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Renewable energy debuts on ballots October 30, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Energy, Environment, News, Politics, Voting.
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Courtesy USA Today:

Renewable energy is one of the top issues facing voters Tuesday, along with ballot proposals that would ban abortion, legalize marijuana, protect farm animals, end affirmative action and use gambling to fund education.

Three states — California, Colorado and Missouri — have measures on their ballots that deal with alternative energy sources, including wind and solar power. “This is a fairly new issue to the ballot,” says Jennie Drage Bowser, who has been tracking ballot measures for more than a decade at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It’s a direct response to the demand for energy independence and the rising cost of energy.”

Also new, she says, are a measure in South Dakota that would repeal eight-year term limits on state lawmakers and one in Colorado that would criminalize abortion by defining a person as “any human being from the moment of fertilization.”

Californians will consider animal rights. An initiative there would require farms to give egg-laying hens, calves and pregnant pigs room to turn around, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. Florida passed a similar measure in 2002 that protected only pregnant pigs, and Arizona approved one in 2006 that covered pigs and calves.

On Tuesday, voters in 36 states will consider 153 ballot measures. Most are referendums placed on the ballot by legislatures; 59 are grass-roots initiatives that needed tens of thousands of signatures to qualify. Many citizen initiatives are controversial, and fewer than half have passed in the past decade. Three of every four referred by legislatures succeeded.

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