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Ballot Propositions Around The Nation

Some states do not allow ballot initiatives during odd-numbered years, or they restrict what types of initiatives may appear on the ballot in those years. While Election 1998 promises a host of controversial measures from English-only education to parental consent regarding abortions, this fall's ballot initiatives also include an array of hot-button issues.


Polls closed at 7 p.m. CT.

Anti-Affirmative Action: The voters of Houston defeated a proposition to repeal the city's affirmative action program. The program, launched by Mayor Bob Lanier, was initiated after patterns of discrimination were revealed in a city-commissioned study. The program sets voluntary goals for minority and women-owned contracting for the city.

Special Election Coverage from CNN Affiliates KHOU and KPRC


Polls closed at 8 p.m. ET.

Environment: Voters rejected an initiative would have allowed the state to adopt rules governing timber harvest and clear cutting and establish a voluntary audit program in an effort to achieve sustainable forests.

Voting Rights: Voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have made all mentally ill people who require guardians eligible to vote.

Civil Rights: The Christian Civic League gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on the recently passed gay civil rights bill which has great support within the state.

New York

Polls closed at 9 p.m. ET.

Constitutional Convention: New Yorkers declined to call a constitutional convention. The New York state Constitution requires a question to be put on a ballot every twenty years asking voters whether or not to call a constitutional convention. The last constitutional convention was specially scheduled in 1967. The ballot measure in 1977 was defeated.


Polls close at 8 p.m. PT.

Physician Assisted Suicide: Voters turned back Measure 51, an effort to repeal the state law that currently allows physician assisted suicide. The Supreme Court recently upheld Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which passed in 1994.


Polls close at 8 p.m. PT.

Civil Rights: Voters rejected a non-discrimination measure on the ballot to prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment. The measure would have allowed broad exemptions for small business and religious employers. This was the first state-wide, pro-active gay initiative on a state ballot. Previous gay-rights measures were proposed by anti-gay groups looking to restrict gay rights.

Gun Control: An initiative to require all handguns sold or traded within the state to be equipped with a trigger lock was rejected Tuesday. Handgun owners would have been required to pass a safety test or complete a handgun safety training course. The National Rifle Association (NRA) mounted a fierce opposition campaign.

Medical Marijuana: Initiative 685 was rejected by voters. The initiative would have abolished parole for violent felons who committed their crime under the influence of Schedule I drugs, such as marijuana, and it would have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Health Care: An initiative would allow workers to keep their doctors if they changed jobs was also rejected.

Special Election Coverage from CNN Affiliates KIRO and KSTW

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