This November, the power of the state and local governments in the American electoral process will be forcefully demonstrated. But in addition to the presidential drama, another election story, with dramatic lessons about state and local influence, will play out as Americans in nearly half the states vote on important questions related to transportation investments in their regions. The American Public Transportation Association reported earlier this week that voters will decide on over $200 billion in investments on Election Day. This includes a whopping $120 billion in Los Angeles County, $54 billion in Seattle and $7.5 billion in San Diego for trolley, commuter rail and bus projects. These ballot-driven financing mechanisms carry important consequences and have the ability to dramatically shape these metropolitan areas.
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