I’ve been out of my home state for about a month and wasn’t home in time to vote in person (I’m old school– I like voting ON election day), so I decided to do a mail-in ballot. There was just too much on the line NOT to vote, especially in Florida. The biggest race for me? The governor’s race. OMG FLORIDA THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE.
Sorry. Just had to get that out of my system.
Anyway. I was looking over my ballot and didn’t realize that we had approximately 493 amendments to vote on. I’m someone who actually writes about culture and politics for a living, and looking up the amendments and trying to figure out the legal language bored me to TEARS. I thought, “If I feel that way, I KNOW ‘non-political’ people feel that way.” That’s a big reason why a whole bunch of people don’t vote.
So I started doing some research on the amendments and finally got to Amendment 9. It said, “Prohibits Offshore Oil and Has Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces.”
Stop right there. Those two things have NOTHING to do with each other. These idiots lumped two COMPLETELY different things in there ON PURPOSE. This is the kind of corrupt crap people hate and RIGHTFULLY SO. What if you’re FOR offshore drilling and AGAINST vaping in enclosed indoor workplaces? How did you vote? Did you weigh which one was more important to you and vote based on that, or did you skip it completely?
The thing is, voters SHOULDN’T have to do a cost/benefit analysis on amendments like that. Those two things had NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER.
Just so you know, I’m not the only person who was p*ssed off about this.
Instead, the measure is facing criticism, including from some newspaper editorial boards, because of the process used by the 37-member Florida Constitution Revision Commission to put what is known as Amendment 9 on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Rather than allowing the vaping ban to stand on its own as a proposed constitutional amendment, the commission coupled it with a proposed ban on offshore oil drilling in Florida waters, describing the combination as an environmental amendment.
The Florida Supreme Court said the commission followed the rules, but the decision to combine the proposals might turn at least some voters against what otherwise could be popular ideas.
IT MADE NO SENSE.
Retired University of South Florida political-science professor Susan MacManus said, however, that of all the amendments, voters are most perplexed about the coupling of the issues in Amendment 9.
“It makes no sense to the average voter why they were put together,” MacManus told The News Service of Florida in an interview. “Yet the people who wrote it said it was logical.”
This is just one of many examples. This kind of stuff happens on our ballots all the time. I won’t go into details, but there were a few amendments that I found myself agreeing with, but then at the very bottom they added random crap that ended up EXPANDING GOVERNMENT in some way, shape or form, and it made hate the entire thing, even though I originally agreed with the first part. It really gave me a better glimpse of how sucktastic it is up in the swamp (DC) and mini swamps (in each state). Congress does that kind of stuff ALL THE TIME. That’s how so many of these chumps get away with smacking their political opponents in those attack ads. You know, the ads that are all “So and so voted AGAINST saving the puppies! So and so HATES PUPPIES OMG!” And in reality, so and so had to vote no, because the “Save the Puppy” amendment also contained a part about creating a new bloated government agency and increasing your property taxes or something.
Anyway, I just encourage you– as torturous as it may be– to REALLY REALLY REALLY read through your ballot and the amendments and all that in the future. Don’t read the first sentence and decide based on that. These people are tricky. Government has a way of tricking you into voting for its expansion.