gay-marriage.jpgDALLAS – When Americans vote for a new president on Nov. 4, many will also be asked to have their say on local issues and proposed state constitutional amendments.

Much of the attention has been focused on the attempts to ban gay marriage in California and Florida, which we have written about elsewhere.

Similar initiatives in 2004 were seen as crucial to President George W. Bush’s re-election victory as they energized the Republican Party’s conservative evangelical base.  Propositions are initiated locally people who collect enough signatures to have them put on the ballot. If passed by voters they carry the force of law.

Ballotwatch, which is part of the Initiative & Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California, released a preview Thursday of the initiatives that will coincide with this year’s presidential battle between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.

It said that as of early August, voters in 30 states are set to decide on 112 ballot propositions and the number is likely to grow as several states are still verifying signatures and some legislatures are considering additional measures. (In 2004 there were 162 propositions and 204 in the 2006 mid-term elections).