FACTBOX: Key ballot initiatives and the 2008 election

Wed Nov 5, 2008 8:03pm EST
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(Reuters) - Ballot initiatives allow voters to directly decide whether to change state laws or amend state constitutions.

The proposals are placed on the ballots in presidential or congressional election years. Following are results of some of the initiatives on Tuesday's ballot.


CALIFORNIA - Voters approved an amendment to the state constitution recognizing marriage as only between a man and a woman. Gay rights activists immediately filed legal challenges.

The amendment overrides a ruling by the California Supreme Court in May allowing gay marriages, and is viewed as a key battle in the nation's "culture war" because the state is seen as a trendsetter for the rest of the country.

Voters in Florida and Arizona also passed gay marriage bans.

ARKANSAS - Voters approved a ballot measure banning unmarried couples from adopting or serving as foster parents. The measure was seen as a salvo against same-sex marriage and gay couples.


NEBRASKA - Voters passed a constitutional amendment banning state and local governments from giving preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity or national origin.   Continued...