Aren’t you envious, rest of the country? We voters here in Oregon, every last one of us, get to fill out our ballots in the comfort of our homes. Then we stick them in the mail, civic duty having been completed almost effortlessly.
I make it even easier on myself by copying my wife’s ballot. Last night she sat at the kitchen table, thick voter’s pamphlet in hand, reading the qualifications of every obscure candidate and the pros and cons of ballot measures that we were undecided about.
This morning, per our tradition, I picked up her not-yet-sealed ballot, laid it on my lap next to mine, and dutifully mirrored her thoughtful choices. Now, having revealed this to the blogosphere, I must worry about a knock on the door from jack-booted election police.
They come at 4 am, don’t they, when resistance is at its lowest? Maybe I should get to bed earlier the next couple of nights.
For I noted this warning on the back of our ballots:
Any person who, by use of force or other means, unduly influences an elector to vote in any particular manner or to refrain from voting is subject to a fine.
And when Laurel signed the back of the envelope in which her ballot is mailed, she certified that:
I voted my ballot and (did not unnecessarily show it to anyone); This is the only ballot I have voted this election.
Grammatically, I’m not sure what to make of the parentheses. Regardless, I’ve got some comebacks ready if our voting behavior is challenged.
First, it was indeed necessary for Laurel to show me her ballot because I’m too lazy to pour over the voter’s pamphlet, trying to decide which of the candidates competing for positions on the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District deserve my support.
Second, I’m Laurel’s husband. She unduly influences me all of the time. That’s what wives do. Voting in an election shouldn’t be an exception to this marital rule. I’m pretty sure the Supreme Court will back me up on this if our case goes that far.
Turning to the substance of our voting, I was chagrined to notice today that the progressive web site Blue Oregon had quoted my off-the-cuff advice to vote “no” on every ballot measure in a post about how bloggers are voting.
Laurel and I voted “yes” on Measure 44, which expands the Oregon Prescription Drug Program. And I didn’t do so just because Laurel told me to. It’s a no-brainer.
Measure 42, however, took some thought. This prohibits insurance companies from using credit scores in calculating rates or premiums. It’s being sponsored by notorious (and convicted) conservative activist Bill Sizemore. That alone is almost enough reason to vote against it.
But I heard right-wing Portland talk show host Lars Larson railing against Measure 42, so that was almost enough reason to vote for it. What to do? It’s a dilemma, as Kristin Flickinger says in “My Measure 42 Conspiracy Theory.”
Laurel eventually decided to vote “no” on 42 and I followed her lead, dutiful geisha-like husband that I am. She told me that it makes sense to base insurance premiums for businesses on credit worthiness. And if individuals with poor credit histories aren’t happy with an insurance company’s premium, she says it would be possible for them to switch to a competitor with a different rating procedure.
Lastly, we’re proud—and, frankly, amazed—to have voted for a Republican this time around. Yes, Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson got our votes. Laurel has found Carlson to be open-minded and supportive toward the groundwater protection issues that my activist wife has discussed with the county commissioners.
So even though I said “Come November, vote Democratic,” this admonition shouldn’t be followed slavishly. There are some votable Republicans out there; it just takes some digging to find them.