On Election Day, millions of Americans cast their votes for senators, members of congress, local officer holders…and some quirky and fascinating ballot measures and initiatives.
In Florida, voters passed Amendment 4. Previously in the Sunshine State, people convicted of felonies lose their right to vote…forever. But with the passage of this measure, felons will get their suffrage privileges back after serving their sentence or completing their probation. This will add as many as 1.5 million voters to the rolls. (Not part of that group: those convicted of murder.)
NO DOGS ALLOWED
Also in Florida, voters approved Amendment 13, which will gradually ban a popular spectator sport: dog racing. By 2020, it will be illegal statewide to race greyhounds or place bets on racing greyhounds.
SPRING FORWARD AND STAY THERE
The times they are a-changin’ in California…or rather, not at all. Proposition 7 passed with more than 60 percent of voters approving. It will allow the state to eliminate the biannual time changes, or “spring forward, fall back” associated with Daylight Saving Time. If it goes into effect, California will stay on the same time schedule year-round.
THE JURY IS IN
In Louisiana, voters said yes to Amendment 2. It removes a law on the books that allowed juries in the state to return non-unanimous verdicts. In other words, juries there could convict a criminal with, say, a 7-5 vote rather than 12-0. That makes Oregon the only state in the nation to allow non-unanimous jury rulings.
NO SORT-OF-SMOKING ALLOWED
Another one from Florida, and this one is a response to one of the biggest fads of the last few years. Millions of people no longer smoke but “vape,” using electronic cigarettes to inhale nicotine-laced vapor that some claim is healthier than breathing in smoke. Nevertheless, Amendment 9 passed, banning indoor vaping in Florida.