Voters across the United States are practicing direct democracy as they head to the polls and tackle important issues, such as legalizing marijuana, implementing the death penalty and regulating firearms.

Proposals cover at least 150 measures that appeared on ballots for Election Day 2016 for individual states.

California was on top with 17 ballot questions; one of which requires porn movie actors to wear condoms when filming scenes involving sexual intercourse. Other polls include the ban on plastic grocery bags that are used only once.

Here are some of the pressing issues that voters will decide on:


Maine, Arizona, Massachusetts, Nevada and California are voting on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Meanwhile, North Dakota, Arkansas and Florida will decide on whether to allow marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will be voting on easing restrictions in its existing medical marijuana law.

Gun Control

Four states including California, which currently has some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S., will tackle gun control. Proposition 63 will prohibit the possession of large quantities of ammo magazines and will require permits to purchase such ammunition. It will extend California's power to allow authorities to confiscate firearms from owners who legally buy guns but are not allowed to use them.

In Nevada and Maine, a petition to include background checks on almost all types of gun transactions and sales is part of the ballot. Washington will decide on whether to allow judges to hand out orders for firearm seizure against individuals deemed as threats.

Death Penalty

California is among three states voting on the death penalty, proposing two different measures through the ballot. One aims to abolish capital punishment; another to hasten appeals to execute convicted murderers.

Voters from Nebraska will determine whether to reinstate the death penalty, which was repealed by the legislature last year. Residents from Oklahoma will vote on whether to make it difficult to rescind capital punishment.

Minimum Wage

Colorado, Maine and Arizona are considering a $12 minimum hourly wage by 2020. Washington voters will also cover raising the minimum wage from $9.47 per hour to $13.50 by 2020. The federal minimum hourly wage is currently at $7.25.

Health Care

Colorado is proposing to set up the country's first universal health care system. This will create a $25 billion health care system annual fund financed by payroll taxes. It aims to replace the system of paying private health insurance companies for such care, and opt out of federal health care law.

Aid In Dying

Colorado residents will also decide if terminally ill patients will be allowed to seek assistance from physicians. A physician-assisted euthanasia law is currently in place in Oregon, Washington, Vermont and California. Montana has also ruled that general practitioners can use a terminally ill patient's request for euthanasia as a defense against criminal charges.


Maine is looking to approve a 3 percent tax on workers earning at least $200,000 yearly to finance an educational fund for students and teachers. Oregon will vote on imposing a 2.5 percent tax on corporate sales exceeding $25 million with its revenue earmarked for health, senior and education services. Washington, on the other hand, is promoting cleaner energy by entailing a $25 tax per metric ton of carbon emissions from gasoline, natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels.

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