What is on your ballot?

We are a political bunch. The presidential election isn't interesting. But there are all sorts of local issues and offices on our ballots.

Is anyone here running for a position in this election? Is there a ballot measure or candidate for a local office that you are working for? Campaigning for anything is difficult this election because of Covid. People have had to be a little creative.

There were several ballot initiatives on my ballot. Some statewide and some for just my county. I'm glad I had plenty of time to work on my mailed ballot. It often takes time to research the people running for city commissioner and soil and water conservation commission seats. I can't imagine having to vote in person. It seems there is always something on the ballot that you weren't expecting, and you have to decide quickly or skip it when standing in a voting booth with a line of people behind you waiting to vote.

In Oregon, registered voters are mailed a "voters pamphlet". It includes the text of any ballot measures and an explanation written by a committee. Also a statement If any committee member disagrees with the explanation. It also states the expected financial impact, if any, for instance for tax measures, how much per thousand dollars of property value it will cost. Candidates can pay to have themselves listed with a statement about themselves and a photo. The fee is $50 I think, intended to help cover the cost of the booklet.

For ballot measures, individuals or groups pay to have a statement in favor or opposed to the measure. This year the general election voters guide is 168 pages. The county pamphlet for my county is 127 pages. For controversial measures, you can imagine how many pages of arguments for and against there can be. Printed at the bottom of each, is a note saying who paid for that particular argument.

If there are no local issues or candidates you are interested in this time, how is voting being handled in your area? Are there voters pamphlets in your state?

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Comments

earthling1's picture

Vancouver,Wa.
We have the same setup. Plenty of time to go over the candidates record and qualifications.
You make a great point re; being prepared before you even get to the booth. Voting by mail is so much better than in person. The Lazy Boy way of voting, fer sure!
And it nullifies the issue of armed yahoos showing up at the voting site.
They get cold standing around by themselves. Ha ha.

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13 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Granma's picture

@earthling1 sample ballots appearing in newspaper or somewhere to help prepare for in person voting, so you could research what you needed to before you got in line. But once you have done mail in ballot, you don't want to go back to voting booths.
This year, postage is not necessary. That will help with turn out. I suspect.

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Pricknick's picture

This one will pass as it's unapposed by any legal or law enforcement agancies.
Constitutional amendment to require a search warrant to access a person's electronic data and electronic communications.

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13 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Granma's picture

@Pricknick

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edg's picture

We received a thick booklet from the county. And I think one from a voter's organization. There were a few ballot initiatives. I routinely vote no on those, except I voted yes on the Marijuana question. There were about 25 or 30 judges running, with the only option being to keep them. I skipped all of them since I have no idea who they are and felt no interest in research. I was tempted to put myself as a write-in candidate for several offices but didn't.

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Granma's picture

@edg do you get that you can routinely vote no? Are they all tax increases? Nice that the county provides some voter information, assuming it is good information.

We get all sorts of ballot measures. There aren't many this year, probably partly because of the difficulty of collecting enough signatures to get on ballot with Covid.

One amends the State constitution to allow laws limiting campaign contributions and expenditures. Another vastly increases taxes on all sorts of nicotine. One legalizes psilocybin. A local one allows a water treatment pipeline under a certain park. That's a sampling.

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@Granma
Flys in the face of Citizen's United. it will be tossed in a Federal lawsuit. A state can't override the Supreme's.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Granma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness Authors of measure certainly know about Supreme Court decision and wrote this one accordingly. I may not have summed it up well, just took part of the long heading to put here. It would make no sense to work to pass something that can't stand.

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Granma's picture

@Granma and was referred to voters by our legislature. The first part about limiting campaign contribution and expenditures specifically says that the limits cannot eliminate advocacy. The wording is according to what Oregon Supreme Court said would be ok. The 2nd part permits laws requiring disclosure of who is funding campaign ads. Will see if the measure passes.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Granma

It’s one more tax on poor people who can least afford it. It should be raised on things that everyone uses like a gas tax. Sin taxes are bad. IMO.

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6 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Granma's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg . It is. $2 per pack increase on cigarettes.. I don't remember how much on cigars, vaping stuff, and so on, probably equivalent amounts.

Edit to fix typo

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edg's picture

@Granma

One nearly doubles the state income tax on incomes over 250K, one allows increased operational spending by Pima Community College, and the third legalizes the recreational possession and use of marijuana.

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Granma's picture

@edg I'm guessing some were put on the ballot by the legislature. In our state, if legislature can't agree, or considers it a hot potato issue, they refer it to voters as a ballot measure.

