Election 2020 Statewide Referendums: marijuana, mushrooms, wages, state flags, and more
November 4, 2020
The House and Senate races even broke through the headlines. However, like in every election, there were ballot measures voted on too.
Many states across the country allow for their voters to vote on specific policy referendums that are printed on their ballots alongside their candidates, with some that are binding and others that are non-binding. This election, the topics of the measures that voters approved ranged widely from drugs and criminal justice reform to electoral reform. Let’s look over the most significant ballot measures successfully approved by voters in this election.
Note: Millions of ballots nationwide have yet to be counted, so the results of some of these measures could change in the coming days.
(States are listed in alphabetical order.)
Arizona Proposition 207: Legalize recreational marijuana
California Proposition 22: Classify gig workers as contractors
California Proposition 24: Enhance consumer privacy laws
Colorado Proposition 118: Institute paid family and medical leave
If current trends continue, another measure, Colorado Proposition 113, will likely be approved by voters. This would have Colorado join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
DISTRICT of COLUMBIA
Initiative 81: Decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungus
Florida Amendment 2: Increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2026
Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1: Include crime victims’ rights in the state constitution
For Michigan, it’s worth noting that Proposal 2 appears it will be approved by voters if current trends continue. Proposal 2 would require a warrant for accessing electronic data.
Mississippi Ballot Measure 2: Establish runoffs for gubernatorial elections
Mississippi Ballot Measure 1A: Decide whether to change the state’s marijuana laws
Mississippi Ballot Measure 1B: Deciding what kind of medical marijuana law to pass
For clarification, Measure 1 is a two-part measure related to legalizing medical marijuana. Measure 1A asked voters if they wanted one of the medical marijuana laws proposed in Measure 1B, and then 1B asked voters if they wanted a law that would limit medical marijuana to terminally ill patients or one which would permit it for patients with over 20 other illnesses. Mississippians approved both parts of Measure 1.
On top of those two measures, Mississippians also voted to adopt the new flag that a state commission approved after receiving thousands of entrees from a flag-design contest.
This carries immense historical significance because the former Mississippi flag incorporated the Confederate battle flag in its design, making it the final state in the former Confederacy to remove the battle flag from its official state flag. The new flag, designed by graphic artist Rocky Vaughan, makes use of the state’s official flower, the magnolia, and includes the motto “In God We Trust”:
Missouri Amendment 3: Change the redistricting process
Montana Initiative 190: Legalize and tax recreational marijuana
Nebraska Amendment 2: Extend the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) repayment period to 20 years
Nebraska Initiative 428: Place a cap on payday loan rates at 36%
New Jersey Public Question 1: Legalize recreation marijuana for adults (ages 21+)
Oregon Measure 110: Fund drug treatment centers with money from marijuana taxes
It’s important to mention that Oregon also approved decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of hard drugs such as heroin, MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, cocaine, and others—making it the first state to do so.
South Dakota Constitutional Amendment A: Legalize recreational marijuana
Utah Constitutional Amendment C: Change the state constitution to remove slavery as a punishment
Virginia Redistricting Commission Amendment: Create a redistricting commission
Washington Advisory Vote 32: Repeal plastic bag tax
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.