Voters in U.S. States Decide on Sanctuary City, Affirmative Action

(AP) -
Twins Amir, right, and Milo Klatzkin, 3, put on their “I Voted” stickers after their father Barry Klatzkin, left, voted at a polling site in New York, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Across the country, ballot measures gave voters a chance to weigh in on a wide range of issues. Among the highlights:

ARIZONA

Tucson voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to designate their town as Arizona’s only sanctuary city. The decision in one of Arizona’s most liberal cities is a relief for the Democrats who control city government. They worry the initiative would jeopardize millions of dollars in state and federal funding and put public safety at risk. The initiative was a direct challenge to the state immigration law that drew global attention, protests, boycotts and lawsuits when it was adopted nine years ago.

COLORADO

A measure that would legalize sports betting and tax it to help pay for water conservation was too close to call Tuesday evening. The proposal had bipartisan support and only token organized opposition. But the state Constitution requires voters to approve new taxes. It would allow Colorado’s 33 casinos to take both in-person and online bets on professional, collegiate, motor and Olympic sports next year. Legal sports betting has grown since New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2018 allowing it in all 50 states.

Colorado voters rejected a ballot measure asking if the state could keep tax revenue that otherwise would be refunded under limits set by a 1992 constitutional amendment called the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

WASHINGTON

A measure that reinstates the use of affirmative action in state employment, contracting and admission to public colleges and universities was losing in early returns. The measure asks people whether they want to change current laws that prohibit state government from giving preferential treatment to individuals or groups based on race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, or public contracting.

Voters in Washington were also weighing in on a transportation measure. In early returns they were approving an initiative that would cap annual vehicle registration fees at $30. If the measure goes on to pass, transit and road budgets across the state would be slashed.