This morning I voted in the California Special Election. It was a pleasant experience. There was a poll at the school next to my house, so I simply walked over there. I went around 9:30 AM, so there were no lines. This was the first time I had voted at the polls in California since 2000. There were no polls near my old house in Concord, so I had to vote by absentee ballot. I was surprised by the lack of security. What I mean is that all I had to do was give my name and address. I did not have to present any identification to verify who I was. Anyways, once I did that, they gave me a voting card for the touchscreen machines. It was very quick and easy.
So how did I vote? Well let's just say that I felt like I had changed sides and become a Republican. Here's a breakdown:
Prop 73 -- Parental Notification : Yes
I'm generally against any kind of restrictions on abortion, but not in this case. I really think that parents need to be held more responsible for their children, and so they have to be informed.
Prop 74 -- Public School Teachers Tenure : Yes
Tenure gives lots of guarantees to teachers that most workers do not have. My employer can lay me off anytime they want. They don't have to wait for two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations. So why do teachers have extra protection? Unions of course.
Prop 75 -- Union Dues/Political Contributions : Yes
Speaking of unions... Actually this one was a little more difficult for me to decide. On one hand, why are we passing laws to regulate how unions spend their money? Shouldn't we stay out their business? On the other hand, unions get way too much special treatment. People are pretty much forced into joining unions, so at least this gives those people some power back. Of course what we really need is to remove the many laws the grant special protection of unions.
Prop 76 -- State Spending Limits : Yes
Again this one was a little difficult. I don't like the state minimum school funding requirements. However, I don't like the language of this proposition. It seems to embrace but modify Prop 98, when a total rejection is really needed. Of course, there's probably no way the governor could get a repeal of Prop 98, so I guess this is still some progress.
Prop 77 -- Redistricting : Yes
I've been very amused by the number of ads on this proposition. This one is a no-brainer to me.
Prop 78 -- Drugs Discounts : No
What's this, a new government program overseen by the state? Oh, and it's back by big business. Talk about a recipe for corruption and government enforced monopoly...
Prop 79 -- Drug Discounts : No
This one is equally bad as Prop 78, maybe worse because of more management by the government.
Prop 80 -- Electricity Regulation : No
From the ballot description: " Imposes restrictions on electricity customers' abiity to switch from private utilities to other electric providers." That's all I had to read to figure out how to vote on this one!
So there it is. I really do feel like a Republican suddenly. It's very unsettling.