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magiamma's picture

.
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for any who have not voted yet

These are the headings in case you cannot read them
Courage CA
CA Dem Party
CA Progressive Alliance
SF Pissed Off Voters
Indivisible SF
LA Progressive
CA SEIU
DSA LA
ACLU SoCal

ballot measure ca image_6483441.jpg

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Granma's picture

@magiamma I had heard about the Uber/Lyft drivers one.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Granma

If Uber gets its way it is going to affect workers really, really bad. This would allow more companies than Uber to reclassify employees and there goes minimum wage, any health benefits, workers comp insurance and a few others. This will not just affect California. But it’s just a matter of time before congress takes this on and those things are gone anyway. This article is about how the Koch enterprise is getting everything it wants from Trump.

https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/10/charles-koch-should-be-on-the-pre...

Did you know that Trump signed an executive order that made federal workers right to workers? People think they just work with republicans to get their agendas passed, but don’t forget that they got into the democrats through Clinton’s DLC. They’ve bought both parties.

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7 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg
Sorry to be such a sport but the whole concept behind uber, including it's business model, those that work for them, and those that support them, is absolute capitalism.
It's a corperation taking advantage of everyone and everything it can.
I truly hope it goes down soon along with gogle, twitty, faceplant, etc, etc, etc.
Pleae feel free to add your own shit corps that need to bite me before they bite the dust.

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8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Granma's picture

@Pricknick @Pricknick If I do, I'll call a taxi. I think it is safer and I'all know the driver is getting paid.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Granma

If so was that why Uber etc. destroyed them? If not then why did they pretty much destroy them? Anyone know?

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2 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

@snoopydawg

provide a better service in many respects, but these two most of all: convenience and cost. Of course, they achieved this by breaking laws and regulations, and further by exploiting their employees (including drivers they've mislabeled as contractors or even independent business operators, and also by breaking laws in some states, like California).

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Granma's picture

@snoopydawg It would essentially make them all political appointees is my understanding. It is enough to give you TDS.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

need to read it.

BTW, the dismantling of federal employee 'protections' began, in earnest, with the 2014 Sanders/Miller Bill. It was known as "the Veterans Choice Act."

In the so-called "Choice Act,' lawmakers severely restricted SES (Senior Executive Schedule) employees of their right to fight firings, demotions, reassignments, etc. IOW, all adverse peronnel actions. (You may remember me running around with my hair on fire, posting articles about this.) The language of the Bill was so over-the-top, that Loretta Lynch's DOJ had to quit trying to defend that portion of the bill, in federal courts. It was struck down as "unconstitutional."

So, unfortunately, this EO is nothing new. Having said that, it's awful. Mr M and I are sure relieved that we're already retired.

More on what the EO actually says, later.

Hope you're doing well. Pleasantry

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Granma's picture

@Unabashed Liberal what you learn after reading the executive order.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Granma

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/23/stop-corporate-power-grab-g...

Here’s the executive order

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/23/quietly-signed-trump-order-...

Can he legally do that? Wouldn’t labor laws have to go through the labor committee? Or can that creepy Scalia spawn who is in charge of the labor department just say it’s the new rule?

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4 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Granma's picture

@snoopydawg Whether there or somewhere else, I read that it will probably be struck down by the courts.
I don't think the president can overturn a bunch of laws by saying so in writing. We don't have a dictatorship, yet anyway.

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@magiamma

It's a proposition that permits certain agencies to use race as a key factor in decisions, such as hiring or admittance. Affirmative Action proponents will laud this proposition as one in service of giving a hand-up to the oppressed (and their primary examples will be black Americans). Consider these two hypothetical policies an institution (say, a college) might have regarding acceptance of a candidate:

"In order to meet our diversity quota, all other things about the application being equal or equivalent, prefer to accept the individual from a race designated as disadvantaged."

"In order to meet our diversity quota, prefer to accept the individual from a race designated as disadvantaged."

These two are both permitted by the proposition, but only one of them is fair, in my opinion. I don't like laws that leave such wide margin. They end up implementing serious unintended consequences. It stems from a good intention, but I'm not convinced it won't be abused. I see the effects of race-based hiring every day (not just white racism, either, but Indian). I'm not convinced this method is a good solution to that problem.

Proposition 23 (Dialysis) isn't cut and dried, either. There are plenty of patients who don't live near a clinic that can acquire a physician to be on-site (at least, not easily). It's a tough one, because it seems that dialysis clinics need to have more scrutiny due to poor practices (e.g. around sanitation and the like), but it seems like this proposition might hurt as many folks as it helps.

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2 users have voted.

