Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How Did I Do? Better than the County Clerk!

Every year after the election I compare how I recommended and voted with how all of the ballot issues actually fared at the ballot box. This time, it took three days for the county to finish counting votes in Boulder County, the slowest in the entire state.

What went wrong? Well, apparently the folks doing the counting were paying attention and noticed some anomalies in the optical scanning that was picking up votes that weren't made. It took hand checking each ballot for paper dust and ink smudges, a very slow process. I guess no other jurisdictions were doing the same type of check, so they were able to finish faster. Please, nobody tell them that their vote counts may not be accurate.

Anyway, back to my own report card. First, I got 100% on the City of Boulder issues. That's right, the city voted with my recommendations on all seven of the questions on the ballot. Are that many people reading and agreeing with my blog, or are the people here just that much smarter? Basically, people agreed to continue funding the city at the current level, but not to give council more powers.

At the county level, I got one out of two. I recommended a NO vote on extending the Worthy Cause tax, and it passed with flying colors (which I could have predicted.) Oh, well. I don't think the money from this sales tax will go to any group that doesn't deserve it. I just wish people were trusted to make their own decisions on who to give to.

We did pass, in line with my recommendation, the new clean energy district, a novel way to fund, with no public expense, small renewable energy and efficiency projects. Boulder folks are smart AND generous.

On the state level, I didn't do as well. State voters ignored my recommendations on nine out of fourteen issues.

My successes: Luckily, Amendment 48, which redefines "person" in parts of the state bill of rights went down narrowly. Amendment 52 also failed -- it would have taken money from water projects, pine beetle mitigation, and other priorities that will be getting more urgent with global warming, and spent it on getting more people in their cars to ski resorts. Two out of three of the attempts by business to cripple unions also failed. Less critically, voters agreed with me that 21-year-olds are not old enough to run for state legislature.

Big losses: Referendum O would have protected our state constitution against the continued onslaught of amendments, but failed because too many people were convinced (incorrectly) that it would decrease their ability to write initiatives. Amendment 50 won, giving state casinos the right to not only stay open all night and increase bet limits, but also prevent their own taxes from going up. Two measures that would have helped with education funding went down -- Amendments 58 and 59. Amendment 51, a sales tax to help people with developmental disabilities failed; I guess Coloradans as a whole are not as generous with their sales tax dollars as Boulderites. Amendment 54 passed. Like Amendment 41 in a previous election, it takes a semi-reasonable idea (in this case preventing undue influence by government contractors) and pushes it way beyond reasonable, probably way beyond constitutional.

Mixed blessings: Also failing was Amendment 46, which would have ended affirmative action in the state. No doubt it is still useful, but symbolically it still grates. And Referenda M and N also passed contrary to my recommendation. These remove so-called obsolete clauses from the state constitution, although I wasn't convince in either case that we had the whole story.

Yes, this Insomniac is out of touch with the Colorado voter, and proudly so!

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Blogger Gordon Weakliem said...

People have finally gotten around to voting No on everything, which if the trend holds, would obviate the need for Ref O. Sadly, I don't think the trend will hold.
You haven't commented at all on Congressional District 2 - are you not in that district? I like Polis in some ways, but I'll probably never forgive him fully for 41.

Wed Nov 12, 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger insomniac said...

I'm in Jared's district, but I did not comment on any of the candidates. Why? Well, analyzing and commenting on ballot questions is very logical -- you read the initiative, you list the pluses and minuses, and you weigh them. As a fundamentally geeky guy, this really suits me. Plus, it really bugs me when people vote for or against ballot questions for the wrong reasons, when they haven't even read them.

Analyzing candidates, on the other hand, is very subjective. I certainly have opinions, but if I can't back them up with logical reasoning I don't feel as comfortable putting them out there.

As far as Amendment 41, I agree with you. If you check, you'll see that I counseled against it at the time. I was also frustrated with Jared role. Since then, I have had conversations with him, and it seems that at least he has learned something from the experience. So, we can be hopeful.

Thu Nov 13, 11:52:00 PM  

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