Voters in some states are deciding whether to roll back conservative policies adopted in earlier eras. Ballot measures in Tucson, Arizona, and the states of Colorado and Washington gave voters another say on hot-button social issues: immigration, gambling, taxes and affirmative action.
Also, in New York and New Jersey, voters agree to change the way some elections will be decided and approved restrictions on Airbnb and other short-term rental companies.
Among the highlights:
Voters in the liberal enclave of Tucson appear to be overwhelmingly rejecting a proposal to designate it as Arizona's only sanctuary city. Early ballots Tuesday showed voters were rejecting the initiative by more than a 2 to 1 margin. A defeat would be a relief for the Democrats who control city government in one of Arizona's most liberal cities. They worry the initiative would jeopardize millions of dollars in state and federal funding and put public safety at risk. The initiative is a direct challenge to the state immigration law that drew global attention, protests, boycotts and lawsuits when it was adopted nine years ago.
Kansas City voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved removing Dr. Martin Luther King's name from one of the city's most historic boulevards, less than a year after the city council decided to rename The Paseo for the civil rights icon.
Unofficial results vote showed the proposal to remove King's name received nearly 70% of the vote, with just over 30% voting to retain King's name.
The debate over the name of the 10-mile (16.1 kilometer) boulevard on the city's mostly black east side began shortly after the council's decision in January to rename The Paseo for King. Civil rights leaders who pushed for the change celebrated when the street signs went up, believing they had finally won a decades-long battle to honor King, which appeared to end Kansas City's reputation as one of the largest U.S. cities in the country without a street named for him.
But a group of residents intent on keeping The Paseo name began collecting petitions to put the name change on the ballot and achieved that goal in April.
The campaign has been divisive, with supporters of King's name accusing opponents of being racist, while supporters of The Paseo name say city leaders pushed the name change through without following proper procedures and ignored The Paseo's historic value.
Voters in a New Jersey city that's just a few minutes by train from lower Manhattan approved restrictions on Airbnb and other short-term rental companies. Jersey City, a city of around 271,000, has become increasingly popular with tourists seeking an alternative to pricey New York City lodging. That has led to complaints about absentee owners turning apartment buildings into de facto hotels and having a negative effect on affordable housing. The regulations limit how often landlords can rent properties if they don't live on site. They also forbid short-term rentals in buildings with more than four units if the owner isn't present and prohibit renters from serving as hosts. The referendum was the latest chapter in a battle that has played out in numerous American cities, including San Francisco, where Airbnb is based.
Voters in New York City passed a measure to adopt a ranked-choice voting system in some future elections. The new system, which passed with overwhelming support, will let people rank up to five candidates in order of preference, rather than picking just one to support. Other places, including Maine and San Francisco, already use ranked choice voting systems, but New York City will be the most populous place in the United States to embrace it. The system will be used in primaries and special elections starting in 2021.
A measure that reinstates the use of affirmative action in state employment, contracting and admission to public colleges and universities was losing in early returns. The measure asks people whether they want to change current laws that prohibit state government from giving preferential treatment to individuals or groups based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, or public contracting.
Voters in Washington were also are weighing in on a transportation measure. In early returns they were approving an initiative that would cap annual vehicle registration fees at $30. If the measure goes on to pass, transit and road budgets across the state would be slashed.
Virginia Democrats continued their winning streak under President Trump on Tuesday and took full control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades.
Suburban voters turned out in big numbers to back Democratic candidates, continuing a trend of once GOP-friendly suburbs turning blue. This is the third election in a row in which Democrats made significant gains since Trump was elected.
"I'm here to officially declare today, November 5, 2019, that Virginia is officially blue," Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam told a crowd of supporters in Richmond.
Of the four states with legislative elections this year, Virginia is the only one where control of the statehouse was up for grabs. Republicans had slim majorities in both the state House and Senate.