Animals in the voting booth
The November ballot just got bigger. Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified an initiative measure on humane treatment of farm animals. Here's the title and summary from the attorney general's office:
Treatment of Farm Animals. Statute. Requires that an enclosure or tether confining specified farm animals allow the animals for the majority of every day to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up, and turn around. Specified animals include calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens, and pregnant pigs. Exceptions made for transportation, rodeos, fairs, 4-H programs, lawful slaughter, research and veterinary purposes. Provides misdemeanor penalties, including a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for up to 180 days. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably minor local and state enforcement and prosecution costs, partly offset by increased fine revenue.
Unlike the June 3 stealth election ballot, the November 4 election is expected to draw a huge turnout because, of course, it is the presidential election. The conventional wisdom calculates lots of liberal Democrats voting, which could bode well for an animal rights measure.
So far there are two ballot measures in November. The other one is a bond for a high-speed passenger train system.