This is not a political blog (surprise!), and although I'm sure I get political from time to time, Not Merely Living is not generally a forum for political debate. That said, I do believe in encouraging folks (including mostly myself) to be more informed voters. So this year I am going to post some information to help myself and others hopefully get more prepared for the upcoming propositions on the California ballot.
If you're not a California voter, I hope that this post will still serve as a kick in the butt to start early and read your voter guide! I think that this resource: Ballotpedia is a helpful non-partisan place to start to find out about what propositions and candidates are on your state and local ballots. Check it out! Don't wait!
I’m always so bad at preparing to vote. It just sneaks up on me! I end up trying to read through the 60 thick pages of voter guide the night before.
Yes. That’s me. An irresponsible citizen. I can't help it! I get so busy and life get so hectic, and dredging through the voter guide is the last thing I'm craving to do at the end of a long work day or work week. This year I’m trying to get a bit ahead of the game, and I am doing my homework!
Just in case there are a few of you fellow Californians out there that find yourself in a similar situation, follow along as I review the statewide propositions we'll be voting on next month. Since I can’t review all of them and actually grasp their meanings in one sitting, I plan to post these mini-reviews once a week as a part of a four week series called Not Merely Voting. There are eleven propositions, so I’ll cover an average of three a week. I will keep these as non-partisan as I can. My goal is to review the main points of each proposition, and I'll include links to resources where you can find more information. I fully encourage you to check these sources out to round out your opinion of the propositions before you head to vote.
I have attempted to condense and explain these propositions either using my own words or quoted from sources mentioned below. I will not and can not capture all the nuances involved. In fact, I'm trying to boil these down to the simplest kernels possible. Please feel free to leave a comment if you think there are any key points I left out. Also, I’m pulling these together based on reading from several sources, but I am not an expert in these types of things, so if I got something wrong: let a girl know!
Ok. Let's get started! First off, here is the official California Voter Guide for reference. I found the "Analysis" sections under each proposition the most helpful. Second, I know some folks vote straight based on party lines, and if so, you should check out your party's respective endorsements on their websites. That said, I found it fascinating to read through the propositions purely as they were printed in the Voter Guide and to make my own guesses before doing more research and before checking out where the parties stand. It's amazing how sometimes the language of the proposition doesn't really capture the whole picture. You get my drift. Do your homework.
If you would like more information about the impact of a Yes/No vote and which groups are Pro/Con, check out the official California voting guide
Sooooo, I got all excited about this series and studying up on the propositions, and I got through Prop 30 and was feeling great about this project. It's so straightforward! I get it. I'm ready to vote on Prop 30, and then I read Prop 31, and I almost quit. Be forwarned. But I persevered, and you should too in the name of responsible and informed voting:
Here's the link to the chart on the Voter guide in case you're having trouble reading the small print. Check out Ballotpedia's page on this proposition. I found it very helpful in showing me the bigger picture.
Get some more history on this proposition here at Ballotpedia, and read this thourough analysis of all the moving parts on the CA voter guide here. Both of these helped give me the context I needed to wrap my mind around this one.
Do you have more helpful non-partisan sources you're using to prepare for the upcoming election? I'd love to hear about them.
Ok! More to come! I know that these overviews are pretty brief, but I really hope they will at least inspire you to do your own research and get excited about being an informed voter. Check back next Wednesday for more!