Massachusetts Voters Say No to Charter School Expansion

Massachusetts Votes Yes on Recreational Cannabis But Will Policymakers Oblige

Massachusetts Voters Say No to Charter School Expansion

Voters are going to the polls in high numbers across MA to cast ballots in the race for president and to decide a series of ballot questions including whether to legalize marijuana and expand charter schools.

The results for question 4 are in favor for the legalization of marijuana.

In Massachusetts, the licensing authority for recreational marijuana would be a new three-member Cannabis Control Commission, appointed by the state treasurer.

Lt. Governor Polito and I are proud to have worked with an unprecedented bipartisan coalition that has voiced concerns with this proposal, and our administration will work closely with lawmakers, educators, and public safety and public health professionals to ensure this transition protects the interests of our communities and families.

The students on wait lists are overwhelmingly in poor minority areas of Boston, where charters tend to outperform traditional public schools.

Margo Griffin arrived at the community center in Springfield's 16 Acres neighborhood Tuesday morning and said she was looking forward to voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton to become the nation's first woman president.

The most recent poll from Suffolk University and the Boston Globe showed voters evenly split on the charter cap question, but with 9 percent still undecided when the poll results were released two weeks ago. It saw strong support championed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

MA residents voted down the ballot initiative after unions and liberal activists spent millions of dollars in a fierce campaign against it. There are now over 30,000 students on the waitlists for 70-odd charter schools in the MA, out of almost a million students enrolled in the district for the 2015-2016 school year. With Question 2 failing to grab the needed support, a cap will continue to limit MA at 120 charter schools.

Opponents say the state should focus on fixing under-performing schools before they let more privately-run charter schools open. He expects overall turnout to rival that of the presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, despite the absence of other high-profile political races.

Laura Leeper said she was just as excited to vote for Clinton as she was for President Obama four years ago.

Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for Yes on 4, said the legalization of recreational marijuana is another example of MA sitting at the "forefront of sweeping social movements". The lead in the election oscillated early in the night as votes came in, however "Yes" squeaked out a win as the hours got later. Bernie Sanders and billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the initiative, and millions have poured in from out-of-state organizations and donors to sway voters on the issue.

The charter school issue is a complicated one.

Christopher Turowsky said he voted for Republican Donald Trump. Supporters, including the Humane Society of the United States, say the question aims at banning what they portray as cruel conditions for farm animals.

The contentious Question 2, which would have increased the number of approvals for new or expanded charter schools to 12 per year at most, was soundly defeated by MA voters, the Boston Globe projected.

There are also a handful of congressional contests, with several Democratic incumbent facing challengers. Richard Neal, Niki Tsongas, Joe Kennedy, Stephen Lynch and William Keating facing challengers.

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