Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I Voted....Finally

I've always liked absentee voting. I used to do it when I was going to school out-of-state while my registration was in Washington State. I figured Washington State needed as many conservative votes as they could get. I signed up for permanent absentee status and my ballots came to me like clock-work. I then lived for several years that didn't have that service. You could get an absentee ballot, but you had to sign up for it for each election. Very inconvenient. Once we started having kids, it made voting even more difficult for me and my wife.

Now I've just moved to California and once again I've signed up for permanent absentee voting. I thought it was for the convenience of not having to go to the voting booth. Little did I know that California voting is a whole different kind of beast!

I first received my voting guide. This voting guide is larger than some small town white pages. In it was a discussion on the 16...Count them...16 propositions. Many states have the proposition and initiative process which allows citizens to create laws and get them passed via the electorate. Apparently, California invented the process and takes it to a whole new level!

But wait, that's not all. The voting guide for San Diego County arrived and in it, the discussion on the 7 county-wide propositions.

Finally, a pamphlet arrived discussing a proposition that was community level with its one proposition.

24 propositions! Let me say that again. 24 propositions! And this is in addition to all of the candidates on the ballots.

It took my wife and I 3 hours per evening over the course of 2 evenings to make decisions on all of these propositions and I have to admit that that didn't even give time to reading all of the material about each issue.

So I was grateful for the fact that I voted absentee just for the simple fact that there is no way I could remember how I would vote on 24 propositions and who knows how many candidates.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think the proposition process is nice. It allows people to take their concerns directly to the people when their representatives refuse to listen to them. Nevertheless, I give the founding fathers credit for coming up with a representative government knowing that a pure democracy would be a total disaster. Sometimes I hear people that claim that, given current technology, that a pure democracy is now possible and that we should work more towards that. Anyone thinking that should vote in a California election and it'd become very clear that a republic is definitely the way to go.