The November 3rd election day is a month away, and mail-in voting has already begun in many states. If you have not cast your ballot yet, be sure to consider motorists’ rights issues in your decisions on which candidates and issues to support.
Check out the NMA’s Motorists Vote 2020 Guide (a slideshow with a progression arrow on either side) for information to help you do that. Here are some additional guides that have been published online by national media organizations designed to inform the electorate about performing the most vital of citizen responsibilities in a representative democracy:
- How to Vote in Your State (interactive web portal from the Washington Post)
- Early voting for Election 2020–When you can start to vote in-person in every US state (CNET)
- Map: Mail-In Voting Rules By State (NPR)
- How to prevent your mail ballot from being rejected (Washington Post)
- Making mail-in voting free is a quick way to raise voter turnout (Quartz.com)
- Voting on Election Day 2020:–Everything you need to have and do to vote (CNET)
- How to track your election ballot online after you vote (CNET)
The nonpartisan voting website Ballotpedia has posted that voters in 32 states will decide a total of 120 statewide ballot measures on November 3rd. Here are the state ballots that involve motorists’ rights, or infrastructure/transportation funding.
The state wants to create a permanent sales tax that pays for infrastructure funding. Here are some of the editorials for and against the measure:
- About that highway tax increase and what it will and won’t pay for (Arkansas Times)
- Opposition formed to highway sales tax increase. Just say no to the legislature (Arkansas Times)
- Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson stresses the need for permanent road tax (Arkansas Online)
With the distinction of being the most populous state, California has many statewide ballot initiatives every election cycle. Here is a link to an interactive guide for all 12 measures before voters on November 3rd. Two of the ballot questions are transportation oriented.
The first is California Proposition 22, App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2020). Here are three recent articles that highlight this ridesharing/delivery company backed proposition:
- Uber, Lyft Face Uphill Struggle for Gig-Worker Votes in California Ballot Measure (Governing)
- A ballot measure backed by Uber and Lyft is now the most expensive in California history (Quartz)
- California’s Gig Economy Ballot Measure Fails Workers, Labor Groups Say (Bloomberg)
The second is California Proposition 24, Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative (2020). Here are three articles that outline the issues of Proposition 24.
- The Fight Over the Fight Over California’s Privacy Future (Wired)
- Why the Electronic Frontier Foundation Doesn’t Support nor Oppose California Proposition 24 (EFF)
- Proposition 24: More data privacy (CalMatters)
The statewide ballot initiative, the Georgia Dedicating Tax and Fee Revenue Amendment (2020), will, if passed, change the state constitution to ensure that the legislature spends funds from fees or taxes on designated projects, rather than divert them. Here are two online articles that examine the initiative:
- Decoding the Georgia Dedicating Tax and Fee Revenue Amendment (League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia)
- What is the Georgia Constitutional amendment on fees about? What to know before you vote (Savannah Morning News)
If passed, Question 1 would change the state constitution to allow the Maryland General Assembly to increase, decrease, or add items to the state budget as long as those items do not exceed the total proposed budget submitted by the governor. We found this lone editorial on the measure.
- Vote Yes on Question 1 to Restore a Healthier Constitutional Balance (Maryland Matters)
The Massachusetts Question 1, “Right to Repair Law” Vehicle Data Access Requirement Initiative (2020) has received a great deal of national press because of its potential to establish a precedent for other states on crucial car ownership issues.
Automakers are lobbying hard against a car owner’s right to repair. Their position is that even if you own a vehicle, all the software is proprietary to them, and only licensed auto mechanics can work on your car (at greater cost to you). Local independent auto mechanics and do-it-yourselfers have worked hard to get this measure on the ballot. Here are some articles about Question 1:
- Motorists Vote 2020 Massachusetts: ‘Right to repair’ battle heats up in Mass. (AutoNews)
- Sorting fact from fiction on Massachusetts Question 1: Right to Repair (WCVB)
- Motorists Vote 2020: Auto Industry TV Ads Claim Massachusetts Right to Repair Benefits ‘Sexual Predators’ (Vice)
- Motorists Vote 2020 Massachusetts Right to Repair Ballot: Car manufacturers pool $25m to fight auto repair ballot question (Commonwealth Magazine)
- Automaker-Funded Groups Are Using Fear Mongering To Take Away Your Right To Repair Your Car (Jalopnik)
The outcome of the following initiative affect personal data protection standards, and might also set a direction for other states: Michigan Search Warrant for Electronic Data Amendment (2020).
A “Yes” vote supports the constitutional amendment to require a police search warrant to access a suspect’s electronic data and electronic communications. A “No” vote opposes the amendment to require a search warrant. We did not find any editorials in favor of a “No” vote:
- Voters to decide whether to ban police use of electronic data without a warrant (Detroit News)
- Proposed constitutional amendment to limit police scanning devices for data (Michigan Public Radio)
This ballot initiative was brought forth by state lawmakers: Virginia Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Amendment (2020). A “Yes” vote allows a permanently disabled vet to have an exemption from state and local property taxes on one car or truck. A “No” vote does not allow the exemption.
Local Ballot Issues
Many local ballot issues have been brought forth around the country that are too numerous to place here. Issues range from transportation funding to law enforcement reform. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about community issues, particularly those that can affect drivers, directly or indirectly, before casting your vote in the November 3rd elections.
Thank you for your support of motorists’ rights at the ballot box!