Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day. With all 435 seats of the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested, this election has the potential to see many shakeups in our country’s leadership. Meaningful change comes as much from grassroots efforts as it does from leadership at the top. That’s why we believe that voting on down-ballot measures is so important. Down-ballot refers to candidates, issues, and initiatives that are located below the more well-known (typically state and national) candidates. When we vote directly on new ideas, we’re more likely to accomplish change and force our leaders to listen to our collective voice, so don’t stop at the top!
Make a plan to vote on (or before) November 8th! The Election Assistance Commission’s website will guide you through your state’s key dates and assist you with registering or double checking your registration status.
Even if you’re a seasoned voter, down-ballot voting can still be pretty confusing. Here are some crucial state and local ballot initiatives Dr. Bronner’s is supporting that have the potential to lead our country toward justice and healing:
Arkansas Issue 4, Marijuana Legalization Initiative
A YES vote on Issue 4 supports legalizing the possession and use of up to one ounce of marijuana for individuals 21 years of age and older.
Colorado Proposition 122, Decriminalization and Regulated Access Program for Certain Psychedelic Plants and Fungi Initiative
A Yes vote for Proposition 122 would decriminalize the personal use and possession of certain hallucinogenic and entheogenic plants and fungi, such as psilocybin, mescaline and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). It would also create a natural medicine services program for supervised administration of these substances, create a framework for regulating the growth, distribution and sale, and establish the Natural Medicine Advisory Board to implement the regulated access program.
Maryland Question 4, Marijuana Legalization Amendment
A YES vote on Question 4 supports legalizing marijuana for individuals 21 years of age and older and directs the Maryland State Legislature to pass laws for the use, distribution, regulation and taxation of marijuana.
Missouri Amendment 3, Marijuana Legalization Initiative
A YES vote on Amendment 3 would legalize the purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery manufacturing, and sale of marijuana for personal use for individuals 21 years of age and older. It would also allow individuals convicted of non-violent marijuana-related offenses to petition to be released from incarceration and have their records expunged.
North Dakota Statutory Measure 2, Marijuana Legalization Initiative
A YES vote on Statutory Measure 2 would legalize the personal use of marijuana for anyone 21 years of age and older. It would also allow people to grow up to three marijuana plants and possess up to one ounce.
South Dakota Initiated Measure 27, Marijuana Legalization Initiative
A YES vote on Initiated Measure 27 would legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana. It also would allow individuals to own up to three marijuana plants (as long as the individual does not live in the jurisdiction of a licensed marijuana retail store).
Healthcare Rising Arizona, Prop 209
A YES vote on Prop 209 would limit exploitative practices by medical debt collectors and protect people’s assets from repossession as well as cap the interest rate on medical debt and limit wage garnishment.
Raise the Wage Nebraska, Initiative 433
A YES vote on Initiative 433 would increase the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026 and adjust wages for inflation in each subsequent year. About 20% of the state’s workforce would immediately benefit from higher wages if passed.
California Proposition 30, the Tax on Income Above $2 Million for Zero-Emissions Vehicles and Wildfire Prevention Initiative
A YES vote supports increasing the tax on personal income above $2 million by 1.75%. The revenue generated would then be dedicated to zero-emission vehicle subsidies, zero-emission vehicle infrastructure (like electric vehicle charging stations), and wildfire suppression and prevention programs.
South Dakotans Decide Healthcare, Amendment D
A YES vote on Amendment D would expand Medicaid to about 42,000 South Dakotans. South Dakota is one of only 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Oregon Healthcare Amendment
Oregon voters will decide to amend their state constitution to guarantee each resident has access to affordable healthcare as a human right.
Arizona Proposition 308
A YES vote for Proposition 308 would enable anyone who has lived in Arizona for two or more years and graduated from an Arizona high school to attend Arizona colleges regardless of immigration status.
Colorado, No Eviction Without Representation Ballot Measure
A YES vote for the No Eviction Without Representation ballot measure ensures that Denver families will have equal and fair access to legal counsel when faced with housing injustice. It especially ensures that women and people of color, who disproportionately face the threat of eviction – have access to safe and stable housing.
Arizona Prop 128
Prop 128 would allow the state of Arizona to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures if any portion is deemed unconstitutional and would limit citizen-initiated ballot measures to a single subject. A NO vote would prevent this measure from becoming law.
Arkansas Issue 2
A vote AGAINST Issue 2 would prevent the requirement of a 60% supermajority vote to adopt constitutional amendments and citizen-initiated state statutes.
Connecticut Early Voting Ballot Measure
A YES vote for Early Voting would change the state constitution to allow for early voting in Connecticut. This measure would expand access to voting to more people and increase voting accessibility to more people.
Michigan Proposal 2
A YES vote on Proposal 2 would enhance the integrity and security of Michigan’s elections by making voting more convenient and secure.
These are just a handful of down-ballot initiatives that we feel are important. We encourage you to do your own research and be informed of what to expect come Election Day. While it can sometimes feel like a single vote is insignificant, it’s only together that we can affect positive change in our world. Your vote counts!