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A special election for a special state

California is the only state in which I have lived where elected officials force special elections because they refuse to do their jobs. (The Legislature, in particular, would rather focus on social engineering and their favorite “axes to grind.”) Granted, I have only lived in three states: Ohio, Wisconsin, and California, and my memory is not perfect (nobody’s is).

Today, the special election was for budget measures designed to reduce California’s growing deficit. If all budget measured are approved in the election, the budget deficit is forecast to be $15.4 billion (with a “b”), a respectable number, even for many countries. :-) If the measures are defeated, the deficit is forecast to be $21.3 billion.

The expected statewide turnout is less than 30% of the electorate. Oh yes, I voted. In that regard, I differ from the late, great George Carlin, who also did not poke fun at elected politicians because, according to George, the American people basically get what they deserve. (I think that the American people get anywhere from what they deserve to substantially less.)

In my case, my polling place was moved to another school, farther away. A dearth of signage effectively hid the polling place from folks who parked in the school’s parking lot. In spite of the obstacles, I found the polling place and voted. I was the only person “in line” at the time, but more folks were coming in the door when I left.

The polls closed a little more than half an hour ago. I really do not know what to expect. Governor Schwarzenegger said yesterday that the people of California are confused and angry. I think that he has that right. You can distinguish the general populace from members of the Legislature, who are merely confused.

At one point, the only issue (of issues 1A through 1F) that was “passing” in polls was 1F, which “Encourages balanced state budgets by preventing elected Members of the Legislature and statewide constitutional officers, including the Governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit…..” :-)

I think that one may pass.

We shall see about the others….

(Note added May 20, 2009: Issue 1F was the only one that passed. We are in “a heap of trouble, boy, fer shure.” It seems that the electorate was very angry, and perhaps a bit mad. One issue that I was glad to see defeated would have transferred money OUT of a fund dedicated to helping the state’s mentally ill.)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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