With 2018 midterm elections less than two weeks away, there are dozens of ballot referendums nationwide that will give voters direct influence on policy decisions in their state.
According to Ballotpedia, there are 155 ballot measures or initiatives to be decided across the country that range a wide variety of political issues — from things like sentencing reform and climate change initiatives to tackling antiquated laws and abortion.
The following pages offer a look at six ballot initiatives to watch this November.
Prompted by a vote of more than two-thirds of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Mountain State voters will get to decide whether or not to pass the "No Constitutional Right to Abortion" amendment — also known as Amendment 1.
The passing of this resolution would mean that if the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade were overturned, the West Virginia Constitution could not be used to justify the legality of abortions.
The measure would add a clause to the state's constitution that reads: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion."
As the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports, supporters of the amendment want to undo a 1993 West Virginia Supreme Court ruling that overturned a state law barring Medicaid coverage of abortions with the exception for cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger.
The new ammendment would not include exceptions.
Abortion-supporting organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia and Planned Parenthood, have deemed the resolution the "most extreme attack on women's reproductive rights in West Virginia history."
Meanwhile, the political advocacy organization West Virginians for Life has encouraged its voters to vote for the resolution.
A total of 67 delegates needed to vote in favor of putting the amendment on the ballot. A total of 63 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted in favor of allowing voters to decide.
Supporters of the amendment point out that only 16 other states in the nation require the funding of abortion.
As criminal justice reform has increasingly become a bipartisan issue across the country, the voters of the Buckeye State will consider a constitutional amendment called the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative — also known as Issue 1.
Designed to reduce incarceration, the amendment would change state law to make offenses related to drug possession no longer felonies but misdemeanors.
The measure would also prevent courts from ordering people on probation for felony crimes to be sent back to prison for non-criminal violations.
A credit system for inmates would also be created to reward inmates for participating in rehab, education or work-related programs.
Although a number of evangelical groups — including Prison Fellowship and Faith & Freedom Coalition — have been supportive of similar criminal justice reform efforts, the conservative Ohio Christian Alliance opposes Issue 1 on fears that it would "strip law enforcement of the ability to curb drug use and trafficking in local communities."
The amendment is supported by a number of Democrat state and local politicians and is opposed by the Ohio Republican Party. However, the initiative is supported by former Republican U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
"Obviously, prisons are needed to keep dangerous people off the streets. But, it makes no sense to send people with addiction to a places with such poor records of rehabilitation — and expect them to come out better than they were when they entered the system," Gingrich wrote in an op-ed co-written by criminal justice activist Van Jones. "Studies repeatedly show that incarceration and felony convictions in response to addiction only make matters worse. People come out still suffering from addiction, often more deteriorated and saddled with felony records that prevent job and housing eligibility. This pushes economic and family stability even farther out of reach."
In one of the more liberal states in the union, voters might be surprised to find on their ballots an initiative aimed at trying to stop public funds from being used for abortions except in the cases of when the mother's life is in danger or when required by federal law — Measure 106.
The measure is backed by the efforts of Oregon Life United, which had over 10,000 volunteers collect more than 150,000 signatures to get the "Ban Public Funds for Abortions Initiative" on the ballot.
The measure is supported by various pro-life groups including The Oregon Catholic Conference, the Oregon Right to Life PAC, and Pregnancy Resource Centers of Central Oregon.
Those who oppose include, Gov. Kate Brown, Planned Parenthood, Catholics for Choice, the ACLU of Oregon and other left-leaning groups and individuals.
Its 2018 and some states are still fighting to get archaic Jim Crow segregation laws off the books.
In the Sugar State, voters will have the chance to overturn a rule passed by state lawmakers in 1880 — about 10 years after former slave men were granted the right to vote — that allows non-unanimous juries to determine felony cases.
As of now, Oregon is the only other state in the union to allow non-unanimous juries to decide felony cases. But if Amendment 2 passes, Louisiana will join the rest of the nation in requiring unanimous jury decisions.
According to The Advocate, current law only requires 10 of 12 jurors to agree on a verdict.
As the rule was a way to disempower black members of a jury who could stand in the way of racist prosecutions, the rule was entered into the state constitution in 1898. Upon passing the amendment, lawmakers declared they were trying to "perpetuate the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race in Louisiana."
Although the law was enacted over a century ago, it still impacts many in Louisiana prisons today, as highlighted by the Los Angeles Times.
Both the Louisiana Democratic Party and the Louisiana Republican Party support this initiative. Attorney General Jeff Landry opposes the amendment.
The Yellowhammer State is the third and final state with an abortion amendment on the ballot in 2018.
Amendment 2 would make it state policy to "recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life." Similar to West Virginia, the amendment would make it clear that no provisions in the state constitution require state funding of abortions or a right to abortion.
Supporters of the initiative include Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, Republican Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon and a number of pro-life advocacy organizations. Numerous Democrat lawmakers oppose the amendment.
Through Amendment A, Colorado voters will have the opportunity to scrub once and for all a provision from the state constitution that permits a certain form of slavery.
Although unenforceable due to the fact that slavery is outlawed in the U.S., the state's 1876 constitution allows a person to be sentenced to indentured servitude or slavery if they are convicted of a crime.
A "yes" vote for the amendment will remove the criminal punishment exception to the state's ban against slavery in Section 26 of Article II of the state's constitution states. The amendment would assert that "slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited in all circumstances."
Ballotpedia could not identify any opponents of the initiative.
"I believe that this is going to get passed and for the reasons that appear on the ballot," Kamau Allen, an organizer at Abolish Slavery Colorado, told Fox News.
Amendment A is more so about changing the archaic language of the state constitution, than actually reforming any current prison practice.
Fox News notes that a similar provision was defeated in 2016 because of confusion over the measure language.