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Looking local

Campaign 2010 | Ballot measures in 36 states cover everything from the mundane to the momentous

From selling marijuana to using Islamic law in court cases, voters in 36 states decided on 155 ballot measures that covered an unusual gamut of issues. Though many initiatives dealt with local issues like bonds and hunting regulations, others have broader implications that reflect national concerns.

California voters rejected a measure to legalize the retail sale and possession of marijuana. But it wasn't a landslide: Nearly 46 percent of voters approved of the idea. Three other states also dealt with the drug: Oregon voters rejected the medical sale of marijuana, and South Dakotans voted down an initiative to legalize the drug for medicinal use. A razor-thin margin in Arizona looked like it would reject a similar measure.

Oklahoma voters approved a handful of ballot initiatives with broad implications: They passed a measure making English the official language, requiring state workers to conduct all state business in English, they decided to prohibit courts from considering Islamic law when deciding court cases, and they approved an initiative that prohibits laws requiring citizens to purchase health insurance-an effort aimed at blocking provisions in the Obama healthcare law.

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Arizona also took aim at healthcare: The state passed a measure similar to the Oklahoma initiative. But early results looked like Colorado voters would reject the idea. Colorado also rejected a pro-life measure: a state constitutional amendment that would have declared an unborn child a person, with full legal rights and protection. The amendment divided even pro-life supporters, with some groups unsure the amendment was the best strategy in fighting abortion. This marks the second time Colorado voters have overwhelmingly defeated such an initiative.
See WORLD's interactive national map for complete election results from across the country.

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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