How I Voted Today

I Voted TodayWell, it is election day here in California, and I suppose I should tell you how I’m voting, because that’s what I do. None of this should be shocking. And it is kind of a boring election. Partly, this is true simply because I think that things are going reasonably well in the state. But going through everything has really made me realize that I need to pay more attention to what’s going on in education in this state. There is so much money to be made off educating California’s children, I have real questions about a lot of the people who are swarming around trying to “help” failing schools. Of course, I think the whole school reform movement is a joke anyway and I have radical ideas about education—namely that it shouldn’t be about providing the best labor force for the economy. We are educating citizens, not factory workers, or even worse, grill managers.

Anyway, away we go…

Governor
Jerry Brown—not because I agree with him, but because he’s been a very good manager and he has shown that we need a governor who knows what he’s doing. Politics isn’t a job for amateurs—at least not at this level.
Lieutenant Governor
Eric Korevaar—because he’s a Democrat and he’s not Gavin Newsom. I don’t know, but when I look at Newsom, I see Mitt Romney.
Secretary of State
Derek Cressman—but I can’t remember why. I think I just liked his statement.
Controller
Betty Yee—because she seems to be the only serious Democrat.
Treasurer
John Chiang—he seems to be doing a good job and I’m a Democrat
Attorney General
Kamala Harris—Why break up a good team?
Insurance Commissioner
Dave Jones—I’ve given up on third parties, even though I do have a fondness for those kooks in the Peace and Freedom Party.
US Representative: 5th District
Mike Thompson—because he’s the only Democrat. I don’t have a problem with Thompson, but I do think he is too conservative for the district.
State Senate: 2nd District
Mike McGuire—Because I met him a long time ago and he seemed all right.
State Assembly: 2nd District
Jim Wood—because I have a bad feeling about John Lowry, who may be a perfectly good guy.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tom Torlakson—because I don’t think Lydia Gutierrez is yet up for the job, and Marshall Tuck worries me.
County Supervisor: 4th District
Deb Fudge—because she’s the establishment Democrat, even though it is a non-partisan office.
County Controller
David Sundstrom—because I don’t like Gary Wysocky, who again, may be a perfectly great guy.
District Attorney

Jill Ravitch—because Victoria Shanahan is literally in bed with the Sheriff’s Department (she’s married to a deputy sheriff).
Proposition 41
Yes—I’m always for building homes for the poor.
Proposition 42
Yes—local governments are screwing with citizen rights.

There you go. Not too exciting and some of my reasons are petty. That’s democracy, folks!

If you live in California, you need to vote today. As far as I’m concerned, you owe it to me, just like I owed it to you and every other Californian. Citizenship is a responsibility. Find the time. Vote. However you vote, we as a country and a state are better for it.

Afterword

For the record, I have not yet voted as I write this. It is not even 3 June 2014 yet. But this is how I will vote, and by the time you read it, it will almost certainly be how I did vote.

Update (3 June 2014 8:21 am)

Well, I’ve voted. This was a weird election for me because for some reason, I got a mail-in ballot. I didn’t ask for one and I don’t like them. I like going to the polls—it’s fun. But I found out that you can get a mail-in ballot and still go to the polls. It’s actually a lot easier because there is no transcribing of my choices from the sample ballot. But since I’ve never done it before, it stressed me out. I had dreams about poll workers treating me hostilely. In one of them, she insisted upon weighing me and measuring my height to make sure I was the right person.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “How I Voted Today

  1. Well I voted also, not today but about a week ago by mail. And I voted … differently. Mostly for Republicans, since after all I am a registered Republican, and I think we ought to see Republicans running against Democrats (and P&F candidates and Green Party and Libertarian and other party candidates) in the November election. Granted, in the end, I probably will decide to cast my ballot for Democrats that I ignored today.

    That said, I have to admit I really don’t like the California voting system. (For outsiders, the "primary" election in California isn’t for determining the various party candidates any more. The idea is, you get a list of 2 to 30 candidates off all parties mixed together, vote for your choice, and if no one gets 50% plus of the vote, in November the ballot shows the top two vote gainers. Which might be a Republican and a Democrat, or two Democrats, but isn’t ever going to show a Green Party candidate or a Peace and Freedom candidate or a Libertarian.)

    There’s no bloody point anymore — no especial psychic reward, no upswelling of partisan feeling — in being a Republican or a P&F or an AIP voter in California. And I suspect the effect on Democrats is about the same. Gee, I’m a registered Republican selecting my party’s candidates for state office. And I’m black haired too, and over 60, and isn’t all that just ever so exciting! Well NO, it ain’t.

    The bipartisan ballot takes a lot of savor out of the electoral process, I’m trying to say. And while there are some good aspects of this (to be honest, where I am in the SF East Bay region, there aren’t Republican candidates for many of the available positions), there are some bad ones (being a Republican, I didn’t get campaign literature from any of the Democrats who are going to wind up in those offices, so I can’t really say that I cast an "informed" ballot). And overall, I’d have to say, I just wasn’t wildly enthusiastic about what was going on with the various candidates.

    For better or worse, I think voters in a democracy should take an ACTIVE interest in the process of choosing candiates, and the California system works against that. I think it’s a terrible mistake.

  2. @mike shupp – I totally agree. I think it is wrong that there isn’t a P&F candidate for governor in the general election. I’m not even sure why we moved to this system. And it makes it confusing. There are better systems that we could change to. I don’t see why we don’t have the ability to do something other than first past the post. If we had a better system, I [i]would[/i] vote for P&F and even some libertarian candidates. It is now a mess, and as you indicate, it isn’t as tasty–it isn’t as fun.

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