Thursday, November 08, 2018

Election Saw Some Good Ballot Initiatives Passed

Both Democrats and Republicans can celebrate the election day choices made by voters on politicians. The Democrats can celebrate winning control of the House of Representatives, while the Republicans can celebrate retaining control of the Senate. We'll just have to wait and see how this divided Congress works out -- whether it will be good or bad for the citizens of this country.

But it wasn't just politicians on the ballot in some states. There were also some ballot initiatives -- and the ones that won are good news for all Americans. Here are some of the initiatives that passed.


The voters of Florida approved an initiative to restore voting rights to felons that have completed their sentence. This could reinstate voting rights to about 1.4 million people (who under the old Florida law had lost their voting rights forever).


Until this election, only 33 states had expanded Medicaid to provide health insurance for the poor. The other 17 states had Republican administrations that refused to expand Medicaid. On election night, ballot initiatives were passed in three of those GOP-dominated states (Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska) to expand Medicaid in those states -- and the measures passed rather easily.

Tow other states (Maine and Kansas) elected Democrats to be governor. Those states had Republican governor's who had blocked Medicaid expansion, so they now could also join the now 36 states expanding Medicaid.


A couple of states voted to approve medical marijuana (Missouri and Utah). But the really important vote came in Michigan. Michigan voters easily approved a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreation use. They join nine other states that have legalized marijuana -- Colorado, Oregon, California, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine.

This means 10 states, or 20% of all the states, now have legalized marijuana. I expect the 2020 election will see that list grow.

(Chart is from

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