Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I spent more time studying in college than most people, but I never pulled an "all-nighter". Unlike many of my classmates, I never spent the final minutes before an exam looking over notes, trying to memorize that last piece of information that would help me pass the test. My approach to politics, however, has always been to spend the night before the election cramming, trying to figure out which candidates and proposals I support. I usually make up my mind on the big-name candidates before the election, but I never pay attention to the local races and the more obscure offices until the last minute. It would actually make more sense to figure out the smaller races first, since the only media coverage that those races tend to get happens a month or two before the election. I always pledge to pay more attention to local races after each election, but I never manage to make good on that pledge. I'll do things differently in 2008, I'm sure.

In my defense, I had to vote on no fewer than 22 separate ballot questions in this election (9 statewide and 13 citywide). I'm not a big fan of ballot questions. With ballot questions, the most important thing seems to be the wording. I don't know if there is any ballot proposition that could not be passed given the right amount of creative wordsmithing. I only thought a couple of the questions on this year's ballot were somewhat misleading. My main complaint was the overall inanity of some of them. There was a statewide question to approve $4M in bonds to rehabilitate a state park. Perhaps I shouldn't be complaining about fiscal transparency in a state as legendary for corruption as Rhode Island, but isn't this something that could have been taken care of by the legislature without having to solicit the opinion of every registered voter?

3 comments:

MDS said...

I actually strongly considered voting against a ballot measure this morning solely because I found the wording so patronizing. It was a measure on funding schools, which I support, but the way it was worded was all flowery language about building a better future, rather than just a clear yes or no question about how much money would be spent and what it would be spent on.

dhodge said...

After witnessing how the ballot questions played out this year, I'm seriously considering always voting no on future funding measures regardless of how I actually feel about them just to balance out the people who apparently always vote yes.

dusty said...

Boulder City and Co. had a spate as well, including a flowery school appeal, like Mr Smith's. We also had a referendum to decriminalize pot up to 1 oz. Suffice to say, Denver is not in line to be Amsterdam West. (That would be Vancouver anyway, n'est-ce pas?) However, of note, the ballot spelled Cannibus sativa rather amusingly: mariHuana. Someone must have copied it off a Reefer Madness DVD.