Everyone is focused on the close race for president. The presidency holds an enormous amount of power, so this national attention is understandable. But for many young people voting for the first time, tomorrow, your ballot will contain other crucial decisions on some of the most important issues to our human rights and welfare. For example, you might not have known that four states Maryland, Maine, Washington, and Minnesota have 2012 ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage. That's huge. Other questions like equal access to education for the children of undocumented workers and the legalization of marijuana are also on the ballot. Below is a list of important issues in 13 states. Check out your state below: You might be surprised.
(Ed. note: Views expressed belong to Hostage Calm and are not necessarily reflective of those held by AP.)
Proposition 120 - Declare the "state sovereignty" over all "air, water, public lands, mineral, wildlife and other natural resources" to allow Arizona to bypass the federal regulations in the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other federal statutes.
Issue 5: Legalize medical marijuana
Proposition 34 - Ban capital punishment in California
Proposition 36 - would undo the "three strikes" sentencing laws
Proposition 37 - require labeling of genetically modified foods
Amendment 64: Legalize recreational use of marijuana
Question 1: Legalize same-sex marriage
Question 4: Uphold the DREAM Act. A vote of "Yes" would uphold a new law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state or in-county tuition at Maryland colleges.
Question 6: Uphold marriage equality. Every human being deserves to have their love recognized by the State and protected equally.
Question 2: Allow those with a terminal illness to elect for death by lethal injection
Question 3: A vote of “yes” would legalize medical marijuana
Proposal 2 - Constitutional right to collective bargaining
Proposal 3 - Mandates that 25 percent of the states electricity be from renewable energy
Amendment 1: would create a constitutional amendment in "Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman," effectively banning same-sex marriage. A vote of NO will be against the measure, and in solidarity with the marriage equality movement.
IR-124: Legalize medical marijuana
Question 759 - Prohibit affirmative action
Measure 80: Legalize recreational use of marijuana
State Referendum 74: Legalize same-sex marriage
State I-502: Legalize small amounts of marijuana, tax the sale of marijuana and designate tax revenue for healthcare and substance abuse prevention.
This is not a complete list of every state ballot initiative. These were some that piqued our interest that we wanted to share, but there are a ton of other choices you may have on your state ballot, ranging from choosing your regional representatives, to voting on the issuance of state bonds to pay for certain public or private projects. We've given you a snapshot of issues we're looking at, but we encourage you to educate yourself on the issues and to exercise your free will and good judgment.