Friday, November 2, 2012

Issues At Stake in Tuesday's Election

USA Today has a solid little issue-by-issue bullet point guide for what voters nationwide will be hitting the polls to decide on this fateful fast-approaching general election day.

A lot of really interesting stuff to watch: Marriage equality in Washington State and elsewhere, labeling on GMO products in California, right-to-die outside the Pacific Northwest and more.

Hot button social issues on the ballot:
Right-to die. Massachusetts may become the first state outside the Pacific Northwest to approve physician-supported suicide for terminally ill patients. The Death With Dignity Act is based on the laws approved by voters in Oregon in 1994 and Washington in 2008. 
Gay marriage. Maine may become the first state in which voters legalize same-sex marriage. Maryland and Washington voters consider reversing state legislatures decision to permit same-sex marriage. Minnesota votes on outlawing same-sex marriage. 
Food. California considers requiring genetically modified foods to be labeled as "genetically engineered." The state estimates that 40% to 70% of food sold in groceries stores has genetically altered ingredients, a practice that improves yield and disease resistance. Food companies have spent more than $40 million to defeat the proposition. 
Abortion. Florida and Montana voters will decide whether to require parental consent for minors to have an abortion. The small slate of abortion measures follows the defeat in Mississippi last year and Colorado in 2008 of an effort to expand abortion restrictions by definining a fertilized egg as a person. 
Death penalty. California voters consider banning the death penalty. The state has executed 13 since 1978 and has 727 prisoners on death row. Not since Oregon voters abolished the death penalty in 1964 — and reinstated it in 1978 — has a ballot measure ended capital punishment, reports the Death Penalty Information Center.

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