Voters say yes to majority of state ballot initiatives this year


Voters said yes to most of their state ballot initiatives in Tuesday’s off-year election. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), voters in six states addressed 31 statewide ballot measures, many of those included bond issues and other financing requests.

There were some notable exceptions, however, voters in Colorado said no to a $950 million tax increase to fund Pre-K through 12th grade education in that state. Colorado is a TABOR state, which sets up a taxpayer controlled budgeting process. NCSL notes that the proposal – Amendment 66 was by far the largest tax measure up for note nationwide. Colorado currently has a flat tax and Amendment 66 would’ve established a tiered tax system.

Genetically Modified foods will also go unlabeled in Washington. A measure that would’ve required labels on foods with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) was defeated 54-46%. Food companies have pushed back on requiring this information in food labels, and were successful in defeating a similar measure in Colorado last year.

Other high profile votes passed including a measure that will increase the minimum wage in New Jersey from $7.25 per hour to $8.25, with indexing for future inflation. New York State will also get 7 new casinos, 56% of voters said yes to allowing more gambling in the state.

NCSL has a searchable database up that includes all of the state ballot measures, so voters can search based on their own interests and find out how other voters feel.