You are all probably aware of the results of the 2012 Presidential election results. President Barack Obama will stay in office, Democrats have majority control of the Senate, Republicans retain majority control in the House, and Republicans still have majority seats in the State Governor positions.
However, there was much more to this election than election of governmental officials. Each state had a series of State Ballot Measures on which citizens voted. There was also a 3rd party candidate this year, Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party, who was attempting to get 5% of the popular vote to push the party for the next presidential race in 2016.
So here is a quick overview of the outcomes of some of the most controversial and interesting measures to come from the 2012 elections.
Libertarian “It Only Takes 5” Results
The Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was pushing for just 5% of the popular vote. What difference would 5% of the popular vote make? It wouldn’t put him in the executive seat , so why does it matter? The main reason the Libertarians were pushing for this magical 5% of popular vote is because it would give the Libertarian Party a huge boost for the 2016 Presidential race and put a 3rd party candidate in the spotlight with the democrat and republican candidates. With just 5% of the vote the Libertarian Party would have had equal ballot access in all 50 states, be able to take part in the national presidential debates, and receive part of the federal funding for their 2016 run at presidency.
So what happened? Did the Libertarian Party and Gary Johnson get their 5%? The answer is no, they did not. Gary Johnson ended with over 1 million votes and 1% of the popular vote. This means a lot for the people living in states with more stringent ballot access regulations. Oklahoma, for example, hasn’t had a third party candidate on the ballot since Ross Perot and has very difficult ballot access regulations. There were a number of protests in Oklahoma on election day over outrage at limited ballot access in the state and Independent and 3rd party supporters unable to vote for the presidential candidate of their choosing.
Fortunately, 1% is enough for guaranteed ballot access in many states, but the battle for 50 state ballot access with have to begin now if the Libertarian Party is to see their candidate on all 50 ballots come 2016.
Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington all had gay marriage questions on their ballots. Maryland, Maine, and Washington approved gay marriage and Minnesota did not ban gay marriage. Essentially, gay marriage proposals won out in all four states.
Legalization of the use of marijuana for medical purposes was on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Washington. The measure passed in all the states except Arkansas and Oregon.
Abortion issues were on the ballot in both Florida and Montana. Florida voted against a ban on public funds going towards abortion. Therefore, this was a win for pro-choice advocates in the state. However, Montana voters approved a measure that would require parental notification prior to an abortion for a minor (16 years old and under). This would be considered a small win for pro-life supporters.
The required labeling of genetically modified food was on the ballot in California. The measure did not pass and labeling will not be required.
There are just a few of the hot button issues related to the 2012 elections. What was the most important state question you voted on this election to you personally?