Showing posts with label rhode island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rhode island. Show all posts

Friday, January 22, 2021

USA: Rhode Island State's Name Change

Map of the State of Rhode Island - formerly the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - from the United States National Atlas
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The island hosting Newport (lower right) is the original "Rhode Island", while "Providence Plantations" referred to the mainland area around Providence (top right). (Public domain map)

Rhode Island Name Change Now in Effect

Tiny Rhode Island has become the first of the 50 US states ever to change its name.

Even many Americans don't realize that Rhode Island, the smallest US state by area, actually had a longer official name until last year: State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 

But in a referendum on Nov. 3, the same day as the 2020 US presidential election, the state's voters chose to amend the state constitution and shorten the name to just "State of Rhode Island". 

Monday, November 2, 2020

3 Election Day Referendums that Could Change US Geography (Updated with Results)

Update: All three referendums passed, and as of January 2021 the results of two have gone into effect. Scroll down to the bottom of each section for details of what happened.

Map of the United States, showing the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC)
The US has 50 states...for now. (Map from Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA)

US Voters to Decide in Geography-related Referendums

This Tuesday - November 3, 2020 - is election day in the United States. And while presidential rivals Donald Trump and Joe Biden have dominated the news, Americans will also be voting (or have already voted) in thousands of other elections for national, state, and local politicians, plus referendums on state and local issues.

The US has no process for nationwide referendums, but statewide referendums - often known as "ballot measures", "propositions", or just "questions" - are common. They also exist at many lower levels of government, and in territories that aren't part of any state, like the national capital district and overseas dependencies. This Tuesday, there will be 120 statewide referendums, all held within 32 of the country's 50 states, plus 3 referendums at the top level of government for other territories.

While most of these votes are on issues like taxation, election rules, and drug laws, three are of special interest to geography fans: