US voters rule on redistricting, gay rights, other issues in off-year elections

[JURIST] Americans went to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in off-year elections. Voters in New Jersey and Virginia are electing new governors [Reuters report], while 39 ballot measures are up for approval in seven states [Stateline.org report]: California, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.

Voters in California and Ohio will determine how electoral districts should be redrawn. Californians will decide [SF Chronicle report] whether to remove redistricting power from legislators [JURIST report] and allocate it to a panel of three retired judges, and will also consider Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives to cap state spending. In Ohio, voters will decide on whether to create a State Board of Elections [Cleveland Plain Dealer coverage of ballot initiatives] to oversee operations currently handled by the Secretary of State. Ohioans are also considering whether to allow voters to cast their absentee ballots without stating a reason, and whether to rescind an increased campaign spending limit passed earlier in the year.

In Texas, voters are expected to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage [The Monitor election coverage], while voters in Maine are expected to ratify [Portland Press Herald coverage] a state law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment and housing. Washington voters have six ballot initiatives [Seattle Post-Intelligencer coverage] before them, including elimination of a 9.5-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax increase. USA Today has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.