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2014 Massachusetts ballot questions: Your cheat sheet

In the voting booth on Tuesday, you’ll be asked to decide four weighty questions.


In the voting booth on Tuesday, you’ll be asked to weigh in on contentious issues like gambling and sick time.


4 — Number of ballot questions that will be put to Massachusetts voters this Tuesday

4 — Number of questions, on average, that have made it on the ballot in biennial statewide elections since 1919; Massachusetts voters have seen as many as nine statewide ballot measures at once, and elections without any  

72 — Number of questions appearing on ballots through initiative petition since 1919; only 32 of those questions were approved. That comes in at a 44.44 percent approval rate

10 — Minimum number of “qualified voters” who must create and sign a measure spelling out their proposed law and submit it to the state attorney general, kicking off the long, multi-step initiative petition process


4,260,569 — Number of registered voters in Massachusetts as of August 20th; citizens had until October 15 to register to vote in Tuesday’s election

5 minutes — Amount of time Massachusetts residents can take in the voting booth, according to the Massachusetts Voters’ Bill of Rights; if there’s no line, voters are allowed 10 minutes

RELATED: More on the Mass. ballot questions


Question 1 addresses the state’s gas tax

> A YES VOTE would eliminate the annual automatic adjustment of the tax — now at 24 cents per gallon — based on the consumer price index. Under this proposed law, the Legislature would have to act in order to raise the tax.

> NO means the tax would continue to adjust automatically.

Question 2 seeks to expand the Bottle Bill

> YES on the question would extend the deposit law to all nonalcoholic, noncarbonated beverages not already included (with some exceptions), as well as raise handling fees. The state would also be required to adjust the deposit amount every five years based on the consumer price index, but this amount could never fall below 5 cents.

> A NO VOTE means the law will remain as is.

RELATED: What to know about the Mass. ballot questions

Question 3 tackles gambling

> A YES VOTE would prohibit the Massachusetts Gaming Commission from issuing licenses for casinos and other gambling establishments (primarily those with table games and/or slot machines); this prohibition would void licenses previously issued. Wagering on live simulcast greyhound races would be illegal as well.


> NO leaves current state gaming laws as is.

Question 4 covers employee sick time

> YES on the question would allow workers to earn and use a set amount of paid or unpaid sick time per year based on specific conditions, such as the size of their companies.

> A NO VOTE maintains current laws.

Source: Secretary of the Commonwealth