Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Term Limits Are Popular; Immigration Law Leading

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Term Limits Are Popular; Immigration Law Leading

Article excerpt

Early election returns Tuesday showed voters in Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska and the District of Columbia favoring term limits.

Term limits, which were on ballots in eight states and the District, were winning by nearly 2-1 ratios in the District, Maine and Nebraska, and leading by comfortable margins in Colorado and Massachusetts, according to early returns.

There were more than 70 citizen-sponsored initiatives on ballots this year, the most in six decades.

They included the incendiary Proposition 187 in California, which would deny most social services to illegal immigrants and a first-of-its-kind measure in Oregon to allow doctors to assist in suicides. Proposition 187 was leading narrowly in early returns.

Exit polls Tuesday night showed Proposition 187 would be decided by a thin margin. Also too close to call was a three-strikes-and-you're-out prison sentencing initiative.

But voters apparently rejected ballot initiatives aiming to set up a single-payer health care system and a tobacco company-backed plan to eliminate all local restrictions on smoking.

Backers had said that Proposition 187, which aimed to end public schooling, public health care and other tax-financed services for illegal aliens, would "send a message" to Washington, even if some of its components were later found unconstitutional.

In one of a handful of anti-crime measures on the ballot, voters in Georgia were headed toward approving a "two strikes and you're out" law that would impose a sentence of life without parole for criminals convicted of a second violent crime. Early returns showed it favored 3-1.

Most of the anti-crime measures would give victims a say in the sentencing process.

In Florida, voters decisively rejected a gambling initiative that the industry had spent $16 million to promote. It was the third time in 15 years that voters have been asked to legalize gambling, which is permitted on Indian reservations and a limited number of riverboats. Concern about crime and lifestyle changes played heavily in the campaign, but so did industry spending, which outpaced opponents' 10-1.

With 20 percent of the votes counted, the measure trailed 35 to 65 percent.

Another gambling measure in Rhode Island was also headed for defeat. …

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