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Beyond politicians on the nation's ballots

(Credit: Politirazzi)

A critic of California's Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage protests Monday in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)

By Emily Ngo

Americans aren’t just voting for politicians today, there are some interesting measures on ballots around the nation:

San Francisco and the decriminalization of prostitution

The Proposition K ballot question would forbid local law enforcement from investigating, arresting and prosecuting anyone selling sex. It would not technically legalize prostitution.

California and the ban on same-sex marriage

The heavily funded Proposition 8 ballot measure seeks to eliminate the five-month-old right to gay marriage. Arizona and Florida have similar, but less promoted, constitutional amendments on the table.

Iowa and the ban of “idiot” from the state Constitution

The state will vote on the measure that would strike the phrase “idiot or insane person” from the Iowa Constitution and replace it with “a person adjudged mentally incompetent.”Washington and the legalization of assisted suicide

The Initiative 1000 question would allow terminally ill — and mentally competent — Washington residents to accept lethal prescriptions. Doctors would only be able to write these prescriptions if their patients had less than six months to live.

Michigan and the legalization of medical marijuana

The Proposal 1 ballot measure seeks to allow marijuana to be prescribed for medical conditions. Massachusetts residents similarly will vote on whether to decriminalize possession of an ounce of marijuana.

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