We'll forgive you if you haven't paid much attention to Election Day 2013. It's an off-year for Congressional races, President Obama's got another year to go, and there aren't that many of high-profile state races or hot-button ballot issues at stake. The Guardian has even called the 2013 elections a "historically boring affair," lacking in the drama that often accompanies voting season the year after a presidential election. But there are several important ballot measures up for vote in states this year, as well as a few high-profile (if not exactly close) mayoral and governor races. Here's a super-quick guide to what's going on in election 2013.
Big Mayoral/Gubernatorial Races
- New Jersey Governor's Race: Republican Chris Christie leads by a longshot against Democrat Barbara Buono in New Jersey. "There's not much of a question about whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will win reelection Tuesday night," writes the Washington Post's Reid Wilson. Christie was passed over by Mitt Romney as a running mate in the 2013 election, but may run for president himself in 2016.
- New York City Mayoral Race: Democrat Bill de Blasio leads against Republican opponent Joe Lhota in NYC's 2013 mayoral race. A surprising outcome is unlikely, with de Blasio leading by 41 percentage points in a poll released Monday morning. Find out who you should or would vote with DecideNYC's "Candidate Comparinator."
- Virginia Governor's Race:The race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli is close, but going into election day McAuliffe leads by 7 points.
This year brings 31 ballot measures across six states. Some major issues:
- Genetically Modified Foods: Washington residents will vote on mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. The measure (Initiative 522) would require any foods produced with genetically engineered seeds or ingredients to be labeled and authorize state enforcement and civil penalties. Find out more at Project Vote Smart.
- Casinos: New Yorkers will vote on allowing seven new casinos in the state.
- Minimum Wage: New Jersey residents will vote whether to raise the statewide minimum wage to $8.25 per hour and set an indexed minimum wage in the Constitution.
- Marijuana Taxes: Colorado residents will vote on Proposition AA, which would establish sales and excise taxes for now-legal recreational marijuana.
You can find out more about any of the state ballot measures in Election 2013 at the National Conference of State Legislator's ballot measures database.