November 4, 1998
Kwame Holman reports on the statewide ballot issues that affected the 1998 elections.
| KWAME HOLMAN: Yesterday, voters in nearly every
state decided ballot initiatives and referendums, some 235 of them according
to the Associated Press. Most dealt with government spending projects,
but issues ranging from banning cockfighting to prohibiting the sale of
horse meat also were considered, and some held national significance.
In Washington State voters approved an initiative barring state government
from granting, hiring or contracting preferences based on race, ethnicity,
national origin, or gender.
SPOKESMAN: We have a culture of equality in this nation.
KWAME HOLMAN: Spearheading the effort was Ward Connerly, head of a group seeking to end affirmative action programs nationally. The group helped pass a similar initiative in California two years ago. Washington state voters also approved a measure that legalizes the medical use of marijuana when it is recommended by a physician. After absentee ballots are counted, similar medical marijuana initiatives also may succeed in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. Voters in Washington, and another western state, Colorado, decided measures relating to abortion. In both states initiatives banning certain late-term abortion procedures were defeated, but Coloradoans also approved an initiative that requires parental notification before a minor may obtain an abortion. And in Alaska and Hawaii same-sex marriages were made illegal. Voters in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado rejected various plans that would have placed limits on future tax increases. But in California, Hollywood activist Rob Reiner helped pass an initiative placing a 50 cents-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes to fund early childhood development programs. California and Missouri voters approved gambling initiative. California's allows Indians to run casinos on reservations unregulated by the state. Missouri voters legalized slot machines on vessels offshore, and sports stadium measures were passed in both San Diego and Denver. The city's voters approved multi-billion dollar expenditures by their governments to build a $275 million facility for the San Diego Padres and a $360 million stadium for the Denver Broncos. RECAP