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#1 Oct 31 2012 at 6:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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What else is on your ballot that you'll be voting on? Here in Florida we have 12 amendments to the state constitution on the ballot (well, technically 11, as amendment 7 was changed in wording and became amendment 8). Found a pretty good site which talks about the buzz words, gives the text, discusses the history of the topic, and presents the arguments given by both the pro and anti sides. http://collinscenter.org/2012flamendments/home-2/

Main ones that stick in my mind:

-Amendment 1 is pretty much "Say no to the healthcare mandate" amendment. Pretty worthless, as the Supreme Court already ruled the mandate is constitutional at a federal level, so this would likely just lead to a long slog through the Supreme Court again, where the eventual verdict is "We already ruled on this, tough luck." Voting no on that one.

-Amendment 5 gives the legislature more influence on the judicial process, especially the selection of state supreme court justices. I like my powers separated. That said, it sucks that the governor has the power of appointing justices right now, as I don't like the governor of FL's policies. Still, I'd stick with the current situation, so I'm against it.

-Amendment 6 is one of those controversial ones. There were a bunch of signs on the way into work today saying things like "Keep the government out of my ******!" and "Say NO to amendment 6: support a woman's right to privacy!" Supporters of the amendment are arguing it's to keep tax-payer funding away from providing abortions... but that's already the case. What the supporters are NOT saying is that this strips out a provision that allows a woman's right to an abortion to fall under their right to privacy. This means that a woman would no longer be able to argue she has a constitutional right to privacy if, say, an ultrasound bill came around; or that a woman with a legal guardian doesn't have the right to privacy in not informing the guardian of her abortion. Gets a big **** NO from me.

-Amendment 8 is another controversial one. It removes the language that prevents religious institutions from receiving tax payer money. The main topic is about providing tax-payer funds to religious schools; voucher programs could now be used to send students to religious institutions instead of public or secular private ones, which in turn funnels funding away from public schools. The issue is that the constitution does give aid to organizations that promote secular activities, but not to those who promote religious ones. For example, Catholic Charities current receives aid besides the "no aid" provision, because they don't promote Catholicism through their work; they just happen to be Catholic. If removed, funding could go to organizations and schools who proselytize rather than just support. Again, another **** NO from me.


The others are more mixed; generally support housing tax breaks for disabled veterans, their spouses, and the elderly. What do you guys have coming up in your states?
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#2 Oct 31 2012 at 7:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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We just have one state proposition on the ballot:
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Upon approval by the voters, the proposed amendment, which takes effect on January 9, 2013, adds a new section to the General Provisions Article of the Illinois Constitution. The new section would require a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly or the governing body of a unit of local government, school district, or pension or retirement system, in order to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system.

I plan to vote against it because I feel it's a simple legislative matter that should be handled by a simple majority like any other budgetary matter.
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#3 Oct 31 2012 at 7:14 AM Rating: Good
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There are only 2 questions for NJ.

One's to release $750 million to higher education organizations for new research facilities, with 700 of it going to public ones. I'm irritated that this isn't an initiative to lower tuition, but I care enough that I'm still voting yes.

Question 2 is a constitutional amendment to make NJ judges pay for their pensions and benefits. I'm voting no, because while I agree in theory that they should, I DO NOT like how they're amending the constitution. Right now, it's against the NJ constitution forbids lowering the wages of judges during their terms. If the question wasn't an amendment, but was a vote on judges' salaries beginning with the next term, I'd say yes. But I'm not willing to strip that protection and weaken the judiciary in the future. I think it's a decently important check on our government, atm.
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#4 Oct 31 2012 at 9:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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There were about a dozen or so of them on my ballot, some local, some state wide, etc etc. I honestly don't even remember them all, thank goodness for the voters pamphlet and trusty google. In no particular order:

There were two that dealt with legalizing privately owned casinos, which I voted against. I'm fine with the Indian ones here, and don't really want Portland to be the next Las Vegas. I voted for our local library levee. With the two little ones we frequent the library, and the extra cost wasn't terrible. Legalized Marijuana got voted against. I'm not opposed to it in theory, but have reservations about what happens when the states around us have it illegal, and we don't. Seems like a magnet for problems, IMO.

Finally the big one, amending the constitution to update some of the 150 year old language in it. Things like having masculine title for female representatives and the like. Not a lot of money being sunk into that campaign... Smiley: rolleyes

The others I probably couldn't tell you. Smiley: lol
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#5 Oct 31 2012 at 1:41 PM Rating: Excellent
In Mass we get:

1- Right to Repair: It gives independent shops access to the same info as the dealers so people can get their cars fixed anywhere. Or a power grab by parts manufacturers if you oppose it. I'll vote yes.

2- Doctor Assisted Suicide. Plan to vote yes.

