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View Full Version : Good ballot info site


JonIrenicus
10-25-2010, 04:44 AM
I am probably the only roob on here that was clueless this site existed, but in case anyone else was like me you might find it useful.

http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_2010_ballot_propositions


Wikipedia style site focused on ballot initiatives.

JonIrenicus
10-25-2010, 05:08 AM
There is so much information contained at that site beyond mere arguments pro and con like donor lists with dollar amounts and lawsuits over claims that may not be true it makes the whole process of getting a clear understanding a giant cluster #$%^. Even with more information. This is probably why people rely on others opinions so much.

bjkeefe
10-25-2010, 05:27 AM
There is so much information contained at that site beyond mere arguments pro and con like donor lists with dollar amounts and lawsuits over claims that may not be true it makes the whole process of getting a clear understanding a giant cluster #$%^. Even with more information. This is probably why people rely on others opinions so much.

Think of it like an old-style encyclopedia, maybe -- go there when you have something specific to look up.

Also, from my memories of childhood, where we had a full set of those great old giant Encyclopedia Brittanicas, I often used to just pull a random volume off the shelf, open it partway through, and then just flip the pages until something caught my eye. And then one article might lead me to another, and another, and another. I can't be sure, but I suspect I absorbed a little information that way.

Anyway, what was it that you were trying to understand that led you to Ballotpedia? Maybe throw the question(s) out for anyone who might be able to point you to a better resource.

Don Zeko
10-25-2010, 09:56 AM
There is so much information contained at that site beyond mere arguments pro and con like donor lists with dollar amounts and lawsuits over claims that may not be true it makes the whole process of getting a clear understanding a giant cluster #$%^. Even with more information. This is probably why people rely on others opinions so much.

This is why the long ballot is a disaster that should be done away with. As difficult as it is to cast an informed vote for a ballot initiative, it's harder to cast an informed vote for a non-partisan judicial election in which you know nothing about either candidate. We might as well send out signed invitations for self-dealing, ones that are nice enough to point out that there will be zero practical democratic oversight of anyone in a downballot elected office.

nikkibong
10-25-2010, 12:28 PM
This is why the long ballot is a disaster that should be done away with. As difficult as it is to cast an informed vote for a ballot initiative, it's harder to cast an informed vote for a non-partisan judicial election in which you know nothing about either candidate. We might as well send out signed invitations for self-dealing, ones that are nice enough to point out that there will be zero practical democratic oversight of anyone in a downballot elected office.

in oregon, along with our mail ballots, we're sent a hundred page or so "voters guide." thank god for that: it has tons of information about candidates in races that i didn't even know were occurring! all in all, it takes me an hour or two to puzzle over both the guide and my ballot. thank god we've got mail ballots! i wouldnt wanna be a guy who takes an hour in a voting booth . . . a bit like "that guy" in the airplane bathroom. (why is it that people take for freakin ever in airplane bathrooms, btw?)

Don Zeko
10-25-2010, 12:50 PM
in oregon, along with our mail ballots, we're sent a hundred page or so "voters guide." thank god for that: it has tons of information about candidates in races that i didn't even know were occurring! all in all, it takes me an hour or two to puzzle over both the guide and my ballot. thank god we've got mail ballots! i wouldnt wanna be a guy who takes an hour in a voting booth . . . a bit like "that guy" in the airplane bathroom. (why is it that people take for freakin ever in airplane bathrooms, btw?)

North Carolina isn't quite as bad, but it still inspired a cautionary anecdote about having too many elected offices. In my corner of the state, we elect a district soil and water conservation director, and in 2004 there were no candidates on the ballot, although there were two organized write-in campaigns. But I also had a high school history teacher with a cynical and ironic sense of humor who exhorted all of his voting-age students to write him in. He came in 3rd, trailing by something like 300 votes. This was pretty funny, of course, but you've got to wonder how this process is actually going to select effective candidates if someone can seriously contest it as a joke.

kezboard
10-25-2010, 05:00 PM
Those voters' guides were brilliant. I remember one year, I think it might have been 1996, our school district did this mock-elections thing where we spent a few months talking about the different candidates and ballot measures and got to cast fake ballots. I spent about three hours one night with my father going over all the ballot measures and reading all the different arguments (except, probably, for the boring ones about how much money should be spent on light rail in Portland).