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Oregon Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Heroin and Cocaine; Four States Legalize Marijuana

In Louisiana, a measure supported by two anti-abortion Democrats, Gov. John Bel Edwards and State Senator Katrina Jackson, passed comfortably. Amendment 1 adds these words to the State Constitution: “Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion, or require the funding of abortion.”

But in Colorado, voters soundly defeated a proposal to ban abortions after 22 weeks of gestation.

In Mississippi, voters approved a new state flag with red, yellow and blue stripes, a magnolia flower and the words “In God We Trust.” The state’s previous flag, which dated to 1894 and contained a Confederate battle cross, was decommissioned by lawmakers in June.

Advocates of overhauling criminal justice, including former Gov. Jerry Brown, were victorious on two measures in California. Voters approved Proposition 17, which will restore the right to vote for felons on parole, and they rejected Proposition 20, which would have rolled back earlier measures that allow early parole consideration for people convicted of certain felonies.

In Oklahoma, voters went the other way, rejecting Question 805, a measure that would have prohibited using a person’s past nonviolent felony convictions to impose an enhanced sentence for another nonviolent felony.

There were 38 statewide citizen initiatives being decided across the country on Tuesday, about half as many as in 2016, when there were 72. Experts attribute the decline to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made gathering signatures more difficult. When all measures are included, including those placed on the ballot by legislatures, there were a total of 124 statewide ballot initiatives this year, down from 154 four years ago.

Mike Baker and Noam Scheiber contributed reporting.

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