I turned eighteen in October, two weeks after the recall election, so yesterday's primary was the first time I've voted. It was also the first time Orange County used their new electronic voting machines.
First of all, these machines have the most retarded UI I've seen in a long time. You use a scroll wheel and Select button to pick candidates. There are two or three "pages", each with multiple issues in 12pt type. I'm not sure how they handled blind voters, but other than Braille labels on the buttons, I didn't see any concessions for them.
Now, the obvious way to design this would be with one issue on each page. The list of candidates would be in a bigger font--18pt, perhaps. The screen would be a touch screen. You would touch the name of your candidate and hit the Next button. For blind voters, you'd have Up, Down, and Select buttons on the front of the machine, and voice prompts through headphones (i.e. it reads you the name of the current candidate). This makes sense; the real system does not. This is intuitive; the real system is not.
The real system is just retarded.
Anyway, after casting my ballot, I got my sticker, went home, and forgot about the whole thing until night. We watched a little election coverage after dinner; it looked like everything was going our way. We eventually went to bed.
I woke up this morning and looked at results on the propositions. Three of them are going the way I wanted them to; one is not. Ugh.
Proposition 56 is supposedly a proposition to reform the budget process. Its primary "reform" is to lower the vote requirement for passing a budget from 67% to 55%. This would mean that the Republicans, who are probably the only reason the state isn't a bankrupt, unpopulated land, would no longer have a say in the budget.
Uh, no. I voted no; two-thirds of the state voted with me.
Props 57 and 58 were put on the budget by the Governator. Collectively, they take out a $15bn bond to consolidate the state's debts and put a few fixes in the budget process. My family and I decided that we should probably give Ahnold a chance, so we voted Yes. So did most of the rest of the state.
Note, however, that both 57 and 58 have to pass for either to go into effect. (I assume there's some legal reason they had to be separate propositions.) 57 (the bond part) got a 63% Yes vote; 58 (the reform part) got 71%. California no baka.
Prop 55 is the really annoying one. It's a $12bn education bond.
Now, as background, there has been either a statewide education bond or a water-quality bond on every ballot in my memory. Every one. Sometimes there were both. Occasonally, there were two education bonds or two water-quality bonds on the same ballot.
And every single one passes.
This time, I figured, it'd be different. This time, they're faced with a $15bn bond to get us out of debt. This time, the people of California couldn't possibly be retarded enough to vote Yes on a huge bond when we're in a financial crisis. Not after a recall election to get a governer who would deal with the sutuation into office. Certainly not with a ginormous bond to fix the state's money problems on the ballot.
I was wrong. It squeaked by, with 50.6% of the vote, mostly in Los Angeles county (which is heavily favored by the measure) and the Bay Area.
That, my friends, is why I'm looking for some nuclear weapons. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.