State ballot initiatives to watch on election night

Voting Day - The 2018 Midterm Election Day / Cropped Photo: Shealah Craighead / SarahPAC / CC BY-ND 2.0 / (MGN)
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(CNN) -

Midterm voters in 37 states will decide on more than 150 statewide ballot measures reflecting the biggest social and political issues of the moment.

Some were initiated by citizens, others by lawmakers. Questions include whether to restrict abortion funding, expand Medicaid access, or end greyhound racing in Florida.

We'll be updating this story with results throughout the night.

Crime, justice and sentencing

Washington state's initiative 940 would change the legal standard for use of deadly force in officer-involved shootings. It would effectively lower the bar for prosecuting officers by establishing a good faith standard for opening fire.

The measure would also require law enforcement officers to receive ongoing training in violence de-escalation and how to interact with people with mental health issues. And it would establish a duty for officers to render first aid.

Ohio Issue 1 would make it a misdemeanor instead of a felony to use or possess illegal drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine or LSD. And it would prohibit jail time as a sentence until an individual's third offense within 24 months.

For "noncriminal" probation violations, it calls for "a graduated series of responses, such as community service, drug treatment, or jail time."

Voters in six states -- Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina and Oklahoma -- will consider some version of a measure often called "Marsy's Law." South Dakota passed one in June.

The proposals vary from state to state, but each would add specific protections for victims of crime to a state's constitution, such as the right to be notified about hearings or the release of the accused, the right to restitution or the right to refuse an interview or deposition at the request of the accused.

Opponents of the measures say they are redundant and warn that they could threaten due process rights of the accused.

Election policies

Ohio voters in May approved a statewide measure to establish a new redistricting system. Four more states -- Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, and Utah -- will decide similar measures for their state legislatures, their congressional districts, or both.

Nine states will consider measures related to voting requirements and ballot access.

Maryland and Michigan voters will decide whether to allow voter registration on election day. Michigan and Nevada will also decide whether to allow automatic voter registration when interacting with certain government agencies.

Voters in Arkansas and North Carolina will choose whether to require voters to present a photo ID to vote in person.

North Dakota's Measure 2 would amend the state constitution to say that "only a citizen" of the United States can vote, instead of what it currently says: "every citizen."

A "yes" on Florida's Amendment 4 will restore voting rights for felons after they complete their sentences, including parole or probation, except for those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.

Montana's Ballot Collection Measure would ban people from collecting the election ballots of other people, with exceptions for certain individuals.

A "yes" vote for Louisiana Amendment 1 prevents felons from seeking office or holding a public office until five years after the completion of their sentences.

Measures related to campaign finance, political spending and ethics are on the ballots in Colorado, Massachusetts, North Dakota and South Dakota.


Six measures on four state ballots concern the legalization of recreational or medical marijuana.

Missouri has three competing measures. All of them propose to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but with different proposed sales tax amounts and revenue uses:

- 2% tax, with revenue to be spent on veterans' services, drug treatment, education, and law enforcement

- 15% tax, with revenue to be spent on a biomedical research institute

- 4% tax, with revenue to be spent on health care services for veterans

Voters in Utah will also decide whether to legalize medical marijuana, and Michigan and North Dakota voters will decide on citizen initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana.

Oklahoma voted in June to approve medical marijuana.


Three measures in three states concern abortion access and funding.

In Alabama and West Virginia, voters will choose whether to amend their state constitutions to say that they do not protect the right to an abortion or require funding of abortions.

A "yes" vote for Alabama's Amendment 2 would also change the state constitution to say that it supports the rights of unborn children, giving them constitutional protections.

Oregon's Measure 106 would prohibit publicly-funded health care programs from covering abortion. Like West Virginia's Amendment 1, the Oregon measure would prevent state taxpayer money from being used to pay for abortions for those on Medicaid.

Oregon's measure provides exceptions for when the mother suffers from a physical disorder, injury or illness that could endanger her life unless an abortion is performed, and for ectopic pregnancies.

Minimum wage

Two measures in two states would increase the minimum wage to $11 by the year 2021 in Arkansas, and to $12 by 2023 in Missouri.

Medicaid expansion and health care

Four measures on four state ballots in November concern Medicaid expansion or funding for Medicaid expansion.

Voters in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska will choose whether to require their state governments to accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. In Montana, voters will have the opportunity to force the state to continue accepting the expansion.

The initiatives in Montana and Utah propose a tobacco tax increase and a sales tax increase, respectively, to provide funding for the expanded coverage. In January, Oregon voters approved a measure upholding legislation to provide funding for expanded Medicaid coverage through a tax on health insurers and revenue of certain hospitals.

Other health care-related measures include two propositions in California: one authorizing $1.5 billion in bonds to upgrade children's hospitals in the state and another affecting operations in dialysis clinics.

A "yes" vote for Massachusetts Question 1 supports an initiative to establish patient assignment limits for registered nurses in hospitals.

In Nevada, Question 2 would amend the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955 to remove taxes on feminine hygiene products, also known as the pink tax.

More to watch

Florida's Amendment 13 would create a prohibition on racing or betting on greyhounds or other dogs by 2020.

Massachusetts Question 3 asks voters if they want to keep a state law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public places.

A "yes" vote for Alabama's Amendment 1 would add language to the state constitution authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments on state and public property, including schools, and prohibit spending public funds to defend the constitutionality of the amendment.

California's Proposition 6 would repeal fuel and vehicle taxes passed by the legislature in 2017 for road repairs and public transportation.