The mid-term elections of 2018 have received a lot of attention for which party will claim the majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. That is typical and should be paid careful attention to. However, there are also a number of important ballot measures that are up for a vote in a variety of states that informed citizens ought to know about as well.
One of the hot button issues in recent years has been about gerrymandering and redistricting. Gerrymandering is when a party in power redraws district boundaries to favor their own party’s candidates. They may choose to draw the districts in some very odd shapes in order to gather up just enough of their voters to safely hold the district in most elections.
The practice is not legal and has been struck down by the courts numerous times. However, there is always an incentive for the party in power to do exactly that. FiveThirtyEight.com reports that Michigan, Colorado, Utah and Missouri will be voting on measures that in some way or another work to try to fix this problem. Each measure is slightly different from the others, but they are all worth reviewing as a potential first step towards solving this issue.
Ex-Felon’s Right To Vote
One of the most hotly watched ballot measures this year will be a measure in Florida to re-establish voting rights for ex-felons who have served their time. Under the current system in Florida most ex-felons are not granted the right to vote even if they go through a very complex process to try to petition the government to grant those rights back to them. That could all change when Floridians go to the polls. More than one million people in the state of Florida may be instantly granted their right to vote back.
This is a favorite of liberal activists who seek to legalize marijuana consumption in places where it is currently illegal. This year both Michigan and North Dakota have ballot measures that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. North Dakota’s law would also expunge the records of those convicted under previous marijuana consumption laws in the state.
A handful of other states are also considering measures that would legalize medical marijuana. The track record for these kinds of ballot measures is quite good, but those activists who have pushed for them don’t want to count these as wins until all of the votes have come in.