3- Medical Marijuana. Can I get a "****, yes?"
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#6 Oct 31 2012 at 2:02 PM Rating: Good
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Question 1 reads "Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-*** couples?" Maine legalized SSM back a few years ago, but the ruling was appealed by a peoples petition.

We have 4 bond questions - money for public water/sewers, roads, university systems, technology.

We have a US Senate race - Angus King (I) will win. The RNC quit dumping money into anti-King adds a couple weeks ago as they realized it was being wasted.

We have a democratic incumbent running in our congressional district. I don't think his seat is threatened at all.
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#7 Oct 31 2012 at 4:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Georgia has two.

1: Should the state be allowed to set up charter schools even if the local school boards say they don't want them? Anyone in the education industry says @#%^ no, but it has strong backing from the religious right. Opponents are framing this as an attack on the rights of local communities to self-govern, because the state appointed committee also has the right to outsource these newly created charter schools to private companies and siphon that money away from the local school boards against their wishes. Proponents are framing it as forcing reluctant communities to offer more choices.

2: Should the state be allowed to enter multi-year rental contracts? Currently any real estate transaction pursued by the state is required to have leases renewed on a yearly basis. The state wants the right to enter 100 year rental contracts with sweetheart deals, while local communities want the state to re-negotiate on a regular basis to reflect current property values. This one is not as widely despised by informed citizens as #1, but I voted no on it anyway because it came from the same committee as the first one did, and the driving force behind it is grabbing cheap real estate for those state-created charter schools.

Edit: Also, we are represented by Paul Broun, and there is a write-in campaign for Charles Darwin as a tongue-in-cheek protest against his comments regarding evolution and biology.

Edited, Oct 31st 2012 6:11pm by catwho
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#8 Oct 31 2012 at 4:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wouldn't voting for his actual opponent make for a better protest?
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#9 Oct 31 2012 at 4:37 PM Rating: Good
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In addition to the state initiative Joph mentioned above, us City of Chicago residents also have the chance to approve city-wide electricity aggregation, which would allow the city to go directly to the open market to select the lowest-cost electricity provider. The local utility will still own transmission, delivery and billing (and make their state-approved vig), but the supply of electricity would go to the lowest bidder, lowering rates marginally for all customers who don't opt out.

I plan to vote in favor since it would result in lower rates for me, with almost no impact on the revenue of the utility (which is a subsidiary of the company that I work for).
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#10 Oct 31 2012 at 4:41 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Wouldn't voting for his actual opponent make for a better protest?
I think there is no opponent from Democratic side at all if the few bits and pieces I've heard of it are correct/I remember right.
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#11 Oct 31 2012 at 5:13 PM Rating: Good
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Correct. He is running unopposed.

I also wrote in Marie Curie instead of Regina Quick.
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#12 Oct 31 2012 at 6:31 PM Rating: Decent
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For once, there was absolutely nothing else on my ballot. I think that even the elections where I've voted for a clerk or school district rep, there has always been some question for additional school funding or some other question. 2008 had us voting for whether a corporation was a person. Madison, WI can get to San Fran/Portland levels of liberal crazy at times (and this is from a guy that leans pretty GD far to the left).
#13 Oct 31 2012 at 6:39 PM Rating: Good
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In Texas we elect judges, so that makes up over half the ballot. The only proposition was for my city to change from a council-manager government to a direct election of a mayor, with all powers remaining the same. I voted against.
#14 Oct 31 2012 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
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Michigan has 6 proposals.

Prop 1 has to do with the Governor being able to setup Emergency Managers to replace local governments of bankrupt and failing cities.

Prop 2 has to do with Collective Bargaining rights of public employees.

Prop 3 has to do with putting in a 25% renewable energy mandate into the State Constitution by 2025.

Prop 4 has to do with establishing a home healthcare committee, licensing, etc. And collective bargaining.

Prop 5 has to do with requiring a 2/3 majority vote for any tax increases or modifications from legislation.

Prop 6 has to do with requiring a vote on using funds to build international bridges or tunnels.

I'm ok with Prop 1.
I'm ok with Prop 2.
I'm ok with Prop 3.
I'm ok with Prop 4
I'm not ok with Prop 5.
I'm not ok with Prop 6.
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#15 Oct 31 2012 at 7:10 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Prop 5 has to do with requiring a 2/3 majority vote for any tax increases or modifications from legislation.

Prop 6 has to do with requiring a vote on using funds to build international bridges or tunnels.


How do you do tax legislation now?

And why the **** would there be a problem with international tunnels?
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#16 Oct 31 2012 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Quote:
Prop 5 has to do with requiring a 2/3 majority vote for any tax increases or modifications from legislation.

Prop 6 has to do with requiring a vote on using funds to build international bridges or tunnels.


How do you do tax legislation now?


Pretty sure it just has to pass with a majority vote in the house/senate, not 2/3rds. The proposal is the Tea Party thing to make increases in taxes harder.

Quote:

And why the **** would there be a problem with international tunnels?


