>> Healthcare, marijuana, voting rights, all coming up big at the ballot box this week.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, which is preparing for Democrats to take over the House of Representatives. Changes are in store across the country as well, after voters approved a range of state level ballot initiatives that will have a direct impact on their lives.
Out West, a surprising win for Obamacare. Three conservative western states, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska voting to expand the Medicaid health plan to cover more low income people. That's a key element of former President Obama's health program. Many Republican states have refused to put it into place. Those measures backed by the Fairness Project, the group's Director, Jonathan Schleifer.
>> What ballot initiatives do is they provide voters a way of going around the broken political system. That is gerrymandered, that is partisan, that is ideological, that is uglier than it's ever been and actually deliver for themselves and their community in the most immediate way.>> 1.5 million ex-felons in Florida will have their voting rights restored.
That could have an impact in the 2020 Presidential election. Maryland, Nevada and Michigan, making it easier to vote. North Carolina and Arkansas, making it more difficult, requiring a photo ID. A good week for marijuana, it's now legal for recreational use in Michigan and for medical use in Missouri and Utah.
Voters rejecting legal weed in North Dakota. New limits on abortion in Alabama and West Virgina, voters counting on a conservative Supreme Court to back them up. And voters shot down proposals to curb fossil fuel use in Colorado, Arizona, and Washington. Activists are already planning for the next election.
Look for more states to consider Medicaid expansion, legal marijuana, and minimum wage hikes two years from now. In an era of partisan gridlock, these ballot initiatives are often the quickest way to move the needle.