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Search GovSpot or Google |   Great Must-See sites   |   Read Articles and Lists | Find answers | Did you know?  
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State Referendums

While the presidential election tends to receive the lion's share of news coverage, the public will also vote on many state initiatives and referendums in November.

Initiatives and referendums give the public a chance to participate in making laws. An initiative is a measure placed on the ballot by the citizens, while a referendum allows the public to vote on a bill proposed by the legislature. Twenty-seven states use initiatives, referendums or both, according to the Initiative and Referendum Institute. Check the institute's map to see what your state offers.

From the medicinal use of marijuana to gambling laws, the language of ballot measures can be confusing. Several sites can help you research referendums in your state.

Project Vote Smart has compiled a list of ballot measures for each state. Voters can read the text of the initiative and find links to sites of supporters and opponents.

Ballot Watch keeps track of more than 200 ballot measures. The site's list of the top issues addressed in initiatives includes eminent domain, minimum wage, abortion, racial preferences, government finances, tobacco and animal rights. Scroll down to vital stats and click on your state to find links to its election site and voter guide.




States with a large voting population tend to have Web sites dedicated to ballot measures. The California Voter Foundation and Washington's Secretary of State track ballot measures and inform the public.

   --- J. Britten and A. Leonard

 
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