Voters in 38 states also cast their votes yesterday on a total of 176 ballot measures.
Among the initiatives that passed: Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote and Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use.
There were other measures as well. Among them, four that affect same-sex marriage initiatives, three that could make recreational marijuana legal for the first time, a measure in Massachusetts on whether to allow physician-assisted suicide, and the option to repeal the death penalty in California.
In Florida, several ballot initiatives in the state failed, including an abortion measure and one concerning the health-care law, likely because of the coattail effect.
"I think those people in Florida came out to vote for President Obama and they stayed out to defeat those measures," says Andrew Cohen.
Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor for The Atlantic and legal analyst for CBS' Sixty Minutes.
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