SPECIAL COVERAGE: Election 2014

Common Dreams presents its Election 2014 coverage by highlighting key ballot fights and local campaigns happening across the country. In small towns, big cities and states nationwide, people are fighting for their individual rights, the health of their communities, and their undeterred hope for a better future. Whether you live in a place where one of these local battles is taking place or not, the outcomes of these campaigns will say much about the state of our democracy. Explore the issues. Understand what's at stake. Stand up. Speak out.

In the absence of federal action on the issue, efforts to increase the minimum wage are on the ballot—and expected to pass—in five states. Notably, four of the five states (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota) are solidly conservative. Read more...

Three states face sweeping anti-choice legislation that, if passed, would curtail or eliminate reproductive rights, slash a host of other health protections, and set precedent with nationwide relevance. Read more...

Voters in communities in California, Texas and Ohio have a chance to ban the dangerous oil and gas drilling practice known as "fracking" when they cast their ballots in local elections this year. Read more...

Efforts to regulate genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are sprouting up on both state and local ballots this November. Whether a GMO label mandate, as in Colorado and Oregon, or a planting ban, as in Humboldt and Maui counties, local initiatives are being aggressively challenged by outside, deep-pocketed industry opponents. Read more...

On November 4, voters in dozens of communities will cast ballots aimed at overturning Citizens United, ending corporate personhood, and getting big money out of politics. Read more...

Chevron has dumped millions of dollars into municipal elections in the city of Richmond, Calif.—where the oil giant operates one of the state's largest refineries—in what critics say is one of the most egregious examples of a corporate interest using nearly unlimited financial resources to overwhelm local candidates it opposes. Read more...

Efforts to expand legal access to marijuana continues this year with three major votes on full legalization taking place in Washington, D.C., Alaska, and Oregon. Read more...

As the U.S. system of mass incarceration comes under increasing fire, Californians in November will be voting on Proposition 47, which will reduce prison populations by reducing the penalties for a number of "non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes." Read more...

Voters in Washington state are poised to go where lawmakers have refused to dare as they prepare to vote for a citizen-led ballot initiative to strengthen gun control in the state. Read more...