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Ballot questions that should / shouldn't be ballot questions


poppy
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My state is about to legalize marijuana.   Polls indicate it's likely to pass on election day by popular vote.  13 states are voting on legalization today.

This seems like a reasonable ballot question to me.   The line of what drugs are legal or not has always been fuzzy.   The potential costs, and benefits (tax revenue), are pretty clear.

 

My state is also voting on legalizing charter school expansion. 

THIS to me is way too complex a question to decide by popular vote , since the funding model is crazy complex. 

Can we add more schools without more money, by shuffling money from an existing school to a new one, based on a per-pupil expense, with extra money going to some schools based on specific criteria, not including federal support for federalally mandated special needs support etc etc etc. 

 

My state is also about to vote to forbid  factory farmed eggs and veal and pork which blows me away .  Probably should have gone through legislature but I don't care cause I'm so pleased!

 

What's the questionable ballot measure in your state?

 

Let's not get too bogged down in the rights or wrongs--- I'm more asking, should the questions really be determined by popular vote ??

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My state had three proposals to amend the state constitution. There were some local bond issues too.

 

I wish there was more coverage of those issues locally to make it easy to educate myself on those questions ahead.

 

Once I recall some state measures being on the ballot and prior they mailed everyone out information about those issues.  That was helpful.  There wasn't much coverage of the stuff in the news, but yep they did mail out the information.

 

Only dumb thing was the measures were so specific that in most cases I didn't have much of an opinion about them.  Stuff that might affect people in a very limited and specific area.  Which I'm sure those issues were important to those people, but I thought why would my vote matter about those issues? 

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I actually do think the charter school expansion should go to popular vote--because I want decisions about education as much in parents' hands as possible. I assume the funding model is based on working models in other states.

 

We don't have much on the ballot here, a couple of constitutional amendments that seem to do with technical wording.

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I actually do think the charter school expansion should go to popular vote--because I want decisions about education as much in parents' hands as possible. I assume the funding model is based on working models in other states.

 

We don't have much on the ballot here, a couple of constitutional amendments that seem to do with technical wording.

 

But, if you assume the funding will work out just fine, why would anyone be opposed to giving choices? It'd be a no brainer.

As it stands it's a very close vote.  50/50.

 

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But, if you assume the funding will work out just fine, why would anyone be opposed to giving choices? It'd be a no brainer.

As it stands it's a very close vote.  50/50.

 

 

I think the teacher's union (very powerful) and the districts would be very opposed to it.  More funding elsewhere means less funding for them. 

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My only ballot measure is should we be a state.

 

I'm voting yes. It seems rather obvious.

 

And then nothing will happen. That's also obvious. So I guess this meets the simple enough for the ballot measures rule.

 

My first thought was WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT!?  LOL

 

Duh...At first I forgot where you live.

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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My state always has many measures on the ballot. Over the last few years, I've come to believe that unless a measure is required in order to amend the constitution, it should not be on the ballot. In general, I don't think people are well enough informed for laws, especially complex ones, to be made through direct democracy. As one example, the property tax system is my state is a mess due to reform by ballot measures. We elect representatives for a reason, and they need to do their jobs.

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I think the teacher's union (very powerful) and the districts would be very opposed to it.  More funding elsewhere means less funding for them. 

 

The folks funding the charter measure are very wealthy.  Powerful vs powerful as usual.

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My only ballot measure is should we be a state.

 

I'm voting yes. It seems rather obvious.

 

And then nothing will happen. That's also obvious. So I guess this meets the simple enough for the ballot measures rule.

 

Puerto Rico? Does PR even vote on 11/8? I know  so little about this world.

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My only ballot measure is should we be a state.

 

I'm voting yes. It seems rather obvious.

 

And then nothing will happen. That's also obvious. So I guess this meets the simple enough for the ballot measures rule.

I wish they would make that a ballot measure in other places. I'd definitely vote for DC statehood. The situation you have is ridiculous for the residents of DC.

 

I suspect this is too political for the forum.

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We have two local measures about our fire department.  One is mandating 5 firefighters on staff at all times.  I thought that was a dumb issue for the ballot.  The other was tripling the tax levy for the fire department.  While that is a valid voting issue, I don't understand how they think people are going to vote "yes" for such an increase.  I guess we'll see.

 

One measure was whether people circulating a petition in our town should have to be residents of our town.  I didn't vote on that one, because I found I don't really care one way or the other.

 

Another thing I always find stupid is the pages of unopposed candidates for positions (usually state/local judges).  I don't vote if someone is unopposed.  I guess they probably have to put it on there though.

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I wish they would make that a ballot measure in other places. I'd definitely vote for DC statehood. The situation you have is ridiculous for the residents of DC.

