Monday, November 05, 2012

Down-Ballot Votes To Watch Tomorrow

While the Presidential contest obviously looms largest at the polls tomorrow, those interested in church-state and religious liberty issues are watching a number of down-ballot issues and contests.
  • Florida's Amendment 8 would remove the state constitution's ban on public funds going to religious institutions and instead would ban, to the extent consistent with the federal Constitution, the government from denying participation in funding or programs on the basis of religious identity or belief. (Background from Naples Daily News).
  • Four states have same-sex marriage issues on the ballot: Maine (Question 1); Maryland (Question 6); Minnesota (Proposed Amendment 1); and Washington (Referendum Measure 74).
  • Two states have ballot issues relating to abortion. Florida: Amendment 6 which, with limited exceptions, would prohibit the use of public funds for abortion. Montana: Legislative Referendum 120 would, with some exceptions, require physicians to notify parents 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor under 16.
Also two votes on state supreme court justices are of particular interest:
  • In Alabama, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (known for his defense of a 10 Commandments monument in Alabama's Judicial Building) is again running for that office against Democrat Robert Vance (whose father, a federal appeals court judge, was assassinated by a mail bomb in 1989). (Background on the contest from AP).
  • In Iowa, state Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins faces significant opposition from same-sex marriage opponents in his retention election.  Wiggins was one of the 7 justices who in a 2009 case voted to invalidate the state's law that had barred recognition of same-sex marriages. (See prior posting.)