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Ballot Measures State-By-State

By producer David Morgan.

There's more at stake this Election Day than who works at the White House or Capitol Hill; there are ballot measures requiring parental notification for teenagers seeking an abortion; expanding stem cell research; banning same-sex marriage; and other hot-button issues.

Here is a state-by-state roundup of the most noteworthy:


  • Same-Sex Marriage: Proposition 102 would define marriage as only a union of one man and one woman.
  • Illegal Immigration Penalties: Proposition 202 would modify laws relating to the employment of unauthorized aliens (actual knowledge by an owner or officer of the employer as to the employee's legal status would be needed to fit the current law's definition of "knowingly employ an unauthorized alien"); the law would also fine employers who pay improperly reported cash wages.

    Arizona voters will also decide Proposition 101, which would amend the state constitution to provide that no law shall restrict a person's freedom to choose a private health care plan or system of their choice; and Proposition 200, the Payday Loan Reform Act.


  • Adoption: Initiative 1 would mandate that only married couples can adopt a child or be a foster parent of a minor.


  • Same-Sex Marriage: Proposition 8 would eliminate the right of same-sex couples under the state constitution to marry, and would provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
  • Abortion: Proposition 4 would require a waiting period of 48 hours after parental notification before allowing a minor to terminate a pregnancy.

    In addition, voters will decide on humane confinement of farm animals (Proposition 2); requiring utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2010 (Proposition 7); change the way legislative district lines are drawn - a political hot button, to be sure (Proposition 11); and bond measures for funding children's hospitals and helping veterans purchase homes and farms.

    And then there's San Francisco, which will decide on decriminalizing prostitution (Proposition K), and renaming a sewage treatment plant after President George W. Bush (Proposition R).


  • Affirmative Action: Amendment 46 would prohibit discrimination by the state or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
  • Rights For the Unborn: Amendment 48 would define the term "person" to include any human being from the moment of fertilization.

    Also on the ballot: Amendment 47 would ban mandatory union membership and dues by employers; and Amendment 51, which would raise state sales taxes by one-tenth of one percent in each of the next two years, to raise money for long-term services for persons with developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and mental retardation.


  • Same-Sex Marriage: Voters will decide on the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, which would ban same-sex marriage by declaring marriage to mean only the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, and that no other legal union that is treated as marriage ("or the substantial equivalent thereof") shall be valid or recognized.


  • Video Slots: Question 2 would amend the constitution to authorize video lottery gaming at certain locations for the primary purpose of providing funds for public education.


  • Eliminate State Income Tax: Question 1, if approved, would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65 percent for the tax year beginning January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning in 2010.
  • Decriminalize Marijuana: Passage of Question 2 would replace the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties.

    Also on the ballot: a ban on dog racing.


  • Medical Marijuana: A legislative initiative to permit the use and cultivation of marijuana for specified medical conditions.
  • Stem Cell Research: Proposal 2 would amend the state constitution to allow an expansion of the use of stem cells from human embryos for any research permitted under federal law (subject to certain provisions).


  • Affirmative Action: Measure 424 is a constitutional amendment which would ban affirmative action, by prohibiting the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education or public contracting, although there would exceptions for certain federal programs.

    South Dakota

  • Abortion: Measure 11 would prohibit abortions except in cases where the mother's life or health is at a substantial and irreversible risk, and in cases of reported rape and incest.

    Voters will also get to decide on eliminating term limits for legislators (Amendment J).


  • Allow Medical Suicide: Measure 1000 would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents, who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.
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