First, I've never seen that many people at my local polling station. Two precincts in my neighborhood vote in the basement of the local community center. Usually I stroll in in the morning, sign the rolls and cast my ballot. I don't ever recall waiting in line for more that thirty seconds or so. This time I had to wait about five minutes because all of the voting booths were taken. As of late last night, guestimates on the turnout for the entire county was fifty percent of registered voters.
Second, the issues on the ballot were mostly written very badly. One was a constitutional ammendment to allow slot machines at racetracks with a portion of net profits going to college scholarships. Not only is this not the type of law that ought to be embedded in a constitution, but its basically a corporate giveaway. I would support an ammendment that removed all statewide barriers to gambling so that individual municipalities could decid for themselves whether or not to ban casinos, but this was crap. So was the anti-smoking ammendment funded by big tobacco. A second anti-smoking referrendum wasn't written too poorly.
Third, this election is the first time I can remember having voted for anyone who won any major race. My pick for US representative lost but for the first time ever I guy voted for made it to the state house. It feels kind of weird.