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Poll finds 5 ballot measures will likely pass

Associated Press Published: November 3, 2012

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A new Lee Newspapers of Montana poll shows five ballot measures will likely be approved by Montana voters.

The measures include approving restrictions on medical marijuana, denying some state services to illegal immigrants, and requiring parents to be notified prior to an abortion for a girl under 16.

A fourth creates a prohibition on governments from mandating that people buy health insurance, and the fifth calls for a state policy that says corporations are not people entitled to constitutional rights.

Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc. of Washington, D.C., polled 625 registered voters on both cellular and land-line phones from Monday through Wednesday. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The poll found 50 percent of likely voters want to pass a law defying President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, while 41 percent are opposed and 9 percent undecided. On the corporation question, the poll found 54 percent in favor, 28 percent opposed and 18 percent undecided.

Those two measures deal with matters recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a constitutional scholar has said both would be unenforceable if passed because they conflict with federal called the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The ballot measure about medical marijuana is a voter referendum of a law passed last year, and only three other voter referenda have appeared on the ballot since 1993.

The ballot measure asks voters to affirm or repeal a law that restricts who qualifies to register for medical marijuana, limits the number of people a provider can distribute it to and bans profits or compensation for providing it. A yes vote is to keep the new law in place, while a no vote is to repeal the new law and reinstate the 2004 voter-approved medical marijuana law. The poll found 54 percent of voters approving the new law, while 35 percent were opposed and 11 percent undecided.

Another measure, if passed, would require parents to be notified prior to an abortion for a girl under 16. A doctor who provides an abortion without proper notification could receive a six-month prison sentence and a $500 fine, according to the initiative. The poll found 57 percent favor the measure, 35 percent are opposed, and 8 percent undecided.

The last ballot question would deny some state services to illegal immigrants. The initiative would require every person who seeks any state service — from student aid to disability benefits to a state job — to prove that he is a U.S. citizen or in the country legally.

That measure, according to the poll, is favored by 59 percent, opposed by 31 percent, and 10 percent are undecided.


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