There’s an election coming up, and I have no idea how I am going to vote.

            Sure, I know I’m voting for Obama, but that is just the start of my civic duty.  See, I live in California, where they take the democratic process very, very seriously.  In every other state I have lived in, it has been up to the legislature to legislate.  Here, apparently the electorate does its fair share of making decisions.

            We have these things called Propositions.  Not one or two, like Massachusetts or Pennsylvania.  We have twelve.  Twelve propositions.  I am supposed to get educated on twelve ballot initiatives.

            Fortunately, the state kindly puts out a handy little booklet with all of the propositions, the pro and con arguments for each, plus a bonus section alluringly titled “An Overview of State Bond Debt.”  All I have to do is read all 143 pages prior to Election Day.

            I have been working on it, and so far what I can tell you is that the crazies have been mighty busy here in California.  We’ve got it all: a parental notification proposition, a proposition to send more minors to adult prison, and the one I like to call the Chicken Proposition.  Don’t ask.

              Of course, my favorite is Proposition 8.  I like that one because at least I know how I am going to vote on it.  I still think it is stupid that I, a straight woman, am voting on whether two men or two women can get married to one another.  Doesn’t seem like my business.  But, it’s on there, so obviously there are folks who think that other people’s love lives are up for discussion.

            I am starting to get nostalgic for Pennsylvania.  Sure, it snows a lot, but there are no wildfires, no earthquakes, and one lone Sewer Bond Measure on the ballot. 

            Oh, and did I mention that the city has a few Propositions, too?

15 responses to “Propositioned

  1. Yikes. Good luck. You can always use the long lines to catch up on the reading. 8 hours by last count here in my Southern state!

  2. I am kinda glad I don’t have so much to read this time through. And the ones here are so obvious.

    Parental Notification of what? And seriously I am now very curious. The chicken one? Do tell.

    All I’ll say about 8 is that seriously I’ll be pissed it it passes. Because I’m going to be a bridesmaid in my sis-in-laws wedding next summer.

  3. Yeah. I asked my sister-in-law about the Prop 8 thing, and she told me that she was planning to abstain from voting on any propositions because there were too damned many of them. She lives in SF – between the State and the City, she said got two telephone books worth of proposition material. She will however vote for Obama.

  4. that crazy Arnold. I thought he would straighten your shit out.

  5. Yeah!…holy crap there are so many propositions! And, especially given that this is the first time I’m voting (go Obama for bringing getting my jaded self to the voting booth) it’s that much more daunting. I’m totally writing up a cheat sheet to bring along so I don’t get overwhelmed and confused at the last minute.

  6. You know, even me out here in Illinois am getting a whole avalanch of forward emails and desperate voting pleas regarding a few of your Propositions! I keep wanting to reply saying “as a resident of ILLINOIS I am not eligible to vote in California…

    I lived in Switzerlad for a year where all sorts of things like this are sent to people house throughout the year for the head of household to vote on. Bizarre.

  7. Ooooh, I just re-read that. I’m so sorry for the horrible grammatical errors I made….

  8. I really miss california. Except during an election.

  9. Back when we lived in LA, we thought that it would be most time-effective to divide the proposition research work, so we held a proposition party one year. Each person was assigned a proposition to report on, giving pros and cons. That year we also had something like 12 propositions.

    Of course, given our different careers, we had two different types of people at our party– policy analysts and comedy writers. (Each group was somewhat intimidated by the other). It was great fun and an informative evening.

    We had our share of crazy propositions– I think that was the year that there was one on the books about banning horse meat for human consumption. And we also had a similar to Prop 8 mean-spirited one. Sigh. Anyway, sharing the civic workload was definitely fun.

  10. I spent my first 27 years or so in California, and oh how I remember the endless Propositions.

    And yet even over here, I know about Prop 8 and I seriously hope the narrow minded bigots lose on this one. You’d think they’d like the fact that more people want to commit to each other and get married!

  11. Voting is like a full time job here in CA. I no longer sign petitions for new propositions. I get tired of enabling these groups. And I hear you.

  12. Cali is nutty this year. I can’t even believe that that bullshit 8 is on the ballot.

  13. Few propositions, yes. With that, though, comes fewer rights. I actually can’t wait to vote so that I can voice that I don’t care who some stranger wants to marry. I hate that same sex marriages are not recognized here.

  14. Wow. Good luck figuring it all out!

    I voted the very day early voting opened here, so as to get it over with. I’ve put it behind me now. And it is a relief!

  15. you know what I miss about CA, though? those hand guides sent by the state that list EVERYTHING you’re voting on and include a pro and con argument. we could use something here.

    i also miss only voting twice a year. LA seems to hold elections once a month. it’s like “again??! what now?”