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Elaine Thompson, Associated Press
Cheryl Stumbo, center, raises her arms as she finishes speaking at an election night party for Initiative 594, a measure seeking universal background checks on gun sales and transfers, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Seattle. Stumbo, the citizen sponsor of the initiative, is a survivor in the shooting at the Jewish Federation in Seattle in 2006. The initiative is one of two competing gun initiatives in Washington state. The other measure, Initiative 591, would prevent any such expansion of background checks.

Marijuana activists who have longed for decades to end America's drug war pocketed more major victories Tuesday, with Oregon and the nation's capital approving recreational pot use and a measure in Alaska holding a steady lead. Here are how some other ballot measured fared on Tuesday:

MINIMUM WAGE

Voters in four states approved increases in the state minimum wage. In Arkansas, it will rise from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 by 2017, in Nebraska from $7.25 to $9 and in South Dakota from $7.25 to $8.50. In Alaska, it will increase $2 an hour to $9.75 in 2016.

GUN SALES

In Washington state, voters approved a measure to expand background checks on gun sales and transfers; the checks will extended to private transactions and many loans and gifts. The rival measure would have prevented the state from expanding checks in that fashion; it was trailing statewide.

FOOD FIGHT

Colorado voters rejected a measure that would have required labeling of certain genetically modified foods. The proposal would have applied to raw and packaged foods produced entirely or partially by genetic engineering, but not apply to food served in restaurants. A similar measure was too close to call in Oregon.

In Hawaii, voters in Maui County opted to temporarily ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops after a campaign featuring $8 million in advertising from some of the world's largest corn-seed producers.

SUGARY DRINKS

Voters in Berkeley, California, became the first in the country to pass a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks. High-dollar advertising campaigns by the $76 billion U.S. soft-drink industry had defeated the proposal in more than 30 other cities and states in recent years, including San Francisco where voters on Tuesday rejected a soda tax.