 

I suspect this is too political for the forum.

Is it such a controversial thing?

 

I don't actually know anyone who argues against it. People who are ignorant that it is even an issue yes, but I've never talked to someone familiar with the issue but adamantly opposed.

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Once I recall some state measures being on the ballot and prior they mailed everyone out information about those issues. That was helpful. There wasn't much coverage of the stuff in the news, but yep they did mail out the information.

 

Only dumb thing was the measures were so specific that in most cases I didn't have much of an opinion about them. Stuff that might affect people in a very limited and specific area. Which I'm sure those issues were important to those people, but I thought why would my vote matter about those issues?

Perhaps your vote would matter because some of your tax dollars would be used to fund the measure in question, if approved.

 

We have some measures on the ballot and for once, there is clear ballot language in the issue. I hate it when an issue is written in such a way that by selecting yes I'm actually voting no...kwim?

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Except for the presidential election and one congressional seat, every other person on our ballot is unopposed.

 

We have one ballot measure locally, as to whether it takes both the mayor and city council approval to fire the city attorney.

 

Now, I remember last year at this time, when the hottest thing on the ballot was whether to allow grocery stores to sell wine.

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My state had three proposals to amend the state constitution. There were some local bond issues too.

 

I wish there was more coverage of those issues locally to make it easy to educate myself on those questions ahead.

This. I just got back from voting and there were 3 proposals that I didn't know about. And I had taken the time to research. Boo! I ended up leaving them blank cause I didn't feel I knew enough to vote. We had a lot of things to vote on this year. Possibly I just missed the page that had those three. Ugh.

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We had a ton of stupid ballot measures, but the one that I found the most stupid was regarding a certain "requirement" that had to be added when making p0rn films. I'm looking at that and I'm like, "really? I need to vote on this? I don't even want to think about this and you want me to vote on this"

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We have some hotly contested county commissioner races, along with some hot senate/rep races. The interesting ballot question we have is should it be harder to put random stuff in the state constitution. I think it should b harder. Really, bear baiting is a constitutional issue (that was one from years ago)? We also have an assisted suicide question, tobacco tax, primaries, minimum wage, and single payer health system questions.

 

I take comfort knowing I raised more voters than some of my crazy relatives. :lol:

 

I wish my youngest could have voted this go-round, but she's just a few weeks too young.

My oldest was complaining that she will be 17 for the next presidential election and will have to wait 4 more years for one she can vote in :)

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We had a ballot amendment regarding solar power.  I did not research this one and went by what it said    I thought I was voting the green/good choice.  Sadly, I was wrong and the amendment was backed by the power companies and worded to appear that way.  It was challenged at the Florida Supreme Court, but lost.  :(   I feel duped and angry. 

 

http://www.upressonline.com/2016/11/column-amendment-1-misleads-florida-voters-into-limiting-solar-power-growth/

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Is it such a controversial thing?

 

I don't actually know anyone who argues against it. People who are ignorant that it is even an issue yes, but I've never talked to someone familiar with the issue but adamantly opposed.

 

It isn't among most intelligent, informed lay people. But most people are either just ignorant of it, or they are misinformed or believe some misguided thing about how the Framers wanted us to not have the right to vote (not true - letters and writings from the time clearly indicate they realized it was an oversight that they intended to remedy but never got around to). Or they're not lay people, they're politicians, and because it's nearly a guarantee that the city would vote for one particular party, that would mean two senators and one congresswoman (Eleanor!) from a particular party, so the members of the other party tend to block all efforts - sometimes very strenuously - of any increased representation for DC, usually by saying we can't argue with the wisdom of the Constitution on this. Stupid Madison - they were going to fix it but they were busy with other stuff and the people of DC kept voting in Virginia and Maryland so it didn't seem pressing.

 

I would *love* for it to be on the ballot elsewhere. Or just for an amendment with our representation to be added - it's how we could potentially get one, though the states. It's not happening though. For the most part, no one cares but us, the disenfranchised.

 

The ballot measure was on the back of the ballot. I almost forgot to flip mine over... I'm thinking it's not going to get a lot of votes because of that. Sigh.

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Our state is voting on whether they should allow stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.  Are there other states that don't currently allow alcohol sales on Sundays?

 

Wow. I remember visiting a friend in Philly where they had Blue Laws...but this was 30+ years ago. I thought surely that had all gone away.

 

I seem to remember the county where they make Jack Daniels being a dry county, though....but it's not a State-wide thing and not a Sunday thing.

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We had a ballot amendment regarding solar power. I did not research this one and went by what it said I thought I was voting the green/good choice. Sadly, I was wrong and the amendment was backed by the power companies and worded to appear that way. It was challenged at the Florida Supreme Court, but lost. :( I feel duped and angry.

