- Voters across the country cast votes for national, state and local candidates in the 2022 midterms, but they’ll also vote on a slate of ballot measures.
- Here’s what you need to know about proposals on issues ranging from abortion access to legalizing marijuana.
Millions of voters across the country have cast their ballots and made their voices heard in the 2022 midterm elections.
Voters are choosing lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate, in addition to picking state and local officials. They are deciding whether Democrats should keep control of both houses of Congress, or whether Republicans will flip one or both chambers.
But voters are also making major decisions on ballot initiatives in states from coast to coast.
Voters are weighing in on issues ranging from accessing abortion to legalizing marijuana and outlawing slavery. Depending where voters live, they may be choosing to raise the minimum wage, expand Medicaid and sign off on policies designed to address climate change.
Here’s what you need to know about key ballot measures from Election Day 2022.
Live updates on the midterm elections:Republicans Rubio and DeSantis win reelection in Florida
Full election results:See results of elections in the Senate, House and every state
Abortion access votes in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont
After the Supreme Court earlier this year overturned its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, Kansas voters chose to uphold the right to an abortion in their state. And in the midterms, abortion access advocates hope states across the country see the same results.
California, Kentucky, Michigan and Vermont all offered similar questions to voters on Tuesday. And in Montana, a referendum could mean criminal charges for health care workers if they don’t take “all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life” of an infant who is born living, including after an attempted abortion.
What are the midterm elections? Here’s what to know about them and why they’re important
Voting measures in Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska
Yes, voters in several states voted about voting, including measures on voter identification, early voting, and rules on passing ballot initiatives.
In Arizona, voters were asked whether they should be required to provide a date of birth and voter identification number for early ballot affidavits, instead of only a signature. Arizonians voted on proposals about ballot initiatives, including whether the state’s legislature can amend or repeal measures that voters have passed if the measures are deemed unconstitutional.
In Connecticut, people voted on a constitutional amendment to allow in-person early voting. In Michigan, voters were asked whether to create a nine-day window for early voting, among other changes, such as requiring a photo ID or signed affidavit to vote.
And in Nebraska, voters were asked if a valid photo ID should be required to vote in any election.
Which party will control the Senate? Here’s every seat up for grabs in the 2022 midterms
Prohibiting slavery – particularly among prisoners
Five states were deciding whether to abolish slavery on Election Day. The states include:
No, you’re not remembering your United States history class wrong. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution ended slavery in the U.S. when it was ratified in 1865. But a loophole does allow it as a punishment for people convicted of a crime.
The referendums in these states mostly ask voters to say no form of slavery or involuntary servitude be allowed as punishment for a crime. If they’re enacted, these referendums could be more than just a symbolic gesture. Criminal justice reform advocates have said they could mean higher wages for prison work, among other changes.
Maryland legalizes recreational marijuana; other states vote on weed (and other drug policies)
Marijuana appeared on ballots in multiple states this year. In Arkansas, Missouri, Maryland, North Dakota and South Dakota, voters were faced with an option to legalize marijuana for people 21 and older.
Maryland voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana for people 21 and over though a constitutional amendment on Tuesday.
In Missouri, an amendment would also allow people who have been convicted of non-violent cannabis offense the chance to seek an earlier release from prison.
Colorado voters weighed in on whether the state should define certain fungi and psychedelic plants as natural medicine. The amendment would also allow personal use, possession, transportation and growth of the substances for people who are 21 or older.
DC raises minimum wage for tipped workers; Nevada, Nebraska vote on wage increases
Nevada voters were presented with an opportunity to increase the minimum wage in the state to $12 per hour. The state’s current minimum wage is between $9.50 to $10.50, depending whether a person has health insurance.
A Nebraska ballot measure could increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.
In Washington, D.C., voters chose to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees to match the pay of non-tipped employees.