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What are some common ballot questions?

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Ballot questions, also known as ballot measures or propositions, run the gamut of governmental and political issues. Some of the most popular questions involve taxes, the issuing of bonds for governmental projects, raising the minimum wage, and social issues such as the legalization of marijuana or doctor-assisted suicide.

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Tax issues are the number one subject for ballot questions. Voters can decide whether to raise or lower taxes, to institute new taxes or abolish old ones. Bond questions are also common, because many local constitutions require that voters approve a new bond for government spending on projects such as the building of schools or roads before the government can issue the bond. Economic questions likewise appear as ballot measures; a recent example is the question of raising the minimum wage, a measure that has passed in a number of states.

In recent elections, as of 2015, what are often referred to as social issues have come to the fore in the battles over ballot measures: examples from the last election are whether to legalize marijuana and questions about marriage. There is no authorization in the U.S. Constitution for national ballot questions; they are more commonly used at the local level than at the state level.

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