I filled out my sample ballot last night. There was not much to fill out, actually. While there are several propositions and I am voting on all of them, I will not vote in legislative general elections under California’s new top-two exclusionary electoral system. Unlike some districts around the state, I don’t have any races in which the only two candidates are of the same party, but I also can’t vote for a third party candidate. I often vote for Libertarian legislative candidates, not because I like that party, but because I don’t like the big two, the districts I live in are safe, and the only third parties that used to be on my general election ballot were Libertarian and the far-far-right American Independent. (I am willing to vote lesser of multiple evils, but not of two!)
I am not voting in the school board race because none of the candidates has anything appealing to offer. I am not voting in the hospital board because why should anyone? I am not voting in the Ramona Planning Group election for two reasons: (1) the electoral system is stupid (top-8 plurality, with 10 candidates) and (2) this board twice has unanimously voted against a solar-energy generating field in Ramona (though the County Planning Commission recently overruled the board) and none of the non-incumbents has a different position. I will vote for one of the incumbents on the Palomar Community College district board, but only because I know her (the wife of my former train conductor–how’s that for a real social network?).
Is there anything else on this ballot? Oh, yes, I will vote for President–or rather for a slate of 55 presidential electors–but not for Obama. Again, because the electoral system is stupid, but at least here I have a choice among irrelevant options. I am voting for Jill Stein. I did vote for Obama in 2008, and I think he’s been all right under difficult conditions. I look forward to another four years, given how bad is the alternative that Ohio swing voters could inflict on us. But I have a long list of grievances against the Obama government, I live in one of the safest of safe states, and I am a dissenter against the partisan duopoloy.
I wish I could vote Green for congress and have it matter. The only Green on my ballot is Jill Stein and her running mate, and they have my vote.