Local balloting today in Washington State. 

Multiple stupid ballot measures.  Some are nonbinding advisories telling the legislature to vote for or against what they already voted for or against, regarding some nuances of tax law.  Obscure and confusing.

Local in my county, "nonpartisan" commissioners.  I went with the Democrat endorsements, after doing web searches on each and everyone.  Much of the info was vague, promising good government and stuff. 

Locally, one school commissioner's page made sure to mention that she is raising her children with her partner, also a woman.  Separately, I did find that she is the incumbent, and has supported and implemented learning standards.   Her opponent is against standards, stating basically that teachers should decide for themselves whether students need to learn math and stuff - she is apparently getting some conservative endorsements.  I know which way I went with that one.

It's so sad.  The local signs with just a name - I'm supposed to vote based on whether I've seen a sign with their name?   Limited info on record.  We are supposed to vote based on they want "good government"?

File:PC interstate-5 bridge cars ca1920.jpg

A big issue here, this is a big suburb of Portland OR, mostly a white-flight bedroom community with massive commutes across the Columbia River over 2 sets of bridges, daily work commutes.  The I-5 bridges, twin bridges one built in 1917 and the other in 1958; both built when nobody ever heard of Vancouver and Portland was a fraction of its current size.  Local voters don't want light rail - apparently thinking it would bring more people of color to Vancouver.  They want to drive without tolls, thinking that people who don't use the bridge should pay for it.  Plus they all just enjoy driving in gridlock traffic every day, 130,000 vehicles a day, red lights for miles, engines running so help warm the excessively cool planet earth without actually going anywhere.  Not just commuting.  A lot of Portland area people live in Vancouver due to no WA state income tax.  They drive to the massive shopping areas just across the bridge, in Oregon, due to no Oregon sales tax.   A toll would counter that.

So, the local politicos, not wanting to stick their heads out, have multiple ballot measures to "advise"  on whether to explore the option of new bridges.  One of these days, one of the bridges will cave in due to old age and overuse not intended when built, and there are occasional, rare but occasional, earthquakes here, and then tongues will wag and hair will be torn out and people will be blamed, but the real people to blame are the local voters.

That's just my entirely unbiased, balanced, opinion of course.

We did vote today.

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I'm waiting until after the noon rush, but absolutely, I'M VOTING!

Yes, local voting here as well, with the usual vague advertisements.  You mentioned signs with just a name.  That is so annoying to me, although I think I know why they do it.  Most people are so stupid, the name they see the most often is likely to be the name they vote for.

I listened to the Mayoral debate and decided I didn't want to vote for the slick-talking buzzword spouting candidate.  Then there was the one that sounded like a conspiracy nut.  I was tempted to vote for him just to shake things up and see what fell out. He did favor Winco foods which I do, but some of his other points were things I never heard of before and sounded too over-the-top weird, so I won't be voting for him.

It's always tough to decide.  They never give me enough important information to make an informed decision.

I imagine you are right about the name signs.  Plus, if someone does not have a name sign, people will say "I remember  this name but not that one".

I agree with you about not enough info.  I think we don't demand enough accountability and transparency in our candidates and office holders.

Yes, there is the name recognition factor.  I admit to being in that situation myself. 

"I know that name from hearing it in the media,  Was it for a good reason or for a bad reason? I don't remember." 

That's why I always go to the voting booth with a list of the candidates and recommended judges I'm voting for based on my prior homework.  I don't wish to throw my vote away on an uninformed guess. 

We're fortunate here to have mail in ballots as the standard.  I sat down with the ballot and my computer, and  searched on all of the ballot measures, explanations, endorsements, and candidates.  Far from perfect - some are nearly in cognito, but at least it was a try.

It's especially annoying when we vote on electing or retaining judges (as in Pennsylvania), and they're generally not allowed to make substantive public statements about their positions on issues.

What issues?  Technically, they are only supposed to interpret the law.  I don't understand why they are even affiliated with party politics.

The one-word last name political signs are a throwback to the notion that people will vote for the "ethnically right-sounding" candidate.  As a life long resident of Chicago, I can attest that this tactic has been entrenched in our local politics for decades.  Quite frankly, it's a form of racism:  people voting for a candidate based on the ethnicity of their name instead of their actual qualifications.

A few examples:   

Irish:  O'Malley, McCarthy, Daley

Polish/Slavic:  Blagojevich, Pucinski, Rostenkowski

Italian:  Manzullo, Silvestri, Costello

Hispanic:  Gutiérrez, Matinez, Colon

Caucasian:  Osterman, Cullerton, Buckley

African-American:  Washington, Jackson, Jenkins

This type of racially-driven voting is, unfortunately, still active and alive today

Along the same train of thought, there's a reason that staunch opponents of Barrack Hussein Obama used his middle name any chance they could.  It's nothing but a scare tactic used to demonize "foreigners." 

FA, sounds like you have a handle on the on-word last name political signs.

I finally went over to vote during the "noon rush".  I was the only one in the place voting.   

I remember the mess when some Larouchies one in IL.  If I recall correctly, they had Anglo-Saxon sounding names as their sole qualification, while the legit candidates had Polish sounding names.  Fortunately, Illinoisans have matured significantly, and voted for governors based on their good hair despite their Eastern European names.  :-)

File:Blagojevich cropped.jpg

Former IL Governor Blagojevich, currently serving a 14 year sentence on corruption charges.  Status of his great hair currently not known.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I can give you a status update on his famous hair.

From March 2012:

Blagojevich likely to show true color in prison
Former governor dyed his hair, barber says

Chicago Tribune

Add one more indignity that comes with Rod Blagojevich's imprisonment: graying hair.

The 55-year-old former Illinois governor has been dying his coiffure, according to his longtime Chicago barber, Peter Vodovoz, and if he is unable to continue doing so, the famous mane likely will begin graying within weeks.

"He dyes it himself," Vodovoz said Wednesday. "I just cut hair. I don't dye anybody's hair."

Poor man.  First, arrested.   Then, convicted.  Now, no hair dye.


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