they turn 18 before the next general election. Meanwhile, San Francisco is asking 16-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.

Racial issues

“Measure 3” in the state Mississippi asks voters to rate the new state flag after the region's Legislature dropped the 1894 flag that featured the Confederate battle emblem this summer. Voters will either accept or reject the new flag design, which was selected from 3000 options and includes a magnolia flower surrounded by 20 stars, which stands for “20th state”. The flag also has the words “We believe in God” as required by law. If voters decide to disagree with the proposed design, the process of selecting a new flag will begin again.

In state Rhode Island voters are asked to approve a change in the state's official name to remove the slavery portion. This measure, if adopted, would transform "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" into "Rhode Island".

Proposed Nebraska Amendment 1 and Utah Amendment C will amend state constitutions to remove outdated language that allows slavery and forced slavery as punishment for crimes.

Abortions

“Proposition 115” in Colorado proposes to ban abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy and imposes fines for doctors performing the procedure after this period. There are currently no restrictions in the state on when a woman can have an abortion. The measure assumes exceptions - when the mother's life is in danger, but not in cases of rape and incest.

“Amendment No. 1” in Louisiana declares that no provision in the state constitution protects the right to abortion and does not require funding for abortion. As a result, this may result in a ban on this procedure.

On the subject: Americans massively vote early: why their ballots may not be taken into account

Criminal justice

"Question 805" Oklahoma asks voters if they want to abolish "re-sentencing" or "increased punishment" for nonviolent criminals. According to this measure, the previous conviction of a person for a serious crime cannot be used to tighten his punishment next time. This measure will also allow convicts to seek a change in the sentence with tougher punishment. This does not apply to persons convicted of serious crimes.

"Amendment 1" to the constitution Kentucky Asks voters to reconsider enacting the Marcy Act, which will expand the constitutional rights of victims of crime, including notification of all court proceedings and the right to be heard during all trials in which the person is a victim. This amendment would require the payment of full restitution to victims if determined by the court. The move was passed in 2018 with the support of nearly 63% of voters, but the Kentucky Supreme Court later ruled it invalid because the entire text of the amendment was not on the 2018 ballot.

“Proposition 25” in California will allow the 2018 law on the termination of the collateral to enter into force. Under this measure, defendants will no longer be required to pay money for their release pending trial, but instead will release them "based on an assessment of public safety risks."

State status, ridesharing and more

Puerto-Rico cannot vote for the President of the United States because it is not a US state. But the question of obtaining this status is again on the island's ballots in these elections. Voters on the island will be asked, "Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted to the US as a state?" This is a non-binding referendum and congressional approval will be required for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state.

“Proposition 22” in California will allow sharing and delivery apps like Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as independent contractors with some perks, rather than employees.

“Proposition 16” in California will restore positive discrimination that was abolished in the state 24 years ago. This measure will take into account the race, gender, skin color, ethnicity or nationality of the candidate when obtaining education and employment in California.

"Referendum-90" Washington state will require state public schools to include age-appropriate sexual health education in their curricula. The Democratic-controlled state legislature passed the law, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law in March. It requires voter approval to take effect.

"Legislative referendum 130" Montana will limit the powers of local authorities to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms. It will also deprive local governments of the ability to restrict the open carrying of firearms, with the exception of public buildings.

"Amendment 2" Florida will gradually raise the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour. She will raise the current minimum wage in Florida from $ 8,56 to $ 10 an hour in 2021. Then, the minimum wage per hour will increase by $ 1 each year until it reaches $ 2026 by 15.

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