Yesterday's election saw three especially controversial ballot measures, two in Ohio and one in Mississippi. Ohio voters voted on a measure to restrict collective bargaining rights, similar to the Wisconsin law passed by Gov. Scott Walker earlier this year, and on a measure to opt out the national health care mandate imposed by Obamacare. Mississippi voters voted on a ballot initiative to declare that life begins at conception, seeking to ban abortion altogether. However, the only measure to pass was the health care mandate opt out in Ohio.
What are your thoughts on the three ballot initiatives? Are you surprised by the outcomes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Ohio's collective bargaining restrictions were not expected to pass according to polls, but state Republicans argued they were essential to close Ohio's deficit. According to Fox News:
Senate Bill 5 would have banned Ohio's public employees from bargaining over health care and pension benefits. It would also have required them to pay at least 15 percent of their health care costs.
[Gov. John] Kasich and other Republicans had argued that the restrictions were necessary to close the state's $8 billion deficit and help local governments balance their budgets, while avoiding service cuts or tax increases.
Ohio's other ballot measure did pass, creating a state constitutional amendment to prevent the government from forcing Ohio residents to buy health insurance.
Voters in Ohio have approved a ballot measure intended to keep government from requiring Ohioans to participate in any health care system.
The constitutional amendment passed is largely symbolic, coming in response to the 2009 federal health care overhaul, a provision of which mandates that most Americans purchase health care.
Supporters hope it will prompt a challenge of the overhaul before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Finally, in Mississippi, a personhood amendment to define life as beginning at conception also failed, perhaps because of its ambiguity in terms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.
The so-called "personhood" initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short of the threshold needed for it to be enacted. If it had passed, it was virtually assured of drawing legal challenges because it conflicts with the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion.
Supporters of the initiative wanted to provoke a lawsuit to challenge the landmark ruling. The measure divided the medical and religious communities and caused some of the most ardent abortion opponents, including Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, to waver with their support. [...]
"Some very strongly pro-life people have raised questions about the ambiguity and about the actual consequences -- whether there are unforeseen, unintended consequences. And I'll have to say that I have heard those concerns and they give me some pause," Barbour said last week.
What do you think of the results in Ohio and Mississippi? Were they what you were expecting?