Most of the ballot initiatives that Americans took to the polls to vote on this Tuesday were no laughing matter. But in some states, voters were asked to weigh in on issues that are too weird not to mention. Take a look at the top six weirdest items American’s voted on in the 2012 election.
Required Use of Condoms in Porn Movies
In Los Angeles County, voters were asked their opinion on whether or not actors in the adult film industry should be required to wear condoms and practice safe sex while shooting scenes in L.A. The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, also called Measure B, was introduced in response to repetitive allegations of sexually transmitted disease outbreaks among adult film industry workers.
“Self-regulation has failed miserably when it comes to the porn industry,” Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told Reason TV.
However, adult film producers beg to differ. “This isn’t the government’s place,” Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, said.
He continued, “There’s several reasons the industry is against condoms. One is that it’s just not needed. The testing procedures that are in place work, and work well. The performers are comfortable with the testing procedures, and the companies are comfortable with the testing procedures. Second reason is movies with condoms simply don’t sell as well. People don’t want to watch movies with condoms.”
This ballot initiative only pertains to people in Los Angeles County, so Hirsch argues it wouldn’t be fair to make one group of producers follow a law the rest of producers around the country wouldn’t have to abide by.
Who Owns the Grand Canyon?
When Arizona voters arrived to the polls, they found themselves involved in a battle over boundaries.
Proposition 120 questions whether millions of acres of federal land in the state, including the Grand Canyon, should remain in the hands of the federal government, or officially become the property of Arizona’s residents. The ballot measure, supported by the state’s Republicans, seeks to amend the state’s constitution to declare Arizona’s sovereignty over the “air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state’s boundaries.”
The proposition is part of the “sagebrush revolt” — Republicans in the West aim to regain control of land owned by federal agencies, particularly the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management.
The Right to Hunt and Fish
In Nebraska and Wyoming, two states where hunting and fishing seem like second nature, voters officially had the chance in this election to establish their right to hunt and fish.
In 2010, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee all had similar measures on their ballots. All states passed the right to amend their states’ constitutions to allow the right to hunting and fishing, except Arizona.
Idaho is also considering a similar initiative this year. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission have opposed lawmakers’ efforts to make hunting, fishing and trapping a constitutional right for more than 10 years. However this year, Twin Falls Republican Sen. Lee Heider was finally successful in getting the issue on the ballot, asking Idaho voters to add language saying “the rights to hunt, fish and trap … shall forever be preserved” to the state constitution.
Harsher Punishments for Animal Cruelty
In North and South Dakota, animal cruelty is only a misdemeanor. But on Tuesday, North Dakota voters had the opportunity to change the fact that animal cruelty is punished the same as littering on their ballots.
North Dakota voters weighed in on Measure 5, which would allow harsher punishments for animal abuse cases involving live cats, dogs or horses. The specific actions the measure cracks down upon are maliciously and intentionally burning, poisoning, crushing, suffocating, impaling, drowning, blinding, skinning, beating to death, dragging to death, exsanguinating, disemboweling or dismembering.
Three states voted on the legalization of marijuana Tuesday. Colorado, Oregon and Washington all considered making the drug a legal product that would be regulated by the state. Those who want to decriminalize marijuana say that it would be taxable so the state government could make money. They also argue it would create jobs.
Opponents say it would just promote marijuana use. It’s also being argued that if only one state chooses to legalize the drug, it would increase production and cause price drops across the country.
Must Label Genetically Modified Food
One of the most controversial ballot measures is California’s Prop 37, which states that all genetically modified food must be labeled as such in grocery stores.
According to the Washington Post, more than 88 percent of corn and soy grown in the United States is genetically modified in some way. Consumer watchdogs and organic food companies say Californians deserve to know what they are eating.
Corporate food and bio tech companies have spent more than $44 million fighting the proposition, saying it will raise food prices and hurt businesses.