Tagballot measures

Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota pass ballot measures to legalize marijuana

Ballot measures to legalize marijuana were passed by voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, bringing the total number of states with laws providing for legal marijuana to 15. 

Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota are the only states besides Alaska that voted for Republican presidential candidates from 2000 to 2016 and that have now voted to legalize recreational marijuana. North Dakota, which also voted for Republican presidential candidates from 2000 to 2016, rejected a recreational marijuana ballot measure in 2018.

As of 8:00 AM ET, the results for this year’s recreational or personal use marijuana measures is as follows:

  • Arizona Proposition 207: 59.8% – 40.02%
  • Montana Initiative 118: 57.7% – 42.3%
  • Montana Initiative 190: 56.6% – 43.4%
  • New Jersey: 66.9% – 33.1%
  • South Dakota: 53.4% – 46.6%

Nov. 4 ballot measure update

As of 7:30 Eastern on Nov. 4, Ballotpedia had called 93 statewide ballot measures, of which 72 were approved and 21 were defeated. The remaining 27 (out of the 120 total) remained uncalled.

Here are some notable measures that we called on Wednesday:

Illinois voters reject a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax. The ballot measure would have repealed the state’s constitutional requirement that the state’s personal income tax is a flat rate across income. Instead, the ballot measure would have allowed the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax. More than $121 million was raised by supporters and opponents of the measure. Supporters raised $60.33 million, including $56.5 million from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Opponents raised $60.86 million, including $53.8 million from Citadel CEO Kenneth C. Griffin.

In California, voters rejected Proposition 16. Proposition 16 would have allowed the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California by repealing Proposition 209, passed in 1996, from the California Constitution. Proposition 209 stated that discrimination and preferential treatment were prohibited in public employment, public education, and public contracting on account of a person’s or group’s race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

Voters also decided that California will not become the first state to end the use of cash bail for all detained suspects awaiting trials. Proposition 25 was a veto referendum targeting the repeal of Senate Bill 10 (2019), which would have replaced cash bail with risk assessments.

Colorado voters approved Proposition 113 by a vote of 52% to 48% according to results available at 6:30 pm on Wednesday. Approval added Colorado (with its nine electoral votes) to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). NPVIC member states agree to give their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate that wins the national popular vote if the NPVIC goes into effect. The NPVIC was designed to go into effect if states representing at least 270 Electoral College votes join, guaranteeing the national popular vote winner is elected. 

Colorado is the first state in which voters decided whether the state should enter the NPVIC. Going into the election, 14 states and Washington, D.C., representing 187 Electoral College votes altogether, had adopted legislation to join the compact. The other 14 NPVIC member states joined the compact through bills signed by Democratic governors or, in Hawaii’s case, through an override of Republican Gov. Linda Lingle’s veto.

California Proposition 25 and Colorado Proposition 113 were two of 2020’s three statewide veto referendums on the Nov. 3 ballot. Veto referendums are measures put on the ballot through signature petitions targeting the repeal of bills recently passed by state legislatures. The last time a veto referendum appeared on the ballot for Colorado voters was in 1932.

The third veto referendum was Washington Referendum 90, which voters approved, upholding a bill requiring public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education for all students. 

On the three measures, California voters sided with petitioners and against the legislature. Colorado and Washington sided with their legislatures and against petitioners. 

Additional reading:

Colorado voters approve paid family and medical leave proposition

Colorado voters approved Proposition 118 in a vote of 57% to 43%. The measure establishes a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado to provide 12 weeks (up to 16 weeks in certain cases) of paid leave (with a maximum benefit of $1,100 per week) funded through a payroll tax to be paid for by employers and employees in a 50/50 split. While eight other states have paid leave programs, this was the first time voters weighed in on the issue through a statewide ballot measure.

Massachusetts voters approve wireless vehicle data access measure, reject ranked-choice voting

Massachusetts voters approved Question 1, the measure requiring wireless vehicle data access to owners and independent auto repair shops related to the state’s “right to repair law.” It was approved 75% to 25% according to unofficial election night results. Voters defeated Question 2 55% to 45% with 82 percent of precincts reporting. Question 2 would have made Massachusetts the second state after Maine to use ranked choice voting for state elections. The Yes on 2 campaign conceded the race.

Additional reading:

Oregon voters approve campaign finance law, tobacco tax measures

Oregon voters approved Measure 107, which authorizes the state legislature and local governments to pass certain campaign finance laws, by a vote of 77% to 23%. Voters also approved Measure 108 by a vote of 66% to 34% Measure 108 increases taxes on tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes) to fund the state’s Medical Assistance Program and other healthcare-related programs.

California voters reject rent control and dialysis company requirements

California voters rejected rent control and dialysis company requirements for the second time.

California voters rejected Proposition 21 with 59% against and 41% in favor. It would have expanded the authority of local governments to enact rent control. According to unofficial election night results, Proposition 21 will fail by the same margin as Proposition 10 of 2018, which also proposed to expand rent control authority. Both measures were backed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which spent $40 million in support in 2020 and $22 million in support in 2018. Real estate interests were donors to the opposition of both measures, which raised $71 million in 2018 and at least $73 million in 2020.

Voters rejected Proposition 23 with 64% against and 36% in favor. It would have set certain restrictions and requirements for dialysis companies. It was similar to Proposition 8 in 2018, which voters rejected by 60% to 40%. Both measures had the support of the SEIU-UHW West, a labor union for healthcare workers, and top opposition donors for both were dialysis businesses, including DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care. In 2018, the support campaign raised $19 million, and in 2020, the support campaign raised at least $9 million. In 2018, the opposition campaign raised $111.5 million, and in 2020, the opposition campaign raised at least $105.2 million.

Additional reading:

Oregon becomes the first state to legalize use of psilocybin mushrooms, decriminalize Schedule 1-IV drugs

Oregon became the first state to create a program for legal use of psilocybin mushrooms and to decriminalize all Schedule 1-IV drugs. 

Voters approved Measure 109 in a vote of 56% to 44%, according to unofficial election night results. It will permit licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to individuals 21 years of age or older. 

Voters approved Measure 110 in a vote of 59% to 41%. It makes personal non-commercial possession of a controlled substance no more than a Class E violation (max fine of $100 fine). It also establishes a drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and state prison savings.

Additional reading:

California voters approve Prop 22, define rideshare drivers as independent contractors

California voters approved Proposition 22 by a vote of 58% to 42%, according to unofficial election night results. The initiative defines app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors and adopted labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies. The initiative overrode Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019.

Proposition 22 was the most expensive ballot measure campaign in California’s history according to available records. The support reported $202.9 million in contributions, with Uber, Doordash, Lyft, InstaCart, and Postmates as top donors. The opposition reported $19.7 million in contributions, with unions as the top donors.

Washington, D.C. voters approved Initiative 81 76% to 24% according to unofficial election night results

Initiative 81 declares that police shall treat the non-commercial cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of entheogenic plants and fungi as among the lowest law enforcement priorities. Examples of decriminalized substances include psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, peyote, and iboga. This makes D.C. the fifth city after Oakland and Santa Cruz, California; Denver, Colorado; and Ann Arbor, Michigan, to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.

Oregon is the first state to create a program to legalize psilocybin services after approving Measure 109 in the 2020 election.