Who says voting can’t be entertaining? Here are some of the more unusual ballot measures that will be slowing up the already long-enough lines in the 2012 Presidential election:
Condoms for porn stars
Voters in Los Angeles County, California will get a chance to vote on whether actors in porn movies filmed in L.A. County must wear condoms and practice safe sex on camera. The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act – also known as Measure B – is a response to ongoing stories about outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases among workers in one of Southern California’s most lucrative industries.
Whose Grand Canyon is it, anyway?
In Arizona, state-sovereignty advocates are sponsoring Proposition 120, which declares the state’s “sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within its boundaries.” This idea has prompted Salon to ask if the state is attempting to wrest control of the Grand Canyon from the federal government.
Corps ain’t peeps, at least not around here
In Northern California, the city of Arcata is has Proposition H, declaring that corporations are not persons. If passed, within the City of Arcata, corporations would not be treated as “natural persons and are not entitled to the protections granted by the United States Constitution to natural persons.” The stated purpose of this initiative is a long-term goal of changing federal and/or state law to be consistent with this understanding of corporations.
Don’t be cruel
In North Dakota, Measure 5 takes aim at those who inflict harm on cats, dogs or horses. According to WDAZ.com, “the measure provides a possible five-year prison term for extreme cruelty to cats, dogs and horses. It lists beating, poisoning, burning, suffocating and crushing as examples of extreme cruelty. The measure says anyone convicted of felony animal cruelty could be barred from owning a cat, dog or horse for up to five years.”
Change redistricting, um, never mind
This should help speed things up in California: a ballot measure that voters can skip over, because it’s original sponsors decided that they don’t actually support it after all. I’ll leave it to a more knowledgeable Daily Kos blogger to explain it all for us:
Proposition 40. This one is funny, precisely because it’s so sad. This measure is ultimately an outgrowth of the new redistricting policy we have in California, where a so-called “Citizens’ Redistricting Commission” draws all the lines. When the maps for the new state Senate maps were drafted, Republicans felt that the new map would be much worse for them than the old map…But after the measure made it to the ballot, the Republicans realized that—oops!—the new maps weren’t so bad for them after all, so now they’re declining to campaign for the measure that they themselves put on the ballot. This measure is slightly confusing, however, because a “yes” vote keeps the new maps, while a “no vote” throws them out.
On the beach?
Hoping to attract tourists and, possibly, a hotel development, the city of Guadalupe, California is asking voters to decided whether the city should change its name to Guadalupe Beach. There’s only one small problem: Guadalupe is not a seaside town. The Pacific Ocean is five miles west of the city.
Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.