Washington Watch: Midterm elections: State ballot measures target gig work, immigration, abortion and more


State ballot measures aren’t generating as many headlines as this year’s key congressional races, but some are worth tracking as they touch on the gig economy, immigration and more.

“Though the battle for control of Congress and marquee U.S. Senate races such as Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) vs. Mehmet Oz (R) in Pennsylvania or Senator Raphael Warnock (D) vs. Herschel Walker (R) in Georgia have captured national attention, this year’s ballot measures could also be consequential,” said analysts at Beacon Policy Advisors in a recent note.

Below are some measures that investors may want to keep an eye on, as results from the midterm elections roll in Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Gig economy: The state of Washington will hold an advisory vote on whether to maintain or repeal a law that ensured new benefits for ride-hailing drivers in the state but did not classify them as employees, which was viewed as a win for companies like Uber

and Lyft
“This measure was automatically referred to the ballot under state law, which requires that Washington hold advisory votes on certain legislation,” Beacon wrote. “The result is not binding, but it could provide a barometer of public opinion of the worker classification issue in a blue state.”

From MarketWatch’s archives (April 2022): Uber and Lyft get their first legislative win in campaign to write new labor laws

Immigration: Voters in Arizona will decide whether to repeal part of a 2006 proposition and allow noncitizens to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities, Beacon notes. Meanwhile, Massachusetts is voting on possibly repealing a state law that prevents undocumented immigrants from receiving driver’s licenses.

Cannabis: MarketWatch’s Steve Gelsi has reported that cannabis

legalization measures will go before voters in five U.S. states — Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.

See: Cannabis legalization goes up for a vote on Nov. 8 in five states

Abortion: California will vote on a proposition that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, while Kentucky will decide on an amendment that would clarify that there’s no constitutional right to abortion or public funding for abortion, Beacon wrote. Michigan and Vermont have proposals on codifying the right to reproductive freedom, while Montana is deciding on mandating that healthcare providers give care to infants born alive.

From MarketWatch’s archives (2019): Nearly half of women who have abortions live below the federal poverty level

Also read: Lindsey Graham’s corporate donors find themselves linked to his controversial abortion bill

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