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Arizona Voting - November 7th, 2006 - neb i wrando
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studiogaijin
studiogaijin
Arizona Voting - November 7th, 2006

Information for all US voters and people interested in our government:

Two years ago when I had questions about whether or not the elections were conducted fairly, I was pointed to some seemingly convincing articles saying that there were no problems. Considering everything that I've heard since then though, particularly on the issue of the ease of falsifying election results with these pathetic voting machines, I still have serious doubts about whether or not everything was accurate.

I haven't watched it yet, but once I finish this post I'm going to watch HBO's Hacking Democracy special which is now available for free on Google Video. You may want to watch it, and then watch your local election processes.

Although it (coincidentally?) won't be played here until November 8th (the day after the elections), the documentary Iraq For Sale is something else you might want to see. I haven't seen it yet, but from what I've heard about it, it reveals even more about the war profiteering that has gone on than I already knew about.

The shameless no-bid contracts granted to certain companies for huge amounts of money and their extreme inflation of prices charged back to our government is criminal, and if we replace enough Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate then I hope that they will finally do the right thing and at least reign these people in. They really should investigate and punish the people involved on both the government and corporate sides.

I hope that those investigations would also extend to the companies who have been paid to do things which would be illegal for our military to do, such as torture for example, or have been paid five times the amount our military personnel are paid just to do the same jobs.

The next part is specifically for Arizona voters:

In case you don't have time to research all of the Propositions or you're confused by the ads, here is a list of what I hope we can pass and what I want to fail. It is divided into the ones I feel strongly about, and the ones that I'm not quite sure about either or have mixed feelings on.

Strongly support or oppose:

  • 107 - No
      This would amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, and it would prevent us from ever having any legal status similar to marriage (such as "civil unions" and "domestic partnerships"). This would also affect unmarried heterosexual couples who currently get benefits such as health care through their partners.
  • 201 - Yes
      If you want to stop smoking in public places, this is probably the one you want. It should make the whole state like certain cities such as Tempe and Mesa are right now, which in my experience is much nicer for non-smokers. Unfortunately smokers can still ruin the outdoor dining experience, but I guess at least they have somewhere to go if they can't put down their cigarettes for an hour at a time. This is the one that's supported by health organizations and other people who actually care about us.
  • 206 - No
      RJ Reynolds wants you to think this is the "smoking ban" to vote for, but this one actually *reduces restrictions* in cities that have already passed bans on smoking in public places by specifically preempting their laws. 206 sounds reasonable to some extent, but there is no enforcement mechanism built into it, and it would most likely end up badly enforced or not enforced at all. If you don't want smoking in bars, then you don't want this one either because it still allows smoking in bars and other places.
  • 202 - Yes
      Since the federal government refuses to raise the minimum wage, it's our responsibility to help pull full time minimum wage workers up out of poverty. Businesses whine about this and claim that it will hurt us all, but 23 states have already individually raised the minimum wage, and they are all doing *better* economically, not worse. There is also an exemption for small businesses that really may not be able to afford it, so there really is no down side.
  • 204 - Yes
      They say it's "Hogwash!" on their posters, but they just don't want to wash their hogs, or even let them move. The posters didn't say anything else because they didn't want to give us any idea what they were really talking about though, because if they did I don't think many reasonable people would vote against the proposition. Although this does address problems with industries not currently operating in Arizona, it also addresses problems with the factory farm already here. At this point only one large hog farm in northern Arizona would be affected, and even if I believed their feeble protestations that they couldn't afford to be half way humane to their animals, I wouldn't mind seeing them go down in flames. This law does not require anything extraordinary, it simply requires the most basic beginnings of reasonable treatment for animals, and it's not only better for them, it's better for the people who are currently eating the overly-anti-biotic-filled meat caused by the constant drugs needed to keep animals alive under these conditions.
  • 102 - No
      This bill would deny punitive damages to undocumented immigrants. If someone here (legally or not) is injured in a way that would allow them to receive these kinds of awards in court, I believe that it's wrong to deny the court the ability to grant them. I also think that this is just a first step toward removing the ability of any person to receive punitive damage awards in the future, and I would like to see it stopped now.
  • 207 - No
      The surface of this, what the proponents want you to vote on, is fixing problems with Eminent Domain. I would support that, but I believe that this bill is hiding other less desirable things. If we reject this proposition, the state legislature will be considering another (probably better) bill next year, and I think we should wait for that.
  • 205 - Yes
      If we pass 205, all registered voters will be automatically sent ballots in the mail. There will still be some (but a lot less) places open if you want to go and vote in person or if you have problems. It would be a lot easier and would get me to vote in more of the smaller elections that I often miss, and if you're worried about fraud or anything, I think this is still much safer than the electronic voting machines available right now.

