Referendum #atozchallenge

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

It’s an election year in the United States, meaning about 60% of the eligible voters (and an unspecified percentage of ineligible ones) will be heading to the polls on November 2 to cast a ballot for slate of candidates that starts with the President and Vice President of the United States, maybe a US Senator (or, in our case here in Georgia, two Senators), a US Representative, possibly a Governor, and people to fill various statewide, county, and municipal positions, including judges. At the end of the ballot, there will be a number of "ballot initiatives," i.e. referendums (or, if you took four years of Latin like I almost did, referenda). These are decisions that are normally left to our duly-elected representatives that they’ve decided they should ask the voters directly about, so that the voters can’t blame them for passing or not passing the measure.

Usually by the time you get to the referendums you’re so tired of choosing people you don’t know to fill offices you didn’t even know existed that you end up voting for Moe, as in "eeny meeny miney moe." Instead of just "yes" or "no," they should include a third option, "whatever."

Here in Georgia, we have three "legislatively referred constitutional amendments," about which we’ll probably hear nothing until after the election and the law is in place, and we also have a "non-binding advisory question" that asks us whether we want to keep switching between standard and daylight saving time, ditch daylight saving time and stay on standard time year-round, or whether we want to do the opposite, get off standard time and stay with daylight saving time year-round, as long as Congress says it’s okay. I’m inclined to go with the third option, except we could end up continuing to do what we’re doing now if Congress says "no."

But that’s beside the point. Frankly, I think we should vote backwards: do the referendums first, then the judges, then the local officials, the state officials, and the national officials. I really think the candidates for local offices (e.g. the school board) are the most important, because they’re the ones more likely to have a direct effect on your life.

But that’s just me…

31 thoughts on “Referendum #atozchallenge

  1. I’ve never taken Latin but words like referendums, forums, syllabuses etc niggle at me. I guess I like the old fashioned ways.

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    1. I can go either way. Both are correct, according to the dictionary. Reminds me of a joke: a centurion walks into a bar and orders a martinus. “You mean martini,” the bartender says. The centurion says “I only want one…”

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  2. Well, I think I understand where you’re coming from, but as far as voting is concerned & how we get there & what the heck some of them are talking about is all Greek to me. When I went to beauty school our teacher told us that when you’re talking to customers there are three things you should NOT talk about, and that is: SEX, RELIGION & POLITICS! Geeeeeeeeeeee, I wonder why! hahahahaha! I try hard to abide by that rule, but sometimes…………… have a good night my friend. Sorry I’m so late.

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    1. I rarely talk about politcs here, and when I do it’s usually in this context. I talk about religion as it relates to me and my past. Sex, never.

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  3. We love a choice to switch daylight savings time off. TW used to ignore the “questions” at the end of the ballot since they weren’t in real English. But now that she’s old, she votes on them. She always votes NO on school bonds since I’m not in school and she pays a fortune anyway on our property taxes for schools.

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    1. We were exempted from school taxes when both of us turned 62. It knocked $1000 off the tax bill. You might want to check your laws to see if they have something similar. I have a feeling you’re nowhere near 62, but the age might be different where you live. It’s good to know, anyway…

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  4. John,

    The referendums don’t get a lot of attention in my opinion and I often have that deer in the headlights look as I stare at the questions. The verbiage is also confusing for me. I usually don’t vote on them or do my best by making sense of them before casting my vote. This is something I need to try to look up before we go to the polls in November. Switching things around on the ballot board might be a good idea, too. I’m definitely drained by the time I get to the bottom. The one thing I do know is which of officials to give my vote.

    Cathy’s Pinup Girl #AtoZChallenge Art Sketch Series ‘F’

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    1. It’s written in a foreign language, “Government.” You’re not meant to understand it. I believe the term is “obfuscation,” which means “To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand.” And they do a wonderful job of it, don’t they? They tell credit card companies, and banks, and mortgage lenders write things out in plain English…Seems they need a dose of their own medicine, wouldn’t you say?

      Seriously, I guess you can find some explanation online, or if you call the election board they’ll have some sort of explanation, or at least point you in the right direction. At least I hope so…

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  5. Hi Mr. John…You are my Chicago Blogging buddy that is why I am nominating you for the Sunshine Blogging Award. I haven’t done many challenges of I hope I did this one right. I’m working on my AtoZ Challenge too. Geez you’d think that I was under some kind of quarantine and I couldn’t leave the house and all I had to do was blog 😉 Blessings

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  6. This is important and the sad thing is many people don’t care to vote. We, in North America, have it too good. In places where they risk their lives to vote, they must look at us and think we are idiots and they would be right. Of course, not everyone but I wish more people would vote and more people would know who. They are actually voting for. I wish they would get rid of the daylight savings time.

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    1. Here in the US the presidential election becomes such a circus that none of the local races get a whole lot of attention. It would almost be better if we held the Federal races (President, Representative, Senator) at a different time than the local races, but then you’d have people skipping the local races altogether. I’d like to see a person’s ability to vote in the Federal races conditional on voting in the local races. I also think that there should be Federal regulations for Federal elections, but that’d go over like a lead balloon…

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  7. Voting for Moe gave me a laugh. I couldn’t help but picture Moe from the Three Stooges!
    I’m with you on daylight savings time. Time zones are confusing enough. We should just pick one and stick with it. My parents live in Arizona and they keep the same time all year long.

    ~Tui Snider, @TuiSnider TuiSnider.som – Exploring Historic Cemeteries & Symbolism

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  8. Voting for local judges has always been a puzzler for me. Who pays any attention to judges? Several years ago there was a judge who had served for a few years. Editorial boards, Lawer associations, watchdog groups, etc all said this guy was “unqualified.” There were newspaper articles about some of the strange decisions he made. After all of this bad publicity, what happened? — He was “retained.” Of course, I live in a large metropolitan area where you can be asked to vote on up to 25 or 30 judges. – Might be different in a smaller area.

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    1. We still get quite a few judges to vote on. My technique for the judges was to vote for all the Irish and Jewish candidates… Seriously, though, the only way you know anything about the judges is by the experience you’ve had with them, meaning criminals (many of whom can’t vote, anyway), former jurors, lawyers and bailiffs are the only ones likely to know anything about them. The rest of us are working blind, unless someone is so bad that their name is in the paper and oin the news…

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  9. Excellent points made, John, and I agree referendums are important. Concerning daylight saving time, I like the third option best, as well.

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  10. I would like to know what happens to the “bonds” we vote for. I’ve started voting no on them all because the same stuff reappears. What did they do with the previous ones? Things just vanish (into other people’s pockets, I presume)…

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    1. I keep voting “no” on a measure to give shrimp fishermen a special tax break….

      What’s interesting, and more than a little infuriating, is to see the change in a politician’s net worth before and after they’re elected. The Representative for the district I lived in when I was back in Chicago saw his go from $200,000 to $4 million in two years, a twentyfold increase. Even if he made $150,000 a year as a representative, that’s VERY hard to reconcile…

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  11. I agree, referendums are more important. Referendums are about issues, principles, not about people, so they should take precedence.
    The idea that a voter will vote somebody in and agree with absolutely everything a candidate stands for is preposterous. Voters should direct their government on as many issues as they think fit.
    I felt this was worthy of a post, way back.

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