First, you can still request an early ballot here.
Second - naturally, the opinions here are solely my own. I urge you to check out the following sites, review the information, and make your own decisions based on your beliefs on what is best for Arizona.
- AZ Secretary of State site - 2008 Election Information
- Arizona Republic Newspaper Election coverage
- The Arizona Hub on Ballotpedia (a resource useful for other states as well)
- Project Vote Smart You can also plug in your zip code to find your district information.
- A map to determine your Arizona legislative districts - just enter in your address and it will tell you your districts along with links to your U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, and State Senators and Representatives.
There are eight ballot propositions, four of which are amendments to the state constitution. I will focus on these four today. First, I believe that constitutional amendments should be rare and reserved for issues that cannot be resolved otherwise. I also have great suspicion of citizen-initiated constitutional amendments.
- Proposition 100(pdf) the "Protect Our Homes Act"- this is a citizen-initiated amendment which will amend Article IX of the state constitution to prohibit the state from ever imposing a tax on the sale or transfer of property. There is not currently a tax, so this is in effect, a precautionary amendment to prevent a tax ever being imposed. I am voting no on this amendment - I don't believe this is grounds for a constitutional amendment, and I am agreement with the Arizona Education Association, which states: "It is clear that Arizona is too reliant on taxes that do not produce consistent revenue in tough economic times. The current down turn in the economy has caused the state a $2.2 billion deficit, and Arizona does not have a viable solution. PROP 100 will change the constitution of Arizona to protect real estate corporations and developers. Changing our constitution to protect wealthy special interests will cripple our state's ability to support the needs of a growing state. The Arizona Education Association opposes this initiative because it will have long-term damaging effects on public education. A vote in opposition is a step toward a stronger economy and high-quality services, including great public schools and universities, quality transportation, and health care needed in the 21st century knowledge-based economy, and funded by a sound and equitable system of taxation." Check out also the AZ Republic breakdown.
- Proposition 101 "the Freedom to Choose Act" - This amendment would prohibit laws that restrict a person's choice of private health care systems etc. etc. Basically, it's to protect the people from "socialized" health care. Again, I think this is an irrational amendment that would limit future legislation that would, in my opinion, be beneficial. I don't see what's so bad about socializing health care - after all, we've socialized Wall Street. In any case, this will be a no vote for me. Check out the AZ Republic breakdown.
- Proposition 102 - the "Marriage Protection Amendment"- this amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman. I have two points about this: first, I strongly believe that divisive and discriminatory language has absolutely no place in the state constitution. Secondly, while I am a strong supporter of marriage as a social institution and do believe that marriage is threatened in our society (half of all marriages failing for decades is certainly a problem), I do NOT believe that homosexual marriages pose any threat and believe that they are entitled to the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples. My opinions have not changed since I voted no in 2006 for a similar amendment. This is an emphatic NO vote for me. The AZ Republic breakdown.
- Proposition 105 - the "Majority Rules Initiative" - this is the single most idiotic amendment I have ever seen. The amendment would require a majority of ALL registered voters in Arizona to approve any and all ballot measures that would raise state taxes or fees or government spending. We're not talking about a majority of votes, we're talking registered voters. Anyone who doesn't vote counts as an automatic no. I believe that voting is a right, a privilege and a duty, and that if people don't care enough to vote, then they don't have the right to influence the results of the election, especially considering frequent low voter turnouts for non-presidential elections. This is another emphatic NO vote for me. Check out the AZ Republic breakdown.