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Election day

Posted by Richard on November 1, 2005

It’s election day in Colorado, and I just came from my polling place. The ballot had half a dozen initiatives and referenda on it, but there was only one office — a vacancy on the Denver School Board. I voted against everything except the marijuana legalization measure. For school board, I picked one of the candidates who didn’t call me and leave a recorded message bragging about support from the teachers’ union.

The big issue today is Referendum C, which would let the state government keep revenues in excess of the growth limits (inflation plus population growth) imposed by TABOR (Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights). It would amount to $4 billion over the next 5 years. The proponents claim it would cost the average family less than $100 a year. But, Colorado’s population is under 4 million. Using the old-fashioned math I learned, I get a five-year cost of over $1000 per man, woman, and child, or $4000 per family of four. That’s $800 a year, not $100.

But then, I’m using old-fashioned math. I’m sure the same people who describe a 7% increase in education spending as "more slashing of K-12 funding" can explain away the discrepancy.

In light of the election, and of Referendum C in particular, here’s an appropriate quote:

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

— Robert A. Heinlein

UPDATE: I-100, the marijuana initiative in Denver, seems to have eked out a narrow victory. So it’s going to be legal in Denver for adults to possess up to an ounce of pot. Of course, there are still those pesky state and federal laws…

Ref. C also appears to have won narrowly (52-48), although there are reports of widespread voting problems in El Paso county, the state’s most conservative. What a coincidence.

David Aitken pointed out something interesting to me earlier this evening: apparently, no one reported any poll results in the 5 or 6 days leading up to the election. About a week earlier, a poll showed Ref. C with 48%, but there haven’t been any more recent numbers. Curious.

Also curious: I can’t recall a ballot issue that had less than 50% in the weeks before the election and went on to win. Ballot issues almost always lose support as the election approaches. This one gained.

Do I sound suspicious and paranoid?

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