More is at stake in Tuesday's U.S. elections than who controls the legislative branch during George W. Bush's last two years in the White House.
Depending on where they live, Americans also face direct choices on laws relating to abortion, same-sex marriage, tobacco and oil taxes, sex crimes, the minimum wage, illegal immigration, an official language and other contentious issues.
According to an Associated Press tally, there are 205 measures on ballots in 37 states. Here is a sampling:
Abortion: Voters in South Dakota, a conservative state with fewer than 800,000 people, are to decide whether to uphold or reject a new state law banning abortions except to save a pregnant woman's life.
Supporters of the law hoped to provoke a legal battle in which the U.S. Supreme Court, which has shifted to the right under Bush, might reverse a 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Abortion-rights groups instead collected petition signatures to put the law on the ballot, hoping to defeat it by a statewide vote.
Marriage: Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin are asked whether they supporta ban on same-sex marriage.
Wages: Measures to raise state minimum wage levels are on ballots in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio.
Smoking: Measures to raise tobacco taxes or ban smoking in public places are on ballots in various states, including California, Missouri and South Dakota.
Oil: California's Proposition 87 would tax oil production to raise $4 billion to promote alternative fuels and more efficient cars.
Sex crimes: Another California measure would require that many sex offenders be tracked by satellite for life.
Marijuana: Ballot initiatives in Nevada and Colorado would legalize
possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of the drug by anyone 21or older.
Race and gender: A Michigan proposal would bar the state from considering race and gender in hiring, contract awards and college admissions.
Property: Measures in 11 states would bar governments from expropriating private property for private uses such as industrial or commercial development. Measures in Arizona, California, Idaho and Washington would require compensation for owners whose property values are hurt by land-use regulations.
Language: English could become the official language of Arizona, a state with a big Spanish-speaking population. Another proposal would deny bail to illegal immigrants charged with serious crimes.
Voting: Yet another Arizona measure would turn general elections into lotteries with a $1 million prize for a randomly selected voter each time. The aim is to encourage people to vote.