The Votes That Really Count

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"You hear candidates talking about it because its such a long-overdue issue," says Fox.

States Voting: Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio.

ABORTION:

Abortion has shown up on only three state ballots in this year, but one of them is particularly high profile. In South Dakota citizens will vote to repeal a law passed in February that bans all abortions, except in cases where the mother"s life is threatened (legislators voted against amendments that provided exemptions for women who became pregnant through rape or incest). If voters choose to keep the law, challenges to its constitutionality are expected, quite possibly all the way to the Supreme Court. That is exactly what the law's backers, who want it to serve as a test case to try and overturn Roe v. Wade now that the court has two new conservative justices, had in mind when they drafted it.

Two other states are also considering abortion measures, but only to decide on requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed.

States Voting: South Dakota, California, Oregon.

MARIJUANA:

Marijuana has found a way to roll itself up in the ballot vote again. This time Nevada and Colorado will decide if an ounce of pot should be legal for personal use for people 21 and older, similar to laws in some European countries. South Dakota will consider legalizing it for medical use.

In fact, the issue has spread statewide across Colorado after an initiative in Denver was successful. If the proposal carries in any of the three states, it would push the question of across-the-board legalization to the national forefront. However, many opponents maintain that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder substances that, if pot is legalized, would easily find its way into the hands of minors.

States Voting: Colorado, Nevada, South Dakota.

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