The homework is worth it

I seem to be on a California theme recently, and Election Day is an excellent time to continue that. I like to think of elections in CA as more evidence that I am living someplace…a little different.

When it’s time to vote, there’s really no place like California. It’s literally power to the people. (Though sometimes it’s questionable how effective the people power is….)

I spent a couple of hours last night going through my two voter info pamphlets, about 400 pages of, um, light reading. After all, I had to decide how to vote on 24 propositions (24!) and I don’t know how many races for office. That wasn’t enough, and this morning, I had to go online to make decisions about a few confusing propositions. Voting today meant filling out 10 pages of questions. While I was voting, I overheard several people complaining about how much “homework” they had to do. (My polling place, incidentally, is somebody’s cramped garage. I mean, a garage! For some reason, that always cracks me up. One year it was too crowded, and I had to sit out on the sidewalk in the dark marking my ballots!)

Anyway, I actually don’t mind the “homework,” since after all, it’s our right to make these kinds of choices. Such is life in a democracy. And I generally enjoy being able to participate in certain decisions. At the very least they sometimes provide some amusement. I mean, today I got to choose whether or not to vote for “Starchild” (an exotic dancer) as my city supervisor. I got to choose whether it should be San Francisco’s “policy” to call for impeachment of Bush and Cheney. (Because, you know, we San Franciscans have sooo much sway…Well, we like to imagine that we do.) I got to vote my mind on several pieces of legislation with big environmental impacts and on some anti-abortion legislation I might have expected in the Bible Belt, but not here.

Voting in California makes you feel as though you are living the stories on the news.

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