The presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may be dominating headlines this election cycle, but there are numerous propositions on state ballots this November that together could have just as significant an effect on policy as the victor in the presidential race.
Thirty-four states have a combined total of 157 propositions on the ballot in November, according to the University of Southern California's Initiative and Referendum Institute. California alone has 17 propositions. All told, multiple states will vote on whether to legalize marijuana, raise the minimum wage, issue new bonds and expand gambling among various measures.
"If you look at the things that are directly affecting people's lives, I actually think state propositions have big big effects," said John Matsusaka, executive director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute. "[State propositions] in some respects could be more important than the way the presidential election would touch people's lives."
Especially given current levels of gridlock in Congress and inaction on issues in state capitols, some organizers advocating for various propositions said the process provides a way to move forward on policy when a state legislature proves unable to pass the bill or there is a disconnect between politicians and popular opinion.