Ballot Measures in the 2012 Presidential Election Elections

Reproductive Rights

Florida Amendment 6

VICTORY: Florida rejected Amendment 6, 55% to 45%!

Prohibits the use of public funds for abortions or for insurance covering abortions except expenditures required by federal law and when a doctor certifies the woman is in danger of death if an abortion is not performed. Additionally, this state constitutional amendment stipulates that the Florida Constitution cannot be interpreted to include broader rights to abortion than those contained in the U.S. Constitution. The current Florida Constitution has an explicit right-to-privacy provision that protects individuals, including minors, from governmental intrusion into their personal lives, and is stronger than the implicit U.S. constitutional guarantee to the right to privacy. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that if Roe v. Wade were reversed, the Florida privacy right would uphold a woman’s right to choose abortion. Moreover, the Florida right to privacy protects individuals against other government intrusions, such as blocking a person’s right to refuse lifesaving treatments or to die with dignity. Amendment 6 requires a 60 percent “yes” vote to be approved.

Montana Legislative Referendum 120

Defeat: Montana approved Legislative Referendum 120, 70% to 29%.

Placed on the ballot by the state Legislature and requiring a majority vote, it would require a physician to notify a parent or a legal guardian at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on an unemancipated girl 16 or younger (but she can ask a judge to waive this requirement). Parental notification laws have been shown to be harmful to minors who have an abusive parent(s), are victims of incest or don’t want to disappoint their parents. The law also would apply criminal penalties for parents or individuals who coerce a girl to have an abortion, but not penalize those coercing a girl to carry a pregnancy to term.

Health Care

Alabama Amendment 6

Defeat: Alabama approved Amendment 6, 58.9% to 41%.

Prohibits compelling any person, employer or health-care provider to participate in any health-care system, thus negating the “mandate,” or tax requirement, for individuals or employers who refuse to buy health insurance under the ACA.

Florida Amendment 1

Victory: Florida rejected Amendment 1, 48.5% to 51%!

Prevents penalties for not purchasing health-care coverage in compliance with the ACA.

Missouri State Bill 464

Defeat: Missouri approved State Bill 464, 61.8% to 38%.

Prohibits the establishment or operation of a health-insurance exchange (required by the ACA) unless created by a state legislative act, ballot initiative or veto referendum.

Montana Health Care Amendment

Defeat: Montana approved this amendment. 66.9% to 33%.

Allows residents to decide if they want health insurance or not, with no penalties.

Wyoming Constitutional Amendment A

Defeat: Wyoming approved this amendment, 77% to 23%.

Prevents implementation of the ACA or an insurance-exchange program without state legislative approval.

Civil Rights

Alabama Amendment 4

Defeat: Alabama rejected this amendment, 60.8% to 39.2%

Deletes the remaining “Jim Crow” provisions of the Alabama Constitution of 1901, including those separating schools by race and allowing a poll tax.

California Proposition 34

Defeat: California rejected Prop 34, 47.2% to 52.8%

Replaces the death penalty with life without parole as the maximum sentence for murder, retroactively applies the statute to persons already on Death Row, and provides $100 million for law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases.

California Proposition 35

Victory: California approved Prop 35 81.1% to 18.9%.

Increases prison terms for human traffickers, requires convicted sex traffickers to be registered as sex offenders and pay fines up to $1.5 million for victims’ services, and requires anti-human-trafficking training for law enforcement officials. Also prevents sexualconduct evidence from being used against victims in court.

California Proposition 36

Victory: California approved Prop 36 68.6% to 31.4%

Imposes a life sentence only when the “third strike” felony is “serious or violent,” involves firearm possession or a certain drug or sex offense, or if a prior conviction was for rape, murder or child molestation. It authorizes resentencing felons who no longer meet “three strikes” conditions.

Same-Sex Marriage

Maine Question 1

VICTORY: Maine approved question 1 53% to 47%.

Reverses a 2009 ballot measure banning same-sex marriage. The ballot language is: “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”

Maryland Question 6

VICTORY: Maryland approved Question 6 52.3% to 47.7%.

Referendum on the Civil Marriage Protection Act that allows same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Minnesota Proposed Amendment 1
VICTORY! Minnesota voted AGAINST the amendment, 51.3% to 47.6%.

A constitutional amendment to define marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.

Washington Referendum 74
VICTORY: Washington approved Referendum 74 51.8% to 48.2%

Referendum on a newly passed state law legalizing same-sex marriage.

Civil Rights
Maryland Question 4
Victory: Maryland approved Question 4 58.9% to 41.1%.

Referendum on a newly passed state “DREAM Act” law providing undocumented residents instate tuition rates.

Montana Legislative Referendum 121
Defeat: Montana passed LR 121, 79.2% to 20.8%.

Requires proof of citizenship for services such as financial aid, state licenses and disability aid.

Colorado Amendment 64
Victory: Colorado passed Amendment 64, 54.8% to 45.2%

Amends the state Constitution to legalize marijuana use and possession of an ounce of marijuana for residents 21 or older.

Massachusetts Question 3
Victory: Massachusetts approved Question 3, 63.3% to 36.7%.

Legalizes the use of medical marijuana in the state.

Montana Initiative Referendum 124
Defeat: Montana rejected Referendum 124, 56.5% to 43.5%.

Repeals the voter-passed medical marijuana program and replaces it with an inadequate legislative proposal called Senate Bill 423.

Oregon Measure 80
Defeat: Oregon rejected measure 80, 54.5% to 45.5%.

Legalizes cultivation of marijuana or cannabis by licensed persons, who can sell the crop at cost to a newly created state agency.

Washington Initiative 502
Victory: Washington passed 502, 55.4% to 44.6%.

Legalizes the regulated sale of marijuana to persons 21 and older and taxes marijuana sales.

Jobs, Wages, Economic Policy
Oklahoma State Question 759
Defeat: Oklahoma passed Question 759, 59% to 40%.

Bans affirmative-action programs in the state based on sex or race in public education, employment or contracts.

South Dakota Referred Law 16

Repeals a law banning tenure for teachers and provides bonuses of $5,000 annually for the top 20 percent of teachers as determined by a new state evaluation system.

Montana Initiative 166
Victory: passed 74.8% to 25.2%.

Establishes a state policy that corporations are not people and not entitled to constitutional rights in response to Citizens United Supreme Court case.

California Proposition 32
Victory: rejected 56.1% to 43.9%.

Prohibits unions and corporations from deducting funds from a person’s paycheck to use for political purposes, thus silencing unions in state and local elections.

Alabama Amendment 7
Defeat: passed 67% to 33%.

Requires secret ballot for union representation. Typically, unions are approved when enough workers sign cards of support; scheduling a secret ballot would allow companies to fire workers before balloting takes place.