Interesting Ballot Questions Around America

In earlier posts, I covered the statewide ballot questions in Oregon and the local ballot questions In Portland. As the title indicates, this post is about some of the interesting ballot questions around America.

Expanding Medicaid

Voters in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah will be voting on whether to expand Medicaid. The most interesting thing about this is that all three states are very conservative. Yet, most people believe voters in Idaho and Utah will vote in favor of expanding Medicaid. I haven’t seen enough data to suggest how the vote will go in Nebraska. If all three states approve Medicaid expansion, estimates say an additional 340,000 Americans will have health insurance next year.

In Montana, voters will choose on whether to double the cigarette tax to pay for Medicaid coverage for childless adults. If the measure fails, low-income Montanans with no children will lose health insurance. The Tobacco industry has spent 17 million dollars opposing the question.

Abortion

Voters in Alabama and West Virginia are voting on amendments to their state constitutions that would remove protections for the right to an abortion or require the funding of abortions. The Alabama amendment would also grant fetuses personhood status. Efforts to declare fetuses people were put to the voters of Colorado (twice), Mississippi, and North Dakota, In all four votes, the idea of granting fetuses personhood was rejected.

The idea behind these amendments is very simple: if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, these amendments will basically make abortions illegal in Alabama and West Virginia.

Environment

Residents of Washington State have the chance to enact the first carbon tax in American history. If enacted, question 1631 would tax fossil fuel companies 15 dollars for every ton of carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere. Money raised by the tax would go to support public transit, energy efficiency projects, and wind and solar power. The oil industry has spent millions in opposition to 1631.

Colorado proposition 112 seeks to limit the distance oil and gas development can be in relation to so-called vulnerable areas. Under the terms of 112, vulnerable areas include: homes; schools; public parks; public drinking water facilities; and playgrounds. If 112 passes, new oil and gas wells couldn’t be within 2,500 feet of a vulnerable area. The oil industry has spent millions opposing 112.

This is another fascinating question that currently is too close to call.

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