Voters Deciding on UFOs, Pot, and ‘Personhood’

Americans across the nation are picking which propositions they favor most.

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By Michael Sheridan
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Propositions, measures, initiatives, oh my!

As political powerhouses battle for their seats in Congress, Americans across the nation will not only be deciding their fate, but also picking which propositions they favor most.

From taxes and election laws to the investigation of UFOs, ballots nationwide cover a slew of hot-button issues.

Four states, for instance, will be addressing the legal use marijuana. Although California's Prop 19 has received the most attention, as it would legalize, regulate and tax the sale of cannabis, Arizona, Oregon and South Dakota each have measures and propositions geared toward making it available for medical use.

The Ocean State is hoping for a name change. It aims to amend its state constitution in order to simplify its more elaborate and official moniker "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to just plain old "Rhode Island."

The point of issue, which has been fought over in the state for 20 years, is "Providence Plantations," which some argue is offensive.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.]

"The key thing is, as the years have gone by, Rhode Island has been involved in the slave trade and all we're asking is that word 'plantations' be taken away," said State Rep. Joseph S. Almeida, who has been fighting for the name change for 12 years, according to The Providence Journal.

The issue would force the state to alter letterheads and official documents.

Illinois voters could grant themselves the power to recall an elected governor, while Missouri residents will be voting yea or nay on a measure that would shut down "3,000 puppy mills" in the state.

According to Michael Markarian, the chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States, Missouri accounts for 30% of the nation's puppy mills.

The state of Colorado is looking to define "personhood" as they attempt for a second time to push a pro-life agenda with Amendment 62. Dubbed the "Personhood Amendment," it would define a fetus as person, and ban any and all kinds of abortion within the state.

Stem cell research and some forms of birth control would also be forbidden.

A similar effort in that state failed in 2008. Meanwhile, the city of Denver hopes to establish a commission to gather evidence on UFOs and alien life with Initiative 300.

"We need to figure out if there are possible business opportunities or medical treatments that could come from [aliens]," said Jeff Peckman, the man who pushed for the initiative, according to AOL News.

Washington State, which has no income tax, may adopt the practice to raise money for the cash-strapped northwestern state with Initiative 1098. However, it would only apply to those making more than $200,000 to $400,000 a year. Oddly enough, it's being supported by billionaire Bill Gates.