 

http://www.upressonline.com/2016/11/column-amendment-1-misleads-florida-voters-into-limiting-solar-power-growth/

Something similar to that happened to me one time. I thought I was voting one way but turned out the wording was just confusing. That's why I no longer vote on anything that I haven't researched before. Sad that things aren't just written plainly and clearly.

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We have to vote on amendments to the state constitution which I think should be voted for/against as laws at the congressional area not in the state constitution.  Minimum wage hikes - if we put it in the constitution, isn't that going to have to be amended in a few years again anyway?  Also, tax on cigarettes.  Shouldn't that just be a law?  It seems like if you put stuff like that in the constitution, it becomes a lot harder to get rid of it or change it.  In my previous state, those things were made into laws by the people we voted for.  We had a whole slew of stuff like that -

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We had a ton of stupid ballot measures, but the one that I found the most stupid was regarding a certain "requirement" that had to be added when making p0rn films. I'm looking at that and I'm like, "really? I need to vote on this? I don't even want to think about this and you want me to vote on this"

 

I couldn't believe that was on the ballot either. 

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But, if you assume the funding will work out just fine, why would anyone be opposed to giving choices? It'd be a no brainer.

As it stands it's a very close vote.  50/50.

 

 

 

I just have a quick minute but want to reply.  

 

Once we get past the money issues, there seems to be two main problems with charter schools: 

 

lack of quality -- Detroit schools are an example of poorly performing charters for a variety of reasons

 

cherry picking students -- We had a discussion several months back about the chain of charter schools in NYC which were "encouraging" their lower performing students to leave their schools.   

 

I'm deliberating not including the effects of charter schools on the public school systems since it's such a complicated issue with many sides to it.   

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We had a ballot amendment regarding solar power.  I did not research this one and went by what it said    I thought I was voting the green/good choice.  Sadly, I was wrong and the amendment was backed by the power companies and worded to appear that way.  It was challenged at the Florida Supreme Court, but lost.  :(   I feel duped and angry. 

 

http://www.upressonline.com/2016/11/column-amendment-1-misleads-florida-voters-into-limiting-solar-power-growth/

 

I've had that happen before.  Now I won't vote at all on an issue if I haven't heard about the measure before the vote and had a chance to hear both sides.  Sometimes I leave 90% of my ballot blank rather than vote based on twisted language.

 

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Our state is voting on whether they should allow stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.  Are there other states that don't currently allow alcohol sales on Sundays?

 

In our state, the default is no Sunday sales.  We have to vote locally to allow it.

 

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Regarding DC on everyone's ballot: I wouldn't vote on such a measure, because I believe it should be up to the people directly affected by it. I wouldn't know if there were both pros and cons from a local perspective.

Biggest problem with that is the citizens of DC don't have the power to make the decision--it requires a constitutional amendment. They can vote saying they want to be a state, but it doesn't actually change anything.

 

But truthfully adding a new state to the country DOES affect everyone--as someone pointed out upthread, it would add two new senators and a new congressperson. Which of course is why people who want to maintain the status quo are opposed.

 

Taxation without representation anyone?

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My only (totally frivolous and ridiculous) objection is: What about the flag? Where does the star go?

 

I know.

I think last time this came up I objected that we'd have to change the "Fifty Nifty United States" song...

 

Of course, there's also the problem of a name...(do DC residents have opinions on that? I'd be interested to hear the suggestions. Given that Columbus has fallen from grace I'm thinking "Columbia" might not go over that well as the name of a new state?)

Edited by maize
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Why not just give DC a senator (or 2) and a rep (or however many their population justifies)?  Or let them vote with one or more of the adjoining states on those?

 

They do get electors for prez.

Edited by SKL
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I could understand not making it a state, as it would not have equal standing with the other states.  But they should have representation in Congress.

 

But why couldn't it have equal standing if it were made a state?

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Why not just give DC a senator (or 2) and a rep (or however many their population justifies)? Or let them vote with one or more of the adjoining states on those?

 

They do get electors for prez.

Those options would also require constitutional amendments.

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We had 3 advisory ballot measures regarding rolling the township government into the city government to reduce costs and eliminate duplication of effort and expense.  We had a measure proposing amending the state constitution to forbid using any taxes for fees collected for transportation to be used by anything but transportation.  It was sold as a way to improve our roads without increasing taxes, which sounded good.  But, reading the fine print, it really handcuffs the legislature in ways that are unfair to many other fiscal needs.  We don't have anything protecting other expenditures that are vital to survival for some people.  (I think hubby and I split the vote on this one but he is a transportation engineer and is tired of seeing funds that were promised for infrastructure get siphoned off to fund other spending.) 

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