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Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (L) holds ten-month-old Natalie Vincent (2nd L), daughter of House Speaker Michael Busch's senior policy adviser Jaclyn Vincent, as Gov. Martin O'Malley (R) looks on after he signed the state's recently passed same-sex marriage bill into law during a ceremony at the Maryland State House March 1, 2012 in Annapolis, Maryland. The law is expected to face a referendum in the November election before it goes into effect in January, 2013.
While all eyes are on the presidential race, there’s also some sideline activity worth checking out this election cycle. Several states have included some hot-button issues on their ballots.
In response to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Alabama, Florida, Montana and Wyoming put up proposed laws prohibiting individuals and businesses from being required to participate in the health care system. Then, the more traditional topics of marriage equality and the legalization of marijuana have popped up across the country as well. Union issues, which recently played out in the Wisconsin recall election, will also be prominent in Michigan and here in California.
What’s the lay of the land across the country? What are the chances of some of these propositions and measures passing or failing? Will any of these choices at the state level have a major impact on the presidential race?
Aaron Blake, political reporter, Washington Post
Josh Goodman, reporter, Stateline, a nonpartisan news service of the Pew Center on the States
Jose Martinez, KPCC reporter