Random thoughts on the election

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November 2006

 

Proposal 2

            Proposal 2 to ban affirmative action in Michigan passed by a substantial margin. Only three counties voted against it: Wayne, Washtenaw, and Ingham.  The only people supporting this Proposal were the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative committee that got it on the ballot and the KuKlux Klan.  How would you like to be in that company? Apparently it doesn’t bother all the people who voted for this Proposal.

            I didn’t read the entire list of groups that opposed the passage of the amendment, but they included church groups, major corporations, the League of Women Voters,  and the two major gubernatorial candidates. Do endorsements mean anything?    

            Or could it be that the wording of the Proposal obfuscated the intent of the Proposal?

            Affirmative Action is not a “quota” system, since that was declared unconstitutional in the University of Michigan undergraduate case in 2003. So why were proponents of the proposal still using that language in their campaign.? It seems that someone should be helf liable for that  lie.

Recorded messages

            In this electronic age, more and more candidates and groups endorsing or opposing proposals are using the phone to get their message across. i had four on election day for Dick DeVos. One was by his young daughter saying her dad would do a good job. What daughter wouldn’t say that? More importantly, what did it add to the conversation, especially since she sounded like an 8 year old.

            Another recorded message was by James Dobson, who didn’t mention any names, but opposed the person who supports gays. He said it in a demeaning manner as well.

Reaching out

It was good to see President George W. Bush reaching out to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the expected next Speaker of the House.  David Letterman already had fun with this by saying that President Bush invited Pelosi and other Democrats to a White House luncheon. He kept asking for things but they wouldn’t pass him anything. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in real life, tempting as much as that might be to the Democrats.

            My hope is that the President will become the uniter that he promised to be in his first campaign in 2000. it would be a welcome relief from the bitterness and polarization of the past six years.

 E-voting

            I have written about electronic voting before, insisting that a paper trail always be part of the process, mainly for recounting purposes. Michigan required that,but left to the counties the company to use. I was pleased with the process in Midland at both the primary and the general election.

            I didn’t realize in August that the new machines would be in place, so as I approached the voting place, I wondered how I was going to vote. My concerns were quickly alleviated when I walked into the room with my white cane and a voting official asked if I wanted to use their new machine for visually impaired. I was thrilled. She was thrilled too as I was the first one. Even though she was trained in its use, the actual use is always the test. It worked fine.

            I wore a head phone and everything was digitally read to me, starting with directions on using the keypad. The keypad consisted of four arrow keys and a square pad in the middle. The arrow keys allowed me  to move around the ballot and the square key made my selection. I could even turn off the screen so no one could inadvertently see my ballot on the screen. Of course no one was even remotely close to being able to see it.          Just as sighted people did, I reviewed the ballot approved my choices, printed it and put it in the ballot box.

            The only difficulty in all this was I had to listen to the entire ballot proposals before I could vote. A sighted person can see what the proposal is and move to vote on it right away.  Considering the advantage to this machine, that little nuisance is not a problem.

Thanksgiving

In this month of giving thanks, let’s all be grateful for the freedoms we have, our families, friends, jobs, school, and the list goes on. We are truly blessed in this country.

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