Ballot Measures on Tuesday
This Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I'll be watching election results. I'm interested in the VA and NJ Governor races and that Upstate NY congressional district that has gotten so much attention. I also know that many of your communities have important races for mayoral and city council seats. But I'll really be paying attention to are a number of state and local ballot initiatives.
Over the past month, this blog has referenced the TABOR proposals in Maine and Washington State. We've also devoted several posts to the Community Bill of Rights struggle in Spokane. But those are only a few of the issues facing voters.
In this off year November election, voters in six states (Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington) will decide on 26 statewide ballot measures ranging from municipal bonds to gay rights. That doesn't include all the local ballot measures and city charter amendments.
Some issues are relatively minor - New York will decide whether or not to allow prisoners to perform volunteer work. Other issues have been debated and re-debated for years - Ohio voters will decide whether to allow gaming in state for the fifth time in 20 years.
For more info on the specific statewide measures check out: National Conference of State Legislatures - 2009 Ballot Measure Overview or go Ballotpedia.
I've got several questions about ballot initiatives: Is direct democracy good or are our elected representatives shirking their responsibility? Is running a ballot initiative campaign a great citizen motivator or a divisive money pit?