So I have vanished for a few days. I have a good excuse.
I was early voting. It took this long. The line was really long.
Really. I showed up on the first day of early voting. I figure that nobody is going to show up on the very first day. What about all the "undecided" people I keep hearing so much about? They would not be there.
But who the hell is still undecided? What are you waiting for? More 30 second TV commercials?
And then there is the old people. They like to do things early. This is why it is next to impossible to get a table at Denny's at 5 PM. That is prime time senior discount time! But at it turned out, on Monday there was a Matlock marathon on TV, so I figured that people would stay home and watch that. And I may have made up the thing about the Matlock marathon on TV. But still, it was day 1 of 10.
So when I get there, and there are cars parked on the high voltage power line easement land, I think "oh.....shit". But in for a penny in for a pound! Plus I found a good place to park and looked at that as a good omen.
The ballot for Miami is long. It always is for these types of elections. A lot of crap is stuffed in the ballot. State crap, County crap, and so on.
And then there are the new machines! Touch screen is out, bubble sheets are in! It now takes longer to vote. But it is a better system. You bubble in the sheet, then feed it into the scanner. If the scanner accepts the ballot, it means you did not fuck it up. The votes are stored in the machine memory so that they can be tabulated fast. And if there is any funny business, there is the paper hardcopy.
The whole process took about 2.5 hours. Most of that was standing in line. Not really too bad, but a little more than I was expecting.
Anyhow here is how I went!!!
President / VP - Obama / Biden. Big shock there huh?
Congressional district 21 - Raul L Martinez. Google that name if you want some great reading. The guy really is a class act. I think he was convicted of some sort of crime, later overtruned on appeal. He also attacked and beat the crap out of some idiot. He was the mayor of Hialeah, and even by Miami standards Hialeah is a foreign nation. But be that as it may - Raul Martinez is better than the incumbent Lincoln Diaz-Bilart. Diaz-Bilart is an ass. Time for him to go. What the hell, let Raul in congress. Maybe he will beat the crap out of someone during a heated debate. At least that would be funny. By the way, there are TWO Diaz-Bilart brothers in Congress. I am really hoping BOTH get shit canned. Even if that means putting Raul Martinez in.
Clerk Of The Circuit Court - Harvey Ruvin. Why not. I have no idea who this guy even is.
Shall (whoever) on the State Supreme Court be retained - NO! Get rid of em all. I always do this, just because. So if you are a member of the FL Supreme Court - I am that guy who voted NO to keep you around for some more time. And no, I have no idea what you have done, or how you have ruled. Hell I may even agree with you. But still - NO!
Property Appraiser - Gwen Margolis.
State Constitution question 1 - shall the state delete provisions authorizing the legislative branch to restrict or prohibit the ownership or inheritance of property by aliens ineligible for citizenship. HELL NO! Keep that shit in the state constitution.
Question 2 - defining marriage. The wedge issue, put on the ballot to draw out voters likely to go for McCain. I mean you may not really like McCain because he is not far enough to the right - but you WILL show up to vote on question 2. And while you are there, why not vote for the person on the ballot most likely to win and the furthest to the right. Shit like this comes out every time. So I voted NO. Marriage has lasted this long without being defined by Florida, so therefore it probably does not need to be defined now.
Question 3 - YES. This will make it so your property tax assessment does not increase if you make improvements to your property to increase resistance to wind damage. Also included in this would be improvements that generate your own electricity by installing renewable things. So if you drop a load on a metal roof (best for hurricanes) and solar panels, your home value goes up but not the tax assessment.
Question 4 - YES. This provides for lower property taxes, or no property tax, on land encumbered by conservation shit. So if your land is declared to be a nature preserve, then you get a tax break.
Question 6 - YES. This taxes waterfront property based on actual use as opposed to best use. So if you have a small marina, you are taxed on the value of said marina and NOT what the land would be worth if you built a $100 million ultra luxury condo high rise on it. SAVE THE BOAT RAMPS!!!
Question 8 - sales tax to support community colleges. YES. This does not actually create a sales tax, it simply gives Counties the option to propose a sales tax to supplement community college funding, which will have to pass another public vote, and will sunset after 5 years unless reauthorized by public vote.
And then there were some County questions! These are fun.
Home Rule Charter Amendment. What this gem is trying to do is take ALL the power away from the County Manager and give it to the Mayor. The County Manager would be reduced to a nothing job, only allowed to support the mayor IF the mayor wanted to allow it.
OH HELL NO!!!!
Home rule change regarding the pay for commissioners. Should the county commissioners no longer get paid $6,000 per year (and be allowed to hold outside employment) so they can get $92,000 and be full time employees - unable to hold outside jobs? FUCK NO!!! These grave robbers get all sorts of "extras". Such as their $900 per month car allowance. And free health insurance for life. And a $300,000 discretionary budget. You fuckers want a close to $90,000 pay raise? GIVE UP THE REST OF YOUR EXTRAS! Pay for your own car. Pay for your own insurance. I could work for the County for 30 years and when I retire do I get free insurance for life? NOPE! So screw you guys. Don't like your $6,000 per year salary? GET ANOTHER JOB!
Charter change so that people running for local office can just pay a "qualifying fee" instead of collecting signatures? NO WAY! Too fucking lazy to collect signatures on the street? You just want to pay the "qualifying fee" then run for a job that only pays $6,000 a year? Uhhhhh.....NO! Collect the signatures.
Rule change so the clerk of the courts, not the commission, approve petitions and inform the County Commission when they have to hold public hearings - YES! Take more power AWAY from the commission. After all it is only fair! The poor commissioners are only making $6,000 a year! They need fewer responsibilities so that they can panhandle on the street corner so that they can afford more than rice and beans for dinner.
Rule change so the clerk of the court approves citizen initiative petition drives, not the commission? YES! Again - those poor overworked commissioners only making $500 a month need less workload. So take the power AWAY from them and transfer it to someone else.
The last one I was not so sure about. It says that the County Commission be required to provide uniform fire rescue service for all incorporated and unincorporated areas of the County - except for Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, and Hialeah - which may provide their own services. I think this is an effort to stop incorporation. So I voted YES. Fire rescue services should be around for whoever needs them.
ANYHOW - I told you the ballot was long. There was much to read. And I lot of bubbles to bubble in.
But I did it. And the machine accepted my ballots. So I guess I did it right.
Most importantly - I got it all over with.