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Ballot Questions 2010: What Issue Brought You To The Polls?

What issue brought you to the polls this year?

What issue brought you to the polls this year?

It’s Election Day. Tomorrow, the results will be in and the relentless chatter of political ads will fall silent. We’ve all heard endlessly about individual candidates. I know more about Congressional candidates eating habits and tax returns than I do about my own mother’s.

What about the issues? What key voting issues got you out to the polls this year? Was your vote a referendum on Obama? A vote for or against health reform? War? Economic change?

Step away for the moment from the Big Stuff our congresscritters will be slugging it out over for the next two years (and the two years after that, and the two years after that…). Did your ballot have any questions you were invited to weigh in on directly?

I live in Massachusetts, land of ballot questions. 2010 is no exception. Our state ballot questions aren’t as exciting as last year’s, when we got to decriminalize marijuana. California is wrestling that one this year, with a question that would legalize it for recreational use.

We’re just looking at taxes, Massachusetts’ favorite topic. Question 1 asks if we want to repeal the state sales tax on liquor, and Question 3 asks about reducing our state sales tax from 6.25% to 3%.

Sure, we didn’t need those tax dollars. Massachusetts is drowning in tax money. That’s why our schools are cutting programs and our roads are being plowed less often and my brother-in-law has been waiting years for Boston to get enough money together to hire a new class of firefighters. (I bet you can guess how I voted on these.)

Question 2 on the Massachusetts ballot is some nearly unreadable, complicated thing about repealing the state law that allows local building ordinances to be overridden in favor of large housing projects if they involve low-income housing. I suspect that only a very small handful of the state’s voters will even read this question, let alone make an informed vote on it.

What are the ballot questions in your state? Going back to the broader elections, what were the issues that brought you to the polls this year? What are you hoping the election will mean for you?

Photo: hjl

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