Only thing there worth voting for. The Illinois Constitution says that the state can only have a flat income tax. You would think this would be a no brainer. But th3e rich are pouring the airwaves with very good ads about how this amendment raises taxes on ALL Illinoisans (no, that's the current law), and gives the legislature the power to tax retirement income (no, they already have that power, they just don't choose to exercise it). Then there are the soap opera commercials. They drag an old lady on screen who sobs she will have to sell her home and leave the state if the "Tax Hike Amendment" passes. Well, seeing as how the specific legislation waiting for this only raises taxes on incomes above $400K, I say "Good Riddance!" Misinformation, outright lies, very slickly written, professionally produced and saturating the airwaves.
The other shoe is that Dems have a bill ready to raise all income taxes from 4.95% to 5.95% (IOW all actual tax bills by 20%) if the initiative fails. But that's not in any ads. My own selfish reason for voting for this amendment is that the state might start taxing pensions if it fails. It's an interesting situation. I'm told that there is a Federal law that a state can't tax Federal pensions unless they tax their own pensions. BUT there is a State Supreme Court ruling that State pensions are a contractual payment that the state may not cut or tax. Which makes it seems like the state can't tax either state or federal pensions without breaking either state or federal law. What's left? Private pensions, IRA withdrawals, and Social Security. The average SS payment is what? $1500? So lets start taking 6% or $90 a month away from people already below the poverty line. Nah. I can't buy that.

Two years ago I ran TurboTax for Alabama instead of Illinois. My Illinois tax is always zero because all my income is retirement income and not taxed. (Last year I actually had %5,000 taxable income, wages, from a decade old union grievance settlement, but after standard deduction and allowance for property tax, I got a refund of the whole $100 withheld). Alabama has a progressive income tax! And I would pay $460 instead of zero. A fair exchange since it seems like my property tax would fall from $6,000 a year to $800 a year on a comparably priced property. It's sad the Scarlet Red Alabama has fairer taxes than deep blue Illinois.

Lots of confusion about the ads. my wife asked me about the two amendments we will be voting on. Two? I checked. no there is only one. But the ads sound like two totally different amendments, the FAIR tax Amendment (cute, huh?) and the Tax Hike Amendment.
While I suspect we will all get a tax hike and the $400,000 definition of rich will quickly become something like $80,000 (the amendment has no hard numbers, just allows different rates for different income levels, I'm not Uncle Scrooge. I do have pity on waiters, and store clerks which seem to be the only jobs available in an area where all real manufacturing has gone to China. I can eat hamburger rather than steak to insure that some other working person doesn't go to bed hungry. Go get the bastards eating Filet Mignon instead of sirloin or round steak.

ADDENDUM: "Responsible" republicans say the state should tighten their belt. Belt the state has a Constitutional requirement to pay their bills (nursing homes are failing and closing their doors because of non-payment by Medicaid) and pay their pensions. R's are always saying the state should retroactively cut their pensions (sounds like (R) four flushers doesn't it?) but courts have repeatedly said they CANNOT do that. Previous administrations borrowed to pay current pensions and now the state's bond ratings are in the toilet.

Beyond that the ballot has the usual collection of politicians whose pictures should be on WANTED posters, like everyone here's favorite Dick Durbin and Come-with-cash Biden. Also Howie Hawkins, some Libertarian dude and Willie Wilson on the WillieWilson Party ticket just in case Biden and Trump aren't insane enough for you.

As I've said, I intend to vote for all Greens on the ballot, the amendment and )R) elsewhere just to give the finger to the party that thinks they own me. And for two judges. A supreme Court judge that has angered the Republicans, but my no-legally trained mind can find no fault with the decision that angered them, and a Cook county judge that angered Her Heinous II States attorney Foxx of Jussie Smolett infamy. So he wouldn't let the prosecutor drop a case on Foxx's say-so. An armed robbery. Good for him.

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7 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Granma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness clarify things. But many don't take the time. I have a neighbor all shook about an initiative that would place a small tax on large employers according to their payroll. This guy is self-employed, no employees and having a fit about it. Whether for or against it, and what the money is to be used for, it is not going to tax him. My guess is he doesn't read any of the other things on his ballot either.

I hope your state's voters make good decisions after doing a little checking. I always get suspicious when there are a lot of ads about a given measure and do a little research. It usually takes only a little to figure it out.

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@Granma
And they don't want to pay the big taxes. Yeah, it's silly.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@Granma
I doubt it.

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3 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Granma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness is struggling to survive on a day to day basis.

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Everything remotely worth my interest got settled in the primaries.
I took great delight in voting against every Tx. Supreme Ct. member, Cornyn, and Kevin Brady.
Oh! Gov. Abbott.
I doubt I would have bothered except a couple of appointments got rescheduled, so I was free to go to early voting. The line was short. Not sure if it was a waste of 30 minutes time or not. We shall see.

