In addition to choosing the U.S. president, voters in 34 states decided a wide range of ballot issues Tuesday. 11 states voted to ban same-sex marriage, while California voters chose to fund a controversial form of medical research.
Californians approved a measure, called Proposition 71, to provide $3 billion in funding for stem cell research. Supporters say it will put the state in the forefront of a promising field of medicine.
The Bush administration has restricted federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells, citing concerns over the destruction of human embryos. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger defied his own Republican Party in supporting the measure. Californians decided 16 issues Tuesday, and on this and a number of others, they followed his recommendations.
"This was a victory that was not a victory for me, but was a victory for the people of California. So, a big hand to the people of California," Mr. Schwarzenegger said.
Voters in Colorado rejected a measure that would have changed the way their votes are counted in presidential elections. The U.S. president is chosen by the electoral votes awarded by states, and like most states, Colorado gives all its electoral votes to the candidate with the most popular votes. Colorado residents rejected a measure that would have split the vote.
Oklahomans approved a state lottery. Californians rejected two measures that would have expanded casino gambling. Voters in Florida raised their state's minimum wage by one dollar an hour, and limited the privacy rights of under-age girls who are seeking abortions.
Montana voters approved a proposal to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Oregon voters rejected a similar measure.
In Arizona, one of several states along the Mexican border with sizable immigrant populations, voters approved an initiative requiring residents to prove they are citizens, before they vote or receive public services.
Eleven states from Georgia to Oregon banned gay marriage, mostly by wide margins. Voters were responding to a flurry of same-sex weddings in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, and a court ruling in Massachusetts earlier this year supporting same-sex unions.