Ballot Measures in the 2008 Presidential Election Elections

Reproductive Rights

California Proposition 4: Abortion Waiting Period and Parental Notification

Defeated 52% to 48%%

Would amend the state constitution to ban abortions for young women under 18 unless their parents are notified. This deceptively worded amendment would also mandate a 48-hour waiting period after a young woman’s parents are notified she is seeking an abortion. Women under 18 who feel they cannot tell their parent would have to go before a judge in a court of law to determine if she is ‘mature’ enough to deserve a safe, legal abortion without notifying her parents.

Colorado Amendment 48: Definition of Person Initiative

Defeated 73% to 24%

Would amend the state constitution to define “person” and grant constitutional rights from the “moment of fertilization.” This measure would ban all abortion—even in the cases of rape or incest victims, or when the life of the woman is at risk. By giving legal rights to fertilized eggs, this amendment threatens stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, common birth control methods (like the Pill), and access to emergency contraception for rape and incest victims.

South Dakota Initiative 11: Abortion Limits

Defeated 55% to 45%

This sweeping ban on abortion provides for the criminal prosecution of doctors and sentences of up to 10-years in jail. The ban requires rape and incest victims to report their name, personal address and phone number to public agencies. Abortion in SD is already heavily restricted. Current law requires a 24-hour waiting period, mandatory education about a woman’s options, parental notification in the case of a minor, and review of a sonogram.

Affirmative Action

Colorado Amendment 46: Affirmative Action Ban

Defeated 59% to 41%

This state constitutional amendment would end state Affirmative Action programs. The proposed Amendment 46 would ban affirmative action for any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. This would result in an unfavorable precedent, eroding equal opportunity and diversity practices that are important and valid concepts for business and the structure of our society.

Nebraska Initiative 424: Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative

Approved 50% to 37%

This state constitutional amendment would end state Affirmative Action programs. Initiative 424, a deceptively worded measure, would amend the state constitution to prohibit the state government from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, or public contracting.

Gay and Lesbian Rights

California Proposition 8: Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry

Approved 52% to 48%

Would amend the California State Constitution to take away the right of same-gender couples to marry. Prop 8 would eliminate fairness and equality in California and restrict access to one of the most basic of all civil rights – the right to determine who you marry.

Arizona Proposition 102: Senate Concurrent Resolution 1042 Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Arizona; Amending the Constitution of Arizona, by Adding Article 30; Relating to Marriage

Approved 56% to 44%

Defines that Only a Union of One Man and One Woman Shall Be Valid or Recognized as a Marriage in this State.

Arkansas Initiative Act 1: An Act Providing that an Individual Who is Cohabiting Outside of a Valid Marriage May Not Adopt or be a Foster Parent of a Child less than Eighteen Years Old

Approved 57% to 43%%

A proposed act stating that a minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws in Arkansas.

Florida Amendment 2: Florida Marriage Protection

Approved 62% to 38%

This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized

Animal Rights

California Proposition 2: Standards for Confining Farm Animals

Approved 63% to 37%

Requires that certain farm animals be allowed, for the majority of every day, to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around. Limited exceptions apply.


California Proposition 11: Redistricting

Approved 51% to 49%

Changes authority for establishing state office boundaries from elected representatives to commission. Establishes multilevel process to select commissioners from registered voter pool. Commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party. Passed

Stem Cell Research

Michigan Proposal 08-2: A proposal to amend the state constitution to address human embryonic stem cell research in Michigan

Approved 53% to 47%

The proposed constitutional amendment would: Expand use of human embryos for any research permitted under federal law subject to the following limits: the embryos are created for fertility treatment purposes; are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs; would be discarded unless used for research; were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment. Provide that stem cells cannot be taken from human embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins. Prohibit any person from selling or purchasing human embryos for stem cell research. Prohibit state and local laws that prevent, restrict or discourage stem cell research, future therapies and cures.

Health Care

Montana Initiative I-155: The Healthy Kids Plan Act

Approved 70% to 30%

Establishes the Healthy Montana Kids plan to expand and coordinate health coverage for uninsured children under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Montana Medicaid Program, and employer-sponsored health insurance. The State Health Department may: raise income eligibility levels for children under CHIP and Medicaid; simplify transitions between CHIP and Medicaid coverage; provide assistance for children in employer-sponsored insurance; and work with health care providers, schools, organizations, and agencies to encourage enrollment of uninsured children. Funding for I-155 will come from a share of the insurance premium tax and federal matching funds.

Worker’s Rights

Colorado Amendment 47: Prohibition on Certain Conditions of Employment

Defeated 56% to 44%

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning participation in a labor organization as a condition of employment, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting an employer from requiring that a person be a member and pay any moneys to a labor organization or to any other third party in lieu of payment to a labor organization and creating a misdemeanor criminal penalty for a person who violates the provisions of the section?

Colorado Amendment 49: Limitation on Public Payroll Deductions

Defeated 61% to 39%

Prohibits public employers in Colorado—which would include state government agencies, city and county governments, and public school districts—from using payroll deductions to benefit private organizations. The initiative language still would allow state and local governments to take regular payroll deductions for charitable contributions, so the measure would primarily affect labor unions.


San Francisco, California Proposition K: Enforcement of Laws Related to Prostitution and Sex Workers

Defeated 59% to 41%

Proposition K would decriminalize prostitution. It prohibit the San Francisco Police Department from providing resources to investigate and prosecute prostitution. It would also prohibit the Police Department from applying for federal or state funds that involve racial profiling to target alleged trafficking victims and would require any existing funds to implement the Task Force’s recommendations. as of 11:31am ET 11-5-2008

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