Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For Tuesday I Walk to the Village

New polling place for me. Alas, despite it being a public school, no baked goods. But I did vote today.

Big story this time wasn't how many times I voted, but that I was caught up in the Texas anti-voting dragnet that previously snared gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis (whose amendment saved me today) and Greg Abbott. One affidavit later -- and one story later -- and I was able to vote.

Meanwhile. All that was on my ballot today were Texas constitutional amendments, placed there by the legislature. One of them, about water projects, has had something of a campaign, with both business and environmental interests supporting the measure against Tea Partiers. I did get one robocall about another one (supporting it, from a Democrat in the state legislature), which appears to be a tax giveaway to the aerospace industry.The rest are thoroughly obscure.

So nine touches on the computer screen. This was my third election day this year, and the third of the two- and four-year electoral cycles. It makes a total of 12 votes cast in those three days. The last set (mayor and city council, and then a city council run-off) were relatively easy, although made harder because they were non-partisan. Today's...not so much. For seven of the nine measures, there were no campaigns at all as far as I know; I do remember one newspaper story that listed all nine, and one focused on one of the seven obscure ones, and the local paper did an editorial endorsing all nine, but outside of that a voter really wanting to know what they were about would have had to seek out information. And I suspect it wasn't readily available. The biggest cue was just that they were all put there by the Texas legislature, so one could vote on the basis of one's opinions of the legislature, but that's a pretty weak cue.

Since these are 50/50 votes, there's no chance for runoffs. As far as I know that's it for the year, and the next election day will be in the spring for 2014 primaries; however, there's always a chance that there will be some school board or other special district election along the way. And the normal reminder: in many democracies, it takes years to have three different election days, and years -- maybe even decades -- to case 12 votes.


  1. I heard that another person caught in the dragnet was Jim Wright, the former speaker of the House. Being about 90 years old, he had allowed his driver's license to expire, so I guess he could only prove that he used to be Jim Wright. Boy, once that license expires, you could be anybody.

  2. I believe California requires information be distributed on ballot questions by the state. There are always so many, sometimes several purporting to do the same thing but with arcane differences.. California also allows advocates to sign on for or against in the sample ballot or whatever it is, so if you can't figure out the content, you can at least vote on the basis of who is for or against it. Unless something has a lot of visible support and explanation that makes sense, I consider the safest vote is no. I would certainly feel that way in Texas, assuming they let me vote.

  3. Too much voting in my view. There's no pointing for people to be voting on things they have no real information on.

    What appalls me is voting for offices that should be non-partisan like judge, da, sheriff. That I do not get at all.

    1. Yeah, things were so much easier when a king just told us what to do, right?

  4. Here in Switzerland, what with electing officials at three levels of government, and voting on people's initiatives at three levels as well, it is unusual for a month to go by without an election of some sort.


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