Ballot Initiatives Roundup: What Won and What Lost

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We’ve followed top ballot measures around the country for the past two weeks–now the results are in. Here’s how things turned out on Election Night.

  • Maine and Maryland voted to legalize gay marriage, each by about a 5% margin. Washington’s decision is still too close to call, and Minnesota voted down a same-sex marriage ban. “Having the first state to approve marriage equality by popular vote changes the narrative and sends an important message to the Supreme Court as it considers marriage cases pending from around the country,” said Brian Ellner, co-Founder of The Four 2012 campaign.
  • Recreational marijuana was approved in Colorado and Washington, but not Oregon. “Colorado will no longer have laws that steer people toward using alcohol, and adults will be free to use marijuana instead if that is what they prefer,” announced Mason Tvert, co-director of Colorado’s Yes on 64 campaign. “And we will be better of as a society because of it.”
  • Maryland upheld a law allowing some undocumented immigrants to receive in-state college tuition. “All children will now be able to reach their potential because the people of our state have put a college education within their grasp,” Gov. Martin O’Malley proclaimed at the victory party.
  • The Massachusetts vote to allow physician-assisted suicide is too close to call, but backers of the proposal have conceded defeat.
  • California’s attempt to remove the death penalty is trailing by about 6% with 94% of precincts reporting. Local news outlets are reporting its defeat.
  • Florida efforts to restrict abortion did not succeed.
  • New Hampshire’s vote to ban personal income tax had more than half the vote, but less than the two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional amendment.
  • Oklahoma banned affirmative action in state government hiring, education, and contracting by a 59% to 41% split.
  • Wyoming overwhelming passed a symbolic amendment that tries to sidestep Obamacare’s insurance mandate 77% to 23%.
  • Kentucky made hunting a constitutional right with near 85% of the vote. Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho all followed suit with similarly high margins of victory.
  • Louisiana strengthened gun rights 73% to 27%. Any restrictions in gun rights will now require strict court review.