Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

I exercised my right to vote earlier today. We here in the U.S. have elections every two years, and I haven't always been good about making it to the off-year elections. But I do make it a point to vote in the Presidential election years - today was my fifth one.

I'll watch the results of this election with great interest. I do hope the vote counting goes far smoother than in 2000!

I read an article about a very interesting possibility involving a electoral college tie and an obscure provision of the 12th Amendment. It's a longshot, but it would make things quite interesting.

There were a few other issues on the ballot, aside from dozens of people seeking elected office.

Initiative 884 is whether or not to raise sales taxes (from 6.5% to 7.5%) to help fund education. Everybody hates taxes, but as Oliver Wendell Holmes said "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society". This inscription is engraved on the building of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, DC. Washington state doesn't have a state income tax, and dang it, money has to come from somewhere. I could rant for a while on how the public gets suckered into funding professional sports stadiums... but that doesn't help education budgets which are already suffering. So I hope this passes.

Initiative 892 is whether to basically allow gambling (slot machines) to spread, to offset property taxes. Yes, I'd like to pay lower property taxes, but funding that from gambling revenues? That just seems bizarre to me, so I voted no. I already dislike the spread of lotteries and gambling we already have. In principal, it is a redistribution of wealth from people who participate, but I still don't like the message behind it.

I couldn't vote on Initiative 83, because I don't live in Seattle anymore. At issue is whether to recall the Seattle Monorail. I hope it fails, because this are really needs to relieve traffic congestion. Besides, we already voted for this in 1997 (initial look), 2000 (collect money), and 2002 (build the first line). People who want to kill it now are basically arguing that a few things have changed (parallel versus single line, financial district station not certain, escaltors may not be at all the stations promised) and those changes have rendered the initial plan moot. It isn't as if they decided to drag people wearing rollerblades along a asphalt track. Maybe there is more to it - I haven't paid that much attention since I moved across Lake Washington.

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