(or "Moron Voting," depending on how you look at it)
Today I spent a half hour with the VoteSmartFlorida.org 2006 Voter Guide to Proposed Constitutional Amendments. There are 8 proposed amendments to Florida's constitution. Of those, two have already been removed, leaving me six to decide on.
I read the amendments when I got my sample ballot in the mail, and the verbiage left me bored and drooling in 3 seconds flat. So I was glad to see that the Voter Guide not only has the complete amendment, it also has a "what it means" section as well as pro's and con's. It helped. So here's how I'm voting:
#1: State Planning and Budget Process: Long-range budget planning is a good thing. YES!
#3: Requiring Broader Public Support for Constitutional Amendments or Revisions: "Florida's Constitution is the easiest to amend in our nation. In recent years, ballot initiatives have become a vehicle for well-financed special interest groups to protect their interests via the state’s most sacred document." I think that 60% of the voters is perfectly acceptable. YES!
#4: Protect People, Especially Youth from Addiction, Disease, and Other Health Hazards of Using Tobacco: Smoking is bad, but taking $57 million out of the budget away from real education and roads hardly seems worth it. NO!
#6: Increased Homestead Exemption: I refuse to support any amendment geared toward the elderly. I am a middle class resident who can't afford to buy a house, and you want me to shell out money so that a low income senior can stay in theirs? Let them move into an apartment. NO! (of course, this one will probably pass because the state is so overrun with retirees)
#7: Permanently Disabled Veterans' Discount on Homestead Ad Valorem Tax: On the surface, this seems like an amendment I would support 100%: "This is a chance to give thanks to veterans who were wounded in combat serving our country..." But then it gets ugly: "...partially or totally permanently disabled veteran who is age 65 or older who was a Florida resident at the time of entering military service..." How can I support a measure that discriminates against the kids who are coming home now missing limbs? NO!
#8: Eminent Domain: This one basically stops the government from snatching up your land and then turning right around and making a profit on it. Sounds good to me. YES!
I have my sample ballot all filled out and ready to go. I can't wait to go get outvoted by the old conservative republicans next week!