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October 08, 2008

Arizona Ballot 2008 - Part 1

Well, I received my early ballot in the mail last Thursday, so it's time to hammer out the rest of my votes. If you're not in Arizona, feel free to amuse yourself elsewhere.

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.
I'm in Congressional District 4, and Legislative District 16.

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Next up, the rest of the ballot initiatives. Stay tuned!

5 comments:

  1. I was looking for this post earlier by John Scalzi, which pretty much sums up my opinion on gay marriage much more eloquently than I could.

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  2. This was so helpful. Thank you!

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  3. Wow, thank you!! I haven't received my ballot yet, but I trust it is winging its way to me now. I did get the "publicity pack" on the propositions and had trouble making sense of them, as I think everyone does. Your post really helped me understand what these four propositions were about - please keep up the insightful political commentary! :)

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  4. Thanks, Anali. You are always so helpful on the ballot props.

    All of my election junk is on the magazine stand so it can't go anywhere and I know where it is when I need it.

    I sent your blog address to Lisa M. who was wondering who to vote for in the locals. Figured it couldn't hurt.

    Sadly, many of my positions are based soley on the tv. commercials. I.e., hate Andrew Thomas 'cause of the annoying anti-drug ads. And the annoying
    pro-marriage one that is so geared to the Hispanic population and incredibly insulting in so many ways it makes me mad....

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  5. Thanks Anali, great summery. Looking forward to the text installment.

    A friend of mine referred to Prop 102 as "legalized gay bashing". It makes me sick to see all the "Vote Yes on 102" signs in my neighborhood.

    Although, I agree with you on most of the props so far. I do disagree with you on Prop 100. Now most of you maybe asking yourself, who is this yahoo disagreeing with my friend? Well I'm Luther Belk, I've gamed with Chris and Anali in the past. I know Anali to be an Intelligent and well educated person and I respect her opinions. I just happen to disagree with her on this one. That doesn't mean I think she is wrong and I am right. It just means I have a different opinion.

    I've been working on trying to come up with short rebuttal, but I just can't do it. Ultimately it comes down to my belief that taxes are just legalized extortion or theft. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right. Look at slavery in our countries past. It was legal to own a man or woman against his or her will. But that didn't make it right. I posted a longer rebuttal, addressing some of the statements in this post over at my blog.

    Thanks,

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