Do You Really Know What's On Your State's Ballot?
With all the attack ads, debates, and SNL skits, it’s pretty hard to forget that there’s a presidential election coming up. But you may not realize there will be some other candidates on the ballot November 6. And, no, we’re not talking about Ron Paul. In addition to House and Senate races, you may be faced with decisions on the governor, school board members, a sheriff, a mayor, state judges, and even soil and water district supervisors. You may also see a few state constitutional amendments on the ballot. For example, Maryland voters have likely seen dozens of commercials about “Question 7,” an amendment to expand gambling operations in the state. But Marylanders also will be asked to vote on a handful of other amendments, including one to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. California voters also will see several amendment questions, including one that would increase prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions and another that would require genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. In Minnesota, one proposed amendment would mean the state would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Another proposed amendment there would require voters to present valid government-issued photo ID to receive a ballot. Florida voters will see several constitutional amendment questions, including one that would prohibit laws or rules from compelling anyone from purchasing health care. Other states also have important issues up for vote, though the way they're written on the ballot can be confusing. So, if you’re not sure who’s running for city council or tax assessor, you’re not alone. Luckily, there’s still time to read up on the candidates and the issues before Election Day. Visit your local election board’s homepage for more information, or visit the League of Women Voters’ Vote 411 site to get personalized information using your address. This isn’t really the time for “eeny meeny miny moe.”