The governor wants to build another bridge to Canada. Group of people see it as needless spending. Owners of existing bridge/tunnel don't want the competition. Together they bring this forward to make it harder to use funds to build international bridge/tunnel projects.

Edited, Oct 31st 2012 9:22pm by TirithRR
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#17 Oct 31 2012 at 7:28 PM Rating: Decent
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And why the **** would there be a problem with international tunnels?

Pretty interesting story actually. The primary bridge between Detroit and Canadia is apparently privately owned by some dude. It's worth reading about.
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#18 Oct 31 2012 at 7:30 PM Rating: Good
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Right, needless legislation to make future endeavors more difficult. You know, instead of just challenging this bridge itself. Smiley: lol

People.
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#19Almalieque, Posted: Oct 31 2012 at 8:12 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) That explains everything....
#20 Oct 31 2012 at 8:18 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Georgia has two.

1: Should the state be allowed to set up charter schools even if the local school boards say they don't want them? Anyone in the education industry says @#%^ no, but it has strong backing from the religious right. Opponents are framing this as an attack on the rights of local communities to self-govern, because the state appointed committee also has the right to outsource these newly created charter schools to private companies and siphon that money away from the local school boards against their wishes. Proponents are framing it as forcing reluctant communities to offer more choices.

2: Should the state be allowed to enter multi-year rental contracts? Currently any real estate transaction pursued by the state is required to have leases renewed on a yearly basis. The state wants the right to enter 100 year rental contracts with sweetheart deals, while local communities want the state to re-negotiate on a regular basis to reflect current property values. This one is not as widely despised by informed citizens as #1, but I voted no on it anyway because it came from the same committee as the first one did, and the driving force behind it is grabbing cheap real estate for those state-created charter schools.

Edit: Also, we are represented by Paul Broun, and there is a write-in campaign for Charles Darwin as a tongue-in-cheek protest against his comments regarding evolution and biology.

Edited, Oct 31st 2012 6:11pm by catwho
You'd think they could of come up with a number somewhat less than 100 but still more than 1 for years to hold a contract.
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#21 Oct 31 2012 at 8:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
You'd think they could of come up with a number somewhat less than 100 but still more than 1 for years to hold a contract.

Chicago leased one of its tollways to a Spanish/Australian firm for $2 billion for 99 years. And its parking meters to another private partnership for $1 billion for 75 years. 75 and 99 are between 1 and 100. And it's working out great, trust me!

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#22 Oct 31 2012 at 9:28 PM Rating: Good
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The only local issue I'm aware of is we're voting yet again for making pot shops legal. We just made them illegal last year, which I'm convinced it was due to the questionable wording of the proposal. Regardless, this one is a little better organized than the first one that passed. It's to make these shops legal and regulate them similar to the way liquor stores are regulated... which is what I was saying all along. But I guess it remains to be seen as to whether it passes or not.

I haven't voted yet, I had signed up for a mail in ballot when I bought the new place and moved, but I haven't gotten it. I guess if I don't get it by election day I'll just have to muscle my way through the crowd with the rest of the heathens.
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#23 Oct 31 2012 at 11:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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The governor wants to build another bridge to Canada. Group of people see it as needless spending. Owners of existing bridge/tunnel don't want the competition. Together they bring this forward to make it harder to use funds to build international bridge/tunnel projects.
Actually Canada has already agreed to cover the full cost and any overages that might happen. there is literally zero cost to the state. From what I understand, it's pretty much all the owners of the current bridge.

My knowledge of this is passing, as I'm not from the area.

Edited, Nov 1st 2012 12:06am by Xsarus
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#24 Nov 01 2012 at 7:54 AM Rating: Good
Alma wrote:
That explains everything....


You're really surprised a social liberal is ok with legalized medical marijuana. Really?

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#25 Nov 01 2012 at 7:57 AM Rating: Good
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
The governor wants to build another bridge to Canada. Group of people see it as needless spending. Owners of existing bridge/tunnel don't want the competition. Together they bring this forward to make it harder to use funds to build international bridge/tunnel projects.
Actually Canada has already agreed to cover the full cost and any overages that might happen. there is literally zero cost to the state. From what I understand, it's pretty much all the owners of the current bridge.

My knowledge of this is passing, as I'm not from the area.

Edited, Nov 1st 2012 12:06am by Xsarus


Pretty much true, the owners of the current bridge are lobbying hard to keep the monopoly.
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#26 Nov 01 2012 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
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Omegavegeta wrote:
Alma wrote:
That explains everything....


You're really surprised a social liberal is ok with legalized medical marijuana. Really?


Seems backwards.

A social liberal should be pushing for greater regulation of a substance that can cause degradation of perceived healthy societal norms where as the conservative republican would be pushing for less government oversight of this naturally grown consumer product.




Edited, Nov 1st 2012 4:05pm by Elinda
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