According to the National Journal's Wire, there were some pretty weird ballot measures offered to voters in this country on Nov. 3, 2010. I'm not even going to try to improve on the Wire's presentation of them. You might want to avoid having anything liquid in your mouth while reading these.
On Tuesday, the Wire took a look at some of the oddest ballot measures up for consideration in the midterms. These included a Florida county ordinance against nighttime airboat rides, a Denver initiative to establish a commission in case of UFOs, and a motion (we almost wrote "fatwa") against using Islamic sharia law in Oklahoma courts. So how'd it all shake out?
Stay on That Side of the Law, Please
* WHERE: North Carolina
* WHAT: An amendment that "would alter the state constitution to prohibit convicted felons from running for sheriff in the state."
* STATUS: Passed "overwhelmingly," with 85 percent of the vote.
* CONSEQUENCES: "Convicted felon becomes sheriff in North Carolina town" may no longer be possible in reality, but it can still become a Billy Bob Thornton movie.
No Sharia for Sooners
* WHERE: Oklahoma
* WHAT: State Question 755, which "forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law."
* STATUS: Passed "by a whopping margin of 70 to 30 percent."
* CONSEQUENCES: Billy Bob Thornton could probably do something with this as well. He's pretty versatile.
The Earth Says Hello
* WHERE: Denver, Colorado
* WHAT: Denver Initiative 300, which calls for "an extraterrestrial affairs commission to help ensure the health, safety, and cultural awareness of Denver residents" in "potential encounters or interactions with extraterrestrial intelligent beings."
* STATUS: Rejected in a "landslide" by more than 80 percent of voters.
* CONSEQUENCES: Denver residents will have no one but themselves to blame when the Helmacrons come.
In Order to Catch a More Perfect Bullhead
* WHERE: Arizona
* WHAT: Proposition 109, which would enshrine hunting and fishing as state-constitutional rights.
* STATUS: Rejected, despite the support of Governor Jan Brewer.
* CONSEQUENCES: Dodges the risk of a typo in the state constitution that protects "hinting and fishing," so no one could legally compel Arizonians to ask a direct question ever again.
No Nos Gustan Otros Idiomas
* WHERE: Oklahoma again
* WHAT: State Question 751, which mandates that "official State actions" be conducted in English, though "Native American languages could also be used."
* STATUS: Passed with "huge majorities," effectively making Oklahoma an English-only state.
The IRS Will Have Its Revenge on Seattle
* WHERE: Washington
* WHAT: Initiative 1098, which would establish a personal income tax--the only one in the state--for people making over $200,000 a year. Bill Gates supports it; Steve Ballmer opposes.
* STATUS: It looks like this one was rejected, with Tuesday night reports showing defeat by a margin of 65 to 34 percent.
* CONSEQUENCES: Is anyone surprised? Somehow the failure to launch a new tax in the Year of the Tea Party doesn't shock us.
It's Not 'Land of the Free, Home of the Airboats'
* WHERE: Alachua County, Florida
* WHAT: Ordinance 1, an airboat curfew to be enforced between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Those things are noisy.
* STATUS: Appears to have passed with 56 percent of the vote.
* CONSEQUENCES: Hey, is Billy Bob still around?
Originally Called 'Rhode Island Stuart Leibowitz'
* WHERE: Rhode Island
* WHAT: Question 1, which would shorten the state's official name--The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations--to "Rhode Island," which is what everyone already calls it.
* STATUS: Rejected "by nearly 78 percent."
* CONSEQUENCES: Pending. No word on whether locals will be shortening the official name of the popular seaside city, Newport and Hitler's Lone Testicle.
I warned you.
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