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Also on the U.S. ballot on Tuesday – gun, pot, rubber, plastic

Americans will be voting on Tuesday to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump but electing the 45th President of the country will not be the only decision they will be making. There are numerous other decisions from the State to county levels that will be made by direct voting on Tuesday. They range from allowing recreational use of marijuana in several States and discontinuing death penalty in California to a proposal to levy a tax of four per cent on restaurant meals in Virginia’s Fairfax County to give a hike to teachers in its nationally reputed public school system.

President Barack Obama’s campaign for Ms. Clinton in recent days has been more focused on the purported dangers that a Trump presidency might pose to American democracy. He has said the ideals of “justice, democracy and decency” are all on ballot on Tuesday. They may well be, but apart from voting on such grand questions, Californians will also have to decide whether adult film actors must be mandated by law to use condoms while performing.

On legalising marijuana

Californians are supporting the proposal to legalise recreational use of marijuana by a wide margin according to opinion polls and among its supporters are senior Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, Napster cofounder and former Facebook president Sean Parker and billionaire investor George Soros. At least nine States will be voting on proposals related to marijuana. Currently 25 States and District of Columbia have legislated the use of marijuana but only four States and DC allow its recreational use. The land of the free will make its most expansive decision on pot this Tuesday.

Minimum wage has been a topic of discussion throughout this campaign, but in South Dakota, its Republican majority Senate voted to lower the minimum wage for workers under 18. A referendum to veto that law was initiated by a campaign – which is one way of getting a question on to the ballot in the American system – and the State’s voters will vote on it. Four other States have proposals to increase the minimum wage on the ballot on Tuesday. Four States will vote on measures to restrict guns.

Condom use for porn actors

San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles is the centre of adult film production, and the campaign to enforce the use of condoms is being supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The group that opposes it calls itself Coalition Against Worker Harassment. Both Republican and Democratic parties are opposed to the proposal.

Not only rubber, plastic is also on the ballot in California. People will also vote on a referendum on banning the use of single-use plastic bags in California. Altogether, California has 17 State-wide proposals, and will have the longest ballot in the country in this election. There are 700 death row inmates in California and a proposal to commute all their sentences is on the ballot. In San Francisco County, there are two dozen county-level questions also on the ballot in addition to the 17.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 12:28:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Also-on-the-ballot-gun-pot-rubber-plastic/article60617353.ece