Voting for president, congressman, senator, governor, county councilman, alderman, sheriff and dogcatcher apparently isn’t enough to think about Tuesday. Voters in dozens of states will also be faced with ballot initiative and amendment questions running the gamut from guns to gay marriage, from “Frankenfoods” to photo IDs.
Sure, four states have initiatives teed up to counter Obamacare, but aren’t you a bit tired of hearing about the president’s health care law by now? There are ten other ballot measures worth watching, and these wont bore you to tears.
#10: Perhaps the most unusual measure is The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, on the ballot as Measure B in Los Angeles County, California. Voters will decide whether actors in pornographic movies made in Southern California should have to wear condoms and practice safe sex while the cameras roll. Measure B is a response to the outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases among California’s adult film “actors” and “actresses.”
#9: North Dakota produces a lot of cattle, and those folks aren’t messing around. Measure 3 would forever enshrine farmers and ranchers as a protected class by adding a whole new section to the state constitution. “The right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state,” it would read. “No law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices.” Take that, PETA.
#8: Minnesota voters will decide whether to require every voter to show a photo ID at the polls. Democrats have claimed similar requirements in other states were efforts to depress turnout among minority and low-income voters. Some even say voter ID laws can prevent elderly voters from going to the polls if they no longer have driver’s licenses. But conservatives counter that the best way to make sure no one cheats on Election Day is to require IDs at check-in. If you have to show photo ID to get on an airplane or rent a car, they say, voting should be even more secure.
#7: A proposal in Missouri would more than quintuple the state’s cigarette tax to 90 cents per pack, up from a lowest-in-the-nation 17 cents. New York leads the field with a whopping $4.35 tax for every pack of smokes. And that’s on top of a $1.01 federal tax. If you’re lighting up in New York City, there’s also a cigarette tax levied by the city — another $1.50 — adding up to $6.86 in taxes per pack for smokers in the Big Apple. That’s 34 cents to the government for every cigarette.
#6: Proposition 37 in California would require food marketers to label genetically modified foods. It would set up a lawsuit-based enforcement mechanism like the “Proposition 65” toxics right-to-know law already employs, even though there’s no evidence so-called “frankenfoods” are actually unsafe to eat. (You probably ate some today.) While the measure is ahead in the polls, some fear it would raise grocery bills and create deceptive labeling schemes.