Daily Dispatches
Associated Press/Photo by Ted S. Warren
Same-sex "marriage" proponents celebrate early returns Tuesday night in Seattle.

State ballot initiatives produce mixed bag of results for conservatives


At the end of two days of vote counting in Washington state, it’s official: Traditional marriage lost all four battles at the ballot box this week. 

Washington joins Maryland and Maine as the first states ever to approve same-sex “marriage,” as voters signed off on laws previously passed by state legislatures. In Minnesota, where same-sex unions are already illegal, voters defeated an amendment to the state constitution that would have permanently banned the practice. 

“The results show only that in a deep blue state, with a huge financial advantage, gay marriage activists can win—barely,” Joseph Backholm, chairman of Preserve Marriage Washington, said in a statement.

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Although vote totals are not yet final, all of the battles were competitive but did not feature razor thin margins. Traditional marriage lost by 4 percentage points in Maryland and Minnesota, and 5 points in Maine and Washington state. 

The four marriage battles headlined ballot issues this election cycle, but voters decided on many other important initiatives across the country. Some of those votes went conservatives’ way, including Massachusetts voting against legalizing physician-assisted suicide and Michigan voting down a slew of special-interest initiatives (See “Michiganders say ‘no’ to six ballot initiatives,” by Laura Edghill, Nov. 7). 

Here is a rundown on the the stated initiatives and the resulting vote: 


No mandatory healthcare: 59 percent for, 41 percent against.


Allow medical marijuana use: 49 percent for, 51 percent against.


Ban the death penalty: 47 percent for, 53 percent against. Enact harsher penalties for human trafficking: 81 percent for, 19 percent against.


Allow recreational marijuana use: 55 percent for, 45 percent against.


Repeal ban on public funds used for religious purposes: 45 percent for, 55 percent against. No mandatory health coverage: 49 percent for, 51 percent against. Prohibit use of federal funds for abortion: 45 percent for, 55 percent against.


Legalize physician-assisted suicide: 49 percent for, 51 percent against. Allow medical marijuana use: 63 percent for, 37 percent against.


Allow casino gambling: 52 percent for, 48 percent against. Allow children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition: 58 percent for, 42 percent against.


Require photo identification when voting: 46 percent for, 52 percent against.


Ban federal health exchange: 62 percent for, 38 percent against.


Require parental notification before a minor can receive an abortion: 71 percent for, 29 percent against. Restrict medical marijuana use: 57 percent for, 43 percent against. Require citizenship proof to receive state services: 79 percent for, 21 percent against. No mandatory health insurance: 67 percent for, 33 percent against.


Ban affirmative action: 59 percent for, 41 percent against.


Allow recreational marijuana use: 46 percent for, 54 percent against. Expand casino gambling: 28 percent for, 72 percent against.


Allow recreational marijuana use: 55 percent for, 45 percent against.

J.C. Derrick
J.C. Derrick

J.C. is WORLD Magazine's Washington Bureau chief. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.


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