So, after doing my duty as a citizen, I felt compelled to blog the experience. I'm back!
Showed up at my polling location about 5 after 5pm. My polling precinct, Hereford, extends to the border, and so centrally-located means the Palominas Fire Station, about 10 minutes South of home. For all you folks who might feel compelled to complain about parking at your suburban/urban polling place, consider this: *your* long walk wasn't along a 55-mph state highway. (Photos coming as soon as I find my transfer cable for the Blackberry.) Line was entirely outside, which was actually kinda chilly at this point of the year, but that's what jackets are for. I was more irked that the wind was hampering my reading.
I had to vote a provisional ballot, since apparently 4 full months isn't enough time to get me on the rolls. This is the third election in a row when I've moved the summer of the election year, and I've had to vote provisional ballot. This year, I'm going to try to get some information about how this can be happening.
In the post-election venue, I like to state my reasoning for my votes, and so here it goes:
President: McCain. I was originally going to vote Barr, as a "vote of confidence" in a multiparty system, but the most recent polls suggested Obama could theoretically win Arizona, and while I strongly dislike McCain's likely policies, I *loathe* Obama's. I see no good, from a fiscal conservatism perspective, coming from a Democratic sweep of federal government, and Obama is a party man, through and through.
Representative: Paul Davis (Libertarian). Giffords tries to be everything to everyone, and so she votes for all kinds of social program increases and votes against raising taxes, which just doesn't add up. But she hasn't been a truly unbearable representative; she's pro-border-enforcement, anti-amnesty, supports small business incentives, and opposes the cut-and-run mentality that would truly disasterous for us in the long run. I don't know enough about Tim Bee, the Republican, to know whether or not he's the kind of Republican that's driven me out of the party. So, I get to feel good about casting my "vote of confidence" here. (Side note: as of this post, Giffords and Bee are about 300 votes apart, but I still don't feel bad about not voting for either. UPDATE: Giffords just pulled ahead *hard*. Bisbee or a big part of Tucson must have just come in.)
Local elections: I didn't vote for any local offices; I didn't spend nearly enough time looking into candidates to feel confident casting an informed vote. In the past, I would vote Republican in any contest I hadn't researched well enough, but like I said, I can't go party lines anymore. My only excuse is I wasn't prepared for the amount of research needed to do that. Won't happen again.
101 (Ban real estate "sales tax" or "transfer tax") - Yes. My father's a real estate agent, and I'm inclined to trust his assessment how how disastrous a local real estate "transfer tax" would be to homeowners in that area.
102 (Marraige amendment) - Yes. I heed the counsel of the Prophet, and when he says this could have disastrous consequences, I'm inclined to trust that he's a little more experienced than I. Left to my own devices, I would probably vote No for a variety of reasons.
105 ("Majority Rule") - No. Does anyone seriously think requiring a majority of registered voters, not just voting voters, to vote yes is a good system for anything at all?
200, 201,202 - I'm not even going to break these down. All three of these were specifically drafted and marketed to sound like they would do the exact opposite of what they actually do. No on all 3. And I'm wondering what can be done to combat this kind of underhanded sliminess in our electoral process here.
300 (pay raise for state legislators.) - No. If you want more money, try passing a budget on time for once. End of story.
School District Unification - Background for people who don't live here - in the area, we have 3 unified (K-12) school districts around here - Sierra Vista, Bisbee, and Tombstone. Each has one high school. There's also one Elementary district, that doesn't have a corresponding High School district - Palominas. We live in the Palominas Elementary boundaries. Right now, families in the PESD area can elect which of the three high schools to attend. Unification would parse up PESD into the other 3 districts. I voted yes - right now, the hodgepodge system is costing as a lot of unecessary money.
UPDATE: In the time it took me to write this, every major network has called it for Obama. We live in interesting times.