Updated: Everything You Need To Know About Today's Election

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Update: Voters in Ohio rejected legal marijuana, but not because they're necessarily opposed to the drug. The huge margins appear to have more to do with worries over creating a system that would enrich a handful of people more than concerns about pot use.

Airbnb won in San Francisco, so expect more clashes between residents worried about affording their rent and the startup behemoth.

Houston's discrimination statute also died last night, which means residents live in the only major city without a law protecting them from unfair treatment on the basis of race, age, gender, or sexuality.

This article was originally published on November 3, 2015.

It's forgivable if this year's elections don't register as important. The 2016 presidential race is already a complete circus, and there are only a handful of statewide races scattered around the country. But the fact that there aren't a half dozen constitutional amendments giving personhood rights to fertilized eggs and another dozen concealed-carry propositions on ballots doesn't mean there aren't critical issues and races being decided today. Here's what you need to know about them.

Recreational Marijuana In Ohio (And Nick Lachey!)
Nick Lachey: 98 Degrees member and…weed baron? It's a real possibility. Voters will decide whether they want to legalize recreational marijuana use, but only 10 farms will be allowed to grow pot in the state. Lachey is a co-investor in one of those farms. That's why there is a separate ballot initiative that prohibits monopolies. Is legal pot worth setting up an oligarchy? Ohio voters actually have to decide.

Discrimination Protection In Houston
Houston is America's fourth-largest city, and it has become the sort of cultural melting pot that has always been the claim to fame of cities like New York — some 90 languages can be heard there. It also lacks a law prohibiting discrimination based on characteristics that include gender identity, race, pregnancy, age — basically any factor that someone might show bias against. The city council approved the measure last year, but opponents of the measure managed to get it onto this year's ballot.

Despite support from the city council and Houston's mayor, longtime lesbian activist Annise Parker, conservatives have waged an ugly campaign against expanding legal protections in the city. Signs that say "No Men In Women's Bathrooms" and fearmongering claims about sexual predators flocking to ladies' rooms throughout the city have been rampant. Today's vote will show whether transphobia is also "bigger in Texas."

Airbnb Vs. San Francisco
Residents worried about the astronomical costs of housing in the Bay Area want to seriously restrict Airbnb's operations in San Francisco. Prop F would limit people from listing their apartments for short-term rentals. The startup has taken out ads all over the city, but it hasn't won many points with the locals — a bus shelter sporting an ad that whined about paying hotel taxes (something the company is legally obligated to do) was especially off-putting.
Louisiana's Next Governor — A Fetishist?
Sen. David Vitter was exposed as a client of a high-end escort service in 2007, and reports at the time intimated that his bedroom preferences weren't exactly vanilla. While this doesn't necessarily have to be news, it is when the person in question is a hyperconservative "family values" Republican. And a former mistress came forward last month, claiming Vitter got her pregnant and asked her to get an abortion, although local TV station WDSU found inconsistencies in her story. Either way, he's in a gubernatorial runoff election today, and polling is tight.

Washington Cracks Down On Exotic Animal Trafficking
Voters will decide on whether to add penalties for people who illegally import products such as elephant tusks and rhino horns. It's a surprisingly big international business — a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. This is the most comprehensive proposal in the U.S.



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