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Granma's picture

@on the cusp enough satisfaction in knowing you thumbed your nose at a bunch of jerks. You don't have ballot initiatives in Texas, I think, so it is people you are voting for or against only. The initiatives can be very interesting sometimes.

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5 users have voted.

@Granma They were all over the primary ballot, but I honestly do not remember seeing any at my "Important Vote of a Lifetime".
I did some behind the scene networking to try to get a judge elected (it worked) and to oust a sheriff (failed), but I lose business if I openly politic locally.

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Granma's picture

@on the cusp Were all decided in the primary. That is a different way of doing it. Seems to me that would limit how many people voted on one since turnout is usually lower during primaries than in general election.

I can see that public advocacy would not be a good idea for an attorney.

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@Granma local stuff. I represented 5 people who were charged with bogus crimes. 2 county judges, 1 district attorney, a county commissioner, a constable, and one chief deputy who had let it be known he would run for sheriff. The deputy didn't last a week before he was arrested. I was lead counsel for the first judge, conducted the arraignment and bond hearings for all the rest. I was a consulting attorney on all the other cases. All but one was financially ruined. All of them were driven from politics. 2 were Democrats, the rest Republicans. All of them were found Not Guilty, except my trial, which got a hung jury 5 to 1 votes for not guilty. The judge died before the case was retried.
Trumpsters just might not hire a socialist to prepare their wills, or handle their divorce, so I just keep my political beliefs to myself around town.

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Granma's picture

@on the cusp That stinks! Life can be so unfair.

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travelerxxx's picture

@on the cusp

Sounds as though your ballot looked a lot like mine after you put your X in the boxes. (Abbott wasn't on the ballot, btw...). Wife and I didn't stand in line; we were able to have our trusty USPS mail person deliver and then pick up our ballots.

Evidently you have that damn Brady, too. Talk about a gerrymandered district! I'm not sure there's a worse one in the nation.

Hope all went well with your eye appointment.

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Situational Lefty's picture

We've got a few ballot measures here in Montana and it seems everybody wants it to pass except the millionaire who tried to pass it the first time and failed.

Now he's crying "FOUL!" because the people are going to be rewarded the profits he was seeking.

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6 users have voted.

"The enemy is anybody who is going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." Yossarian

If it wasn't for amendments I would not even bother to vote.

First there is a raise the minimum wage to $10.00 next year and a $1.00 a year until it hits $15.00. Don't know if it's going to pass. People voted here a few years ago to have to have a 60 per cent for amendments. Talk about a way to limit your freedoms. It took two or three tries to get Medical Marijuana passed because of this.

There is also another amendment for something to have to pass twice for it to become law. Another way to take away more freedoms.

There is another tax exemption for certain veterans. Everyone down here gets a tax exemption of some kind. I get three so I pay very little taxes. As a millennial told me, "I'm never going to own a house. If you own one, you can afford to pay your taxes.

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Granma's picture

@Enchantress most interesting and probably most important part of a ballot.

We need to come back after the election to talk about any good things that passed.

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Hey granma thanks for writing this essay, and the comments make interesting reading. Thanks all. Here is link to ballotpedia Sonoma County, California ballot measures:

• Cloverdale, California, Measure R, Utility Tax (November 2020)

I snipped out the sixteen other local measures, and all the Yes No verbiage. I like ballotpedia, is there something wrong with it? Ha ha.
This is from calmatters.org about the new and improved "California" "counting" system:
Here’s how California keeps early votes secret until election day

by Lewis Griswold October 26, 2020
Some county registrars lock up equipment and threaten dismissal to protect California’s early votes from being tallied before election day.

The state legislature changed election law this year so election officials could scan ballots as they come in, to deal with an expected crush of ballots well before election day. Officials wanted to be sure the count wouldn’t be slowed by the decision to send each voter a mail ballot because of the pandemic.

Ballots have been coming in at a record pace. As of today, 32 percent of voters already returned their ballots, according to Political Data Inc.’s ballot tracker.
[...]

Oh my gosh, the wet noodle of dismissal. ouchy I don't like the new vote counting schemes, I think the whole show is absurd. oh well shrug
https://www.dominionvoting.com/
...

CENTRAL TABULATION
ImageCast® Centr

WTF? OIC
oh, I see
dncvotecounters.jpg
Central Control
Curses! Foiled again by the backroom cigar smoking cheaters at the DNC. Good luck.

Peace and Love

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After the poll worker confirms your ID, you have to sign a touch screen with some erasure head. Sure doesn't look like my signature. Guess they have AI al go rhythms to thin down the count. And they wouldn't give me a receipt. What kinda Captcha sleuths pretend our votes are being protected? No cameras allowed! Crazy

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