Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Did I vote? (ask a stupid question!)

I became an American citizen in the Springfield, MA Courthouse in 1984.   The next day I went to City Hall in Pittsfield, MA and registered to vote.

I have voted in every election since then, save for one primary election when I was out of the country. 

I voted today in Sarasota County's  Precinct 125, not far from my home.

(There are 319,000 registered voters in Sarasota County. There are approx. 100 voting precincts which seems to be more than reasonable to me.  

40% of the County's registered voters had voted by mail or through early voting before our polls opened at 7:00 a.m.   Those, such as I, who choose to vote in person, were sure to find a precinct near to their homes.  No excuses!  If you will drive four miles to your favourite restaurant you can sure as eggs over easy drive to your assigned voting precinct.


I showed up at 7:45 a.m.  There were maybe eighteen voters ahead of me in the line, it's wonderful to have to stand in line to vote!

I showed my I.D soon after 8:00 a.m.  That was the easy part!  

Filling the optical reader ballot took another 10-15 minutes.

Sarasota County voters were faced with fifteen voting opportunities for elective offices:   from U.S. Senator, through U.S. House of Reps., State Governor and Lt. Governor etc. etc. down to Hospital Board.

There were five votes as to whether or not to keep five  Judges/Justices in Office. I skipped that part. I know nothing about the worthiness of the incumbents.

CRUCIALLY there were twelve questions which had to do with amending the Florida State Constitution.

Floridians have the opportunity to make such  constitutional changes every twenty years. (The procedure to get constitutional amendment on the ballot is more complicated  than I can explain here and now). Each has to be approved by 60% of those who vote.

I was not here twenty years ago, and I do not expect to be here twenty years hence.  So my vote today was a here and now experience.

In brief I voted against measures which might hobble the ability of future Florida Legislators to increase taxes (there are emergencies you know)

And in favour of measures which would:

restore the voting rights of those guilty of felonies and who have served their time.

ban greyhound  racing

prohibit off shore Oil and Gas Drilling  ( the same measure also prohibits indoor Vaping in enclosed  indoor workplaces.

If this were not enough there were also questions about a County Bond, some Sarasota County charter amendments, and a City of Sarasota charter amendment.


Voting today in Sarasota County (and much of Florida) was a marathon rather than a sprint.

KUDOS to Ron Turner our County  Supervisor of Elections who ran a damn good show in a complicated ballot.

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