In addition to races to decide elected officials, a number of state ballot initiatives were decided on Tuesday, and those on the side of agriculture might not like some of the results.
- In Massachusetts, Question 3 – a measure that bans the production and sale of animal products produced through confinement practices – easily passed with78 percent of voters voting in favor. Opponents of the bill were badly outgunned by animal rights groups that supported the measure, although agriculture did have an anti-poverty ally on its side.
- Oklahoma’s State Question 777 would have added Right-to-Farm language to the state’s constitution, but it was defeated 60-40. The measure was popular early on in its consideration, but support slipped in later polling despite the backing of many of the state’s ag groups and a handful of elected officials.
- California voters decided in favor of soda taxes in Oakland, San Francisco, and Albany. The soda industry spent more than $25 million fighting the penny-per-ounce levies, but sentiment against sugary beverages was strong enough to carry all three initiatives. A similar measure also passed in Boulder, Colorado.
- Voters in a number of states approved measures dealing with marijuana legalization. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota voters came out in favor of expanded access to medical marijuana, and California, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted in favor of legalization. With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Arizona voters had narrowly defeated legalization, and 86 percent of precincts had a similar provision in Maine at a 50-50 split.
- Indiana and Kansas both approved right to hunt and fish amendments to their constitution, and voters in Montana voted against Initiative 177, which would have banned the use of traps and snares on public lands unless nonlethal methods have been proven ineffective.
- Missouri voters approved a one-tenth cent sales tax that will be earmarked for state parks and soil and water conservation efforts. The measure is up for renewal every 10 years.
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