Support or oppose:

  • 300 - No
      Proposition 300 would deny certain public services to undocumented immigrants, including their children who are born in the United States and are citizens. I am torn on this one because I believe that if someone here is employing these people they should be paying them enough so that they don't need public assistance, or the country of origin should be helping its own citizens, but I think this proposition steps over the line when it denies assistance to US citizens because of who their parents are.
  • 103 - No
      I don't think we really need to make English Arizona's official language any more than it already is, and I would expect it to cause more problems than it would solve. Is there anything it would really solve?
  • 100 - No
      Change the constitution to deny bail to all illegal immigrants arrested on felony charges. Judges already have discretion to deny bail to anyone they feel they need to deny bail to. I don't usually like to remove the ability of judges to make what they believe is the appropriate decision for each case, and the fact that it requires a constitutional amendment means that there are probably other issues I'm not seeing right now which would go against what we believe in.
  • 200 - No
      Proposition 200 would award a random voter $1m from unpaid lottery winnings. It sounds nice if you're thinking about maybe winning the $1m, but it basically amounts to paying people to vote, and not only is that against state and federal laws, it would also encourage people who are uninformed or who just don't care to come out and make bad decisions for our state.
  • 203 - Yes
      An early childhood development program paid for by tobacco tax sounds unfair to smokers, and I suppose it's not really fair, but I detest cigarettes (and cigars) both for their effects on non-smokers and for their addictive and destructive qualities. I think that we need to do as much as we can to deter young people from starting smoking, so although it will affect some people who I may not specifically want to penalize, I'll live with it. If this affects you negatively, maybe it's time to start rolling your own?
  • 301 - No
      I don't believe in mandatory jail sentences for personal drug use convictions, and this would require them for first time meth users. I really hope that anyone who starts using this stuff will get help, and they can already be required to get help to stay out of jail, but requiring jail sentences for first time non-violent users will only increase the needless overcrowding of jails and will not give added benefits to either the meth user or the public.
  • 302 - Yes
      Raise state lawmakers' salaries from $24,000 per year to $36,000 per year. I guess it's good that they can't raise their own salaries like the US Senate and House of Representatives can (their salaries are $165,000 a year and up), but if they can't do it then we have to at least give them a reasonable wage for their jobs, and $36,000 is definitely not too much.
  • 101 - Yes
      Proposition 101 would reset a property tax cap that's been in place since 1980, going up 2% per year, to the levels the actual taxes were at in 2005, and again increase the cap by 2% per year. It does seem to be penalizing the cities that have kept taxes low, but there also appears to be little opposition to it and resetting the cap will prevent extreme spikes in property taxes, so there's probably more of a good than bad side here.
  • 104 - Yes
      This moves public services such as police and fire stations into a higher debt limit bracket. I don't completely understand it, but although it initially sounded like something bad, it supposedly would not create more debt but would allow us to choose to fund important public services sooner than we might currently be able to at the cost of delaying less critical programs.

Still not sure about the last two, but these are my best guesses:

  • 105 - No
      Cash at sale, relatively short term financial benefit.
      Conserves 43,000 acres of land in urban areas, with continued development until January 2009. Allows "protected" land to still be open to mining activities, roads, power lines, fences, etc.
      Continues much of the current grazing access and "right of way" without reviewing whether these are the best options. The power to set aside future lands is in the hands of the legislature and a sole land commissioner, and the decisions reside at the state level instead of local communities near/around the land.
  • 106 - Yes
      Long term, designed to fund the schools & other institutions through the sale of leasing options and limited sales.
      Protects 690,000 acres for conservation, of which 1/3 is a permanent reserve. Half is provisional and can be sold to individuals who agree to conservation. The rest can be used by educational institutions for conservation purposes (research & management).
      Those opposition says it "gives away" too much land, they would rather sell it off at auction than have it be preserved and thus paid for by the state while it's being unused - since public access may be restricted due to conservation efforts.

Thanks to eemfibble for writing up 105 and 106 for me since I was running out of time and this stuff takes a while to do!

"Cheat sheet" summary in numerical order if you agree with all of these:

  • 100 - No
  • 101 - Yes
  • 102 - No
  • 103 - No
  • 104 - Yes
  • 105 - No
  • 106 - Yes
  • 107 - No
  • 200 - No
  • 201 - Yes
  • 202 - Yes
  • 203 - Yes
  • 204 - Yes
  • 205 - Yes
  • 206 - No
  • 207 - No
  • 300 - No
  • 301 - No
  • 302 - Yes

Good luck out there, and please try to vote out rubber stamps like jon kyl and jd hayworth if you can.

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Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Let's Have A War - A Perfect Circle (cover)

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Comments
(Deleted comment)
studiogaijin From: studiogaijin Date: November 7th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
D'oh! They didn't have the signs up to remind me to do that. I hope my votes still count! :(

That was a pain to wade through and write up, and I'll enjoy it more if the republicans lose their majority in the house (and hopefully the Senate too), but yeah, I'm enjoying it more than usual.

I just hope we manage to get a group of slightly less ridiculous clowns in there and that the local propositions go the way I want, and then I'll at least be a bit happier.
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