States decide on gay marriage, marijuana, assisted suicide

Voters waited up to two hours to vote at Holy Spirit of Geist in Fishers.
Published: .
Updated: .

One particular race - the one for the right to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - gets the most attention on Election Day. There are thousands of others, too, of course.

WTHR-TV tabulates results in hundreds of races in central Indiana, and The Associated Press tabulates results in 4,818 contested races, including 379 statewide races, nationwide.

That's in addition to declaring thousands of uncontested races. There are even 13 uncontested contests for the 435-seat U.S. House of Representatives.

Voters are also facing 177 ballot questions in 38 states. Washington, Oregon and Colorado decide whether to be the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Massachusetts is considering whether to allow physician-assisted suicide. Californians have a chance to repeal the death penalty.

Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state have questions on gay marriage. Same-sex marriage has been rejected in all 32 states that have held popular votes on the issue. Gay-rights advocates believe they have a chance to break that streak as Maine, Maryland and Washington state vote Tuesday on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. Minnesota votes on whether to place a ban on gay marriage in its constitution.

Puerto Ricans are deciding whether they want to change their ties with the U.S. They've got three alternatives: become the 51st U.S. state, independence, or "sovereign free association," a designation that would give more autonomy for the territory of 4 million people. They don't get to vote for president.

Tuesday's races include 33 spots in the Senate and 11 governorships, including Indiana.

Republicans are turning to voters in nearly a dozen states in hopes of broadening the party's hold on governor's mansions across the country.

Some GOP candidates view this election as their best opportunity to win in a quarter-century.

Two years ago, Republicans snatched six governors' office in the midterm elections, giving the party 29 governorships to 20 for Democrats and one independent. This year, 11 states are picking their chief executive.

When all the ballots are counted, Republicans could have as many as 33 governorships. That's the most since the 1920s and one more than they had in the 1990s.

(Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)