Giving Props

With all the attention that the Presidential election is getting today, it’s easy to forget that US voters will also be deciding on a number of significant ballot initiatives in states across the country. While the propositions related to Obamacare have received the most attention, there are a number of other worthy initiatives being decided upon as well. Accordingly, we’ve put together a list of some of the most interesting and controversial, yet totally real and completely not made up initiatives showing up in this election cycle.

1. In an effort to counter the corrosive effects of popular culture on the state’s youth, legislators in Alaska have tabled Proposition 404, which would ban the internet in the state. The proposition’s main champion, former Senator Ted Stevens, was quoted as saying, “once we disconnect those tubes, our young people will be free to focus on the more important things in their lives, like their education and their trucks.”

2. In Oregon, legislators have bowed to pressure from the state’s powerful hipster lobby and agreed to include Proposition 41, requiring that from now on all government initiatives in the state be “totally original and authentic.” Support for the initiative has declined in recent months however, and the ballot initiative is now not expected to pass. Polls indicate that a majority of hipsters now plan to vote against it, even though most claim to have supported the measure “like, six months ago.” When asked about her decision, Shauna Ellsmere, a Portland-based bike-barista, explained that the proposal lost all credibility with her after it “went mainstream.”

3. Concerned with the possibility that gay couples could employ sex changes to circumvent the state’s existing ban on same sex marriage, Tennessee legislators have introduced Proposition 0, a ballot initiative to ban marriage altogether. A lawmaker was asked by reporters, “isn’t that a bit extreme?”

He replied “you can’t be too careful with these things.”

4. State watchers in California will be anxiously awaiting the results of the vote on Proposition 73105G-12b, one of a record 13,642 initiatives on state ballots this election. Of these, Proposition 73105G-12b has drawn particular attention owing to the fact that it includes language that not only bars the state legislature from collecting any new taxes, but also requires California to pay back all taxes collected since 1975. A spokesperson for local nihilists  publicly hailed the decision to include the initiative as the dawn of a new, “less governmenty” era in the state’s politics.

5. As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to combat voter fraud, Ohioans will be deciding on an initiative to require each eligible voter in the state have a fabric copy of their voter ID card sewn into the shirt that they wear to the polling station. Speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, one of the proposition’s chief architects stated that “initially, the idea was to have the ID tattooed on the back of voters’ necks. However, in the end we decided that would be too invasive, and opted for this compromise instead.”

6. Frustrated with what he regards as the undue influence of statisticians such as Nate Silver on voters’ perceptions of the election, Karl Rove has convinced the Texas legislature to introduce an initiative banning the publication of all polls of polls. When asked about the possible first amendment implications of the “Turd Blossom Blossom,” as the initiative is colloquially known, Rove answered heatedly, “you may end up with a different interpretation of the first amendment, but I’m entitled to ‘an’ interpretation as well.”

7. Governor Romney’s allies in Massachusetts have managed to have a measure included on the ballot that would end state contributions to PBS. The so-called “Ban the Bird” initiative has proved highly controversial in the state, with commentators on both sides repeatedly asking why someone wouldn’t “think of the children.” A group of supporters have also submitted a middle of the road proposition that would see some of the funds redirected to TLC. According to one of these supporters the proposition is based on the fact that “there are more people watching Honey Boo Boo than the entirety of PBS programming.”

8. Connecticut voters will decide whether to give corporations the vote in future state elections. Said one CEO, who supports Proposition 1120, but preferred to remain anonymous during an interview at his extremely exclusive yachting club, “it’s time that we as a nation complete the important work begun by the Supreme Court in the ‘Citizens United’ decision. If corporations are persons, and are allowed to spend their hard earned money on political aims, then who are we to deny them this most important form of political expression? It’s a question of justice, and it brings this great nation one step closer to that principle the founders intended: one dollar, one vote.”

9.  Arizona’s controversial immigration law has inspired a novel, retaliatory citizens’ initiative in New Mexico.  If Proposition 17 passes, law enforcement officials will be empowered to request a full tax return from any person resembling a WASP. With the highest per capita Latino population (44.7 percent) in the nation, New Mexicans will likely be carrying their W2s in their glove box after Election Day.

10. When North Dakotans head to the voting booth today, they will likely decide to blow up the moon. Polls indicate that over 53 percent of the state’s residents are in favor of Proposition 20, which would put North Dakota’s aging missile silos and launchers to use by obliterating the Earth’s only satellite. If passed, a Constitutional challenge is likely. Governor John “Jack” Dalrymple has thrown his weight behind the initiative and believes it can withstand legal challenge. “Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Federal Government can blow up the moon, which means it’s a power reserved to the People and the States.”

11. Worried about declining income streams in the wake of 2008’s financial crisis, casino owners in Nevada convinced lawmakers to include Proposition 777 on the ballot, which would make gaming not only legal in the state, but mandatory. A representative of the industry made himself available to the media and was asked, “how on earth would that even work?”

In response, the representative suddenly pointed and cried out “what in the world could that be?” He then ran away once the journalists’ heads were turned.

12. New Mexico legislators have introduced a proposition that would empower the state to begin secession negotiations with the Union. When asked why they would take such a radical and unexpected step, an adviser to Governor Martinez insisted that independence would be “awesome,” as New Mexico would immediately become the third largest nuclear power on the planet.

Debate continues to rage regarding the name of the new country, should the state’s bid for independence prove successful. Suggested alternatives include “New New Mexico,” “Newer Mexico,” “Mexico II,” “Mexico Zero,” “Crystal Mexico,” “Vanilla Mexico,” “Diet Mexico,” and “Tab.”

photo credit: inger klekacz via photopin cc

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