November 2018 Ballot Initiatives
November 2018 Ballot Initiatives to be Aware Of Summaries from Ballotpedia
Amendment 2: State Abortion Policy Amendment:
Amendment 2 would amend the state constitution in order to do the following:
- (a) declare that the state’s policy is to recognize and support “the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life,”
- (b) “ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate,” and
- (c) state that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling prohibits states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability—which means potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb. Rep. Matt Fridy (R-72), who sponsored this amendment in the legislature, said that its purpose was to ensure that nothing in the state constitution could be used to argue for a right to abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Issue 2: Voter ID requirement
Issue 2 would require individuals to present a valid photo ID to cast nonprovisional ballots in person or absentee. The amendment would empower the state legislature to determine what types of photographic identification count as valid and whether exceptions to the requirement should be made. The measure would also require the state to provide valid photographic identification free of charge to eligible voters. Individuals who attempt to vote without valid photo identification would be permitted to cast provisional ballots, which would need to be certified later to count. Proponents of Issue 2 argue that requiring photo identification to vote prevents voter fraud and protects voter security. Opponents of Issue 2 argue that requiring photo identification to vote discourages voters and reduces turnout, especially among minorities and senior citizens.
Issue 5: Minimum Wage Increase Initiative
The measure was designed to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas from $8.50 (as of 2018) to $11.00 per hour by 2021. The wages would be raised as follows:
- January 1, 2019: $9.25 per hour
- January 1, 2020: $10.00 per hour
- January 1, 2021: $11.00 per hour
Amendment A: Removal of Exception to Slavery Prohibition for Criminals Amendment
Going into the 2018 election, the Colorado Constitution contained a provision that allows convicted criminals to be forced to work in prison without pay or restitution. Amendment A would amend the state Constitution to repeal an exception to the ban of slavery which allowed compulsory labor, involuntary servitude, or slavery if for the punishment of a crime.
The provision in question is as follows: “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
The phrase “except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted” means that anyone convicted of a crime could be subject to labor without consent in prison. The measure would remove this wording.
Amendment 4: Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative
Amendment 4 was designed to automatically restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences, including prison, parole, and probation. As of 2018, people with prior felonies never regain the right to vote in Florida, until and unless a state board restores an individual’s voting rights. Under former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who was elected as a Republican, changed his affiliation to unaffiliated toward the end of his term in office, and registered as a Democrat after his time as governor, the Executive Clemency Board automatically restored the rights of felons who had completed their sentences, paid restitution, and had no pending criminal charges. Current governor Rick Scott (R) eliminated those reforms made by the Crist administration. Under Scott’s administration, convicted felons must wait five or seven years, depending on the type of offense, after the completion of their sentences to request that the board consider the restoration of their voting and other civil rights.
Proposition 2: Medicaid Expansion Initiative
Proposition 2 would expand Medicaid coverage to more individuals in the state of Idaho pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Proposition 2 would expand Medicaid eligibility to those under sixty-five years old, whose income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or
below and who are not eligible for other state insurance coverage. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, provides federal funds to states that elect to expand Medicaid. States were required to provide a percentage of funds for expansion in 2017 and each year thereafter to receive the federal funds. From 2014 to 2016, the federal government covered 100 percent of the costs of state expansion of Medicaid. In 2017, the total cost that the federal government financed decreased to 95 percent. The ACA was designed to decrease the amount the federal government covers to 94 percent in 2018, 93 percent in 2019, and 90 percent in 2020 and subsequent years.
Amendment 2: Unanimous Jury Verdict for Felony Trials Amendment
Amendment 2 would require the unanimous agreement of jurors to convict people charged with felonies. As of 2018, Louisiana requires the agreement of 10 of 12, or 83 percent, jurors to convict people charged with felonies. Amendment 2 would not affect juries for offenses that were committed before January 1, 2019. As of 2018, Louisiana is one of two states—the other being Oregon—that does not require the unanimous agreement of jurors to convict people charged with felonies. Oregon does, however, require unanimous convictions in murder trials.
Question 2: Election-Day Voter Registration Amendment
Question 2 would amend the state constitution to authorize the Maryland Legislature to enact a process for registering qualified individuals to vote at a precinct polling place on election day. The amendment would add the following text to the Constitution: “The General Assembly shall have the power to allow a qualified individual to register and vote at a precinct polling place on election day.”
Question 3: Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Veto Referendum
A “yes” vote on Question 3 supports upholding a law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public places. The law requires access to areas segregated based on gender—such as bathrooms and locker rooms—to be allowed according to an individual’s self-identified gender identity. The law, which went into effect in October 2016, includes some exceptions. A “no” vote on this measure opposes this law and supports overturning it. This measure was put on the ballot through a signature petition drive by opponents of the 2016 law—SB 2407—which means the sponsors of the signature petition drive responsible for the measure are advocating for a “no” vote. Click here to read a list provided by the attorney
general of places considered public accommodations for which the provisions of the measure would apply.
The penalty for each violation of the law’s prohibition against discrimination in public places, including discrimination based on gender identity under SB 2407, was set to range from up to $100 and/or up to 30 days in prison to $2,500 and/or up to a year in prison depending on the violation. Moreover, the law authorized the assessment of a civil penalty of between $10,000 and $50,000 for each violation depending on prior violations.
Proposal 3: Voting Policies in State Constitution Initiative
Proposal 3 would add several voting policies to the Michigan Constitution. Some of these voting policies exist in state statute, but not the state constitution, while most others would be altered policies or new policies. The new policies that would be added to the state constitution include straight-ticket voting; automatic voter registration; same-day voter registration; and no-excuse absentee voting during the 40 days before an election. Proposal 3 would allow eligible persons to register to vote by mail until 15 days before an election, whereas current law allows them to register to vote by mail until 30 days before an election. The ballot initiative would also constitutionalize existing law providing that military members and overseas voters receive an absentee ballot at least 45 days before the election. Proposal 3 would add language to the constitution to provide for the use of secret ballots and election results auditing. The following table compares existing voting policies to those found in Proposal 3:
Proposition B: $12 Minimum Wage Initiative
The measure would increase the minimum wage from $7.85 (2018) to $8.60 in 2019; $9.45 in 2020; $10.30 in 2021; $11.15 in 2022; and $12.00 in 2023. Thereafter, the minimum wage would increase or decrease each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
The initiative would penalize an employer who pays employees below the minimum wage and requires the employer to provide the underpaid employee with the full amount of the wage rate plus an additional amount equal to twice the unpaid wages. The measure would also exempt government employers from the minimum wage increase.
LR-129: Ballot Collection Measure
Individuals who engage in ballot collection obtain voters’ mail-in, absentee, or early ballots and deliver them to election officials and/or polling places to be counted. Some opponents of the practice refer to ballot collection as ballot harvesting.
LR-129 was designed to prohibit a person, with exceptions for certain individuals, from knowingly collecting another person’s election ballot. Individuals exempted from the ban would include (a) election officials; (b) postal service workers or others authorized to transmit mail; (c) caregivers; (d) family members; (e) household members; and (f) individuals are known by the voter.
Besides election officials and postal service workers, individuals exempted from the ban would be prohibited from collecting more than six ballots and would need to provide the following information: (a) the individual’s name; (b) the voter’s name; and (c) the individual’s relationship to the voter.
Violating the measure would be punishable by a fine of $500 for each ballot collected. The measure would become effective on the day it is approved by voters, which would be November 6, 2018, if voters approve the measure.
I-185: Extend Medicaid Expansion and Increase Tobacco Taxes Initiative
I-185 would increase taxes on all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and all vaping products. The taxes would be increased by $2.00 per pack, bringing the total taxes on a pack of cigarettes up to $3.70. The taxes for all other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and all vaping products, would increase by 33 percent of the wholesale price. Revenue would be used to extend and fund expanded eligibility of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act in Montana and other health-related programs. The measure would eliminate the expiry date of extended Medicaid services for certain low-income adults, which would otherwise end on June 30, 2019.
Initiative 427: Medicaid Expansion Initiative
Initiative 427 would require the state government to provide Medicaid for persons under the age of 65 whose incomes are equal to or below 138 percent of the official poverty line. In 2018, this amounted to an annual income of $16,753 for an individual and $34,638 for a household of four. Initiative 427 would require the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to file a state expansion plan with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on or before April 1, 2019.
Question 2: Sales Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products Measure
Question 2 would create a state and local sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products. The measure would define feminine hygiene products as sanitary napkins and tampons. The exemption from sales taxes would go into effect on January 1, 2019. As of February 1, 2018, 14 states did not have a sales tax on feminine hygiene products.
Question 5: Automatic Voter Registration via DMV Initiative
Question 5 would establish an automatic voter registration system in Nevada. An individual who submits an application for the issuance or renewal of a driver’s license or identification card or an address change at the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would have his or her information automatically forwarded to the secretary of state and county clerk within five working days for voter registration. Citizens would be permitted to opt out of automatic voter registration.
North Carolina Voter ID Amendment
The ballot measure would add language to the North Carolina Constitution to require voters to present a photo ID to vote in person. The North Carolina State Legislature would be responsible for passing laws to govern the photo ID requirement.
Measure 105, Repeal Sanctuary State Law Initiative
Measure 105 would repeal the state law, Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820, which forbids state agencies, including law enforcement, from using state resources or personnel to detect or apprehend persons whose only violation of the law is that of federal immigration law. Measure 105 would allow any law enforcement agency to use agency funds, equipment, and personnel to detect and apprehend people whose only violation of the law is a violation of federal immigration law.
Measure 106, Ban Public Funds for Abortions Initiative
The measure would prohibit public funds from being spent on abortions, except when medically necessary or required by federal law. Under the measure, an abortion would qualify as medically necessary if a licensed physician determines that a woman would suffer an injury or death unless an abortion is performed. Under the measure, public funds may be spent on abortions in circumstances of rape or incest or diagnosed ectopic pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies, also called extrauterine pregnancies, are pregnancies where a fertilized egg becomes implanted outside of the uterus and has no chance of proceeding normally to birth and which could cause fatal bleeding to the mother.
Proposition 3: Medicaid Expansion Initiative
Proposition 3 would require the state to provide Medicaid for persons under the age of 65 and with incomes equal to or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line. To finance the state’s portion of the costs to expand Medicaid, the initiative would increase the sales tax from 4.70 to 4.85 percent. During the 2018 session, the Utah State Legislature passed and the governor signed a bill with a modified and restricted Medicaid expansion plan.
Proposition 3 would require the state government to provide Medicaid to persons under the age of 65 and with incomes equal to or below 138 percent of the official poverty line. In 2017, this amounted to $16,643 or less for an individual or $33,948 or less for a household of four. As the federal government would contribute 90 percent of the funds needed for Medicaid expansion in 2020 and subsequent years, the state needs to use the revenue to cover the remaining 10 percent. The initiative would increase the sales tax 0.15 percent from 4.70 to 4.85 percent to provide revenue for the state’s portion of the costs
Amendment 1: No Right to Abortion in Constitution Measure
The amendment would add Section 57 to Article VI of the West Virginia Constitution to say “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” If Roe v. Wade were overturned, this amendment would ensure that the state’s constitution could not be used to allow abortions.