Voters in 35 states will not only be considering the next US president but 154 ballot measures as well. This year's issues include loosening marijuana rules, healthcare reform, revoking the death penalty, increasing minimum wage, condoms, taxes and solar panels.
Of the 154 measures in 2016, 71 were put on the ballot by citizens. Only half the states allow citizens to collect signatures on petitions from voters for a ballot measure to be considered, and each state requires a different minimum number of signatures to be valid, from over 13,000 (South Dakota) to over 300,000 (California). The signature requirements are based on a percentage of votes cast in an election. The other way a ballot measure is included is through legislative referrals.
High on the ballot
Nine states, involving 82 million residents, could loosen rules on marijuana. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota will decide whether residents can use medical marijuana legally. Arizona, California, Maine, and Nevada voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for those over the age of 21. Massachusetts voters will decide whether to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Election watchers said the marijuana measure in Florida and Nevada could boost voter turnout in the two swing states.
So far, 25 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing marijuana for medical use. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have also decriminalized marijuana for recreational use, allowing products to be sold to people 21 and older.