Sure, the U.S. Senate races and control of Congress will be in the spotlight on all the major cable news networks Tuesday night.
In some states — I’m looking at you Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado, among others — there will be closely watched races to decide who the next governor will be. And control of state legislatures from coast-to-coast will be up for grabs as well on Election Day 2014.
But Tuesday isn’t just about electing the people who will make big decisions for the next two, four or six years.
It’s also about the people making big decisions on their own.
Most states allow some form of direct democracy by allowing voters to weigh in on ballot measures, initiatives and referendums. Here’s five interesting ballot questions to watch on Tuesday.
Arkansas could shut down “dry counties”
Prohibition could finally come to an end in Arkansas, the state with more “dry” counties than any other.
Alaska and Oregon consider legalizing marijuana (DC, too!)
A year after Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana via a ballot initiative, two other western states are in line to join them. Maybe.
Washington’s competing Second Amendment ballot questions
Gun-control advocates and Second Amendment lovers both got their way in Washington state by getting separate questions on the ballot about the relationship between government and firearms. Now, the election will decide who wins.
Minimum wage increases in four states
Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota will be asked if they want to raise the state’s minimum wage rate. But in each case, the increase would be more than a one-time thing.
Phoenix considers pension reform proposal
States are still mostly kicking-the-can on pension issues, despite the fact that underfunded public pensions are a $2 trillion (and growing) problem, even by the pension fund’s own rosy estimates.