Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Election Day

Two things stand out as disappointing in my election day experience.

First, and certainly the most important was my lack of good knowledge about the local candidates, the candidates for school board and city council. Sure, I had my vote figured out for the races that were covered by the online news sources, Yahoo! or CNN, but the stuff you get on the internet does not cover local matters. Newspapers are in decline, most of us think that news that is over a few hours old is irrelevant.

There was a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Virginia that would allow the surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces killed in action to pay no real estate taxes as long as they occupied the real estate and did not remarry. The amendment passed. Well, duh!! In a state with 840,000 veterans and a huge military presence. There are actually a couple of pretty good reasons to NOT pass that amendment: 1) the state does not collect real estate taxes, that is a local source of funds, so having the state pass the amendment is like paying for my beer with the neighbor's credit card. 2) Arguing the negative on this would be personal and professional suicide. Sort of like arguing that puppies are not cute. So, no debate. I voted for it!! Don't throw stones.

Second, the turnout. Why do American's take this privilege for granted? It does make a difference. For example, Mark Warner leads Ed Gillespie by about 12,000 votes. If every registered voter in Virginia Beach showed up and voted just like the actual Va Beach voters (about 45% turnout), that lead would be 2,000 right now. It is probably going to a recount, as the margin will likely get more narrow since the absentee ballots are often from older voters who lean Republican and the military (not in favor of the Obama cuts that Warner voted for 97% of the time).

I was not thrilled about showing up at the poll to perform my volunteer duty as an Election Official at 5:00 am and staying (can't leave and come back) until after 8:00 pm, but glad I did it.

Now, see about being better informed for the next election.

No comments:

Post a Comment