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Election 2012: A busy year for ballot questions

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The Election Day ballot will include some closely watched policy questions, including three ballot measures that would legalize same-sex marriage, three that would legalize the non-medical use of marijuana, and initiatives in Maryland that could expand casino gambling and give in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.

The Maryland gambling measure would allow table games in addition to electronic games in state casinos.

It is a particularly busy year for ballot questions. There are 174 around the country, including 12 examples of little-used kind of initiative that could allow voters to repeal laws recently passed by the state legislature.

Among the highlights:

●Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington will decide whether to approve same-sex marriage. If any do, it will be the first time that same-sex marriage has ever been approved by popular vote. In Minnesota, a ballot question would allow voters to bar same-sex marriage.

●In Colorado and Washington, voters could choose to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Oregon voters could approve a more expansive law, which would allow more pot to be sold, but only through state-run stores. Also, a ballot measure in Arkansas could make that state the first in the South to legalize medical marijuana use.

●Voters in Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming could vote to exempt their states from parts of President Obama’s health-care law.

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