As the countdown to the mid-term elections continue, we continue to look at what’s important heading into the election. No matter where you live, you have officials to elect and issues to vote on. While what may be an important issue to some, may not be as important to others, but with that being said let’s take a look at some of the big issues & races to watch and consider this November 4th.
Marijuana: As we previously wrote about, Marijuana is on the ballot for voters to decide on in three states (Alaska, Oregon, & Florida) and also Washington D.C. Read our full article about it (here).
Minimum Wage Increase: Four states will vote on minimum wage increases: Alaska, Nebraska, South Dakota and Arkansas. Out of all of them, only Alaska has a minimum wage currently above the federal rate of $7.25. If voters say yes in Alaska the minimum wage will become $8.75 beginning January 1,. It would then be increased again on January 1,, to $9.75 per hour and, from there on, be adjusted based on inflation or remain $1 higher than the federal minimum wage. Nebraska will vote to incrementally increase the state’s hourly minimum wage to $9 by January 1,. South Dakota will vote to change the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour beginning January 1,, and it would guarantee an increase in the minimum wage each year to account for inflation. They will also vote to set tipped employees’ wage at half that of the minimum wage, raising their hourly pay from $2.13 to $4.25. And Arkansas will vote to increase the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1; to $8 on January 1; and to $8.50 per hour on January 1.
Close Races To Watch:
Florida’s Governor Race: The race between current governor Republican Rick Scott and former governor and Republican turned Democrat Charlie Crist.
Wisconsin’s Governor Race: The race between current governor Republican Scott Walker and Democratic challenger businesswoman Mary Burke.
Colorado’s Governor Race: Current Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper also is in a very tight race against Republican and former House of Representative member Bob Beauprez.
Kentucky’s Senate Race: Senate minority leader Republican Mitch McConnell is in a bit of a fight versus Democratic challenger and current Secretary of State of Kentucky Alison Lundergan Grimes.
North Carolina’s Senate Race: Current senator Democrat Kay Hagan is in one of the toughest re-election fights this November. Hagan is being challenged by Republican candidate Thom Tillis who is the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Georgia’s Senate Race: Republican businessman David Purdue is in a tough race against Democratic challenger and non-profit CEO Michelle Nunn according to real clear politics average of various polling data. The seat is currently occupied by the retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss.
It looks like Voter-ID will be an issue this November, at least in one state. While the implementation of Wisconsin’s voter ID law has been delayed until after the midterm elections, this past weekend the Supreme Court decided they will let Texas enforce a voter-identification law that a federal trial judge said was aimed at reducing black and Hispanic turnout, at least for now. This ruling means that some 600,000 voters in Texas, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at polls for not having the proper ID and now will have about 2 short weeks to try to get ID. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in dissent of the opinion called it a “”unconstitutional poll tax”.
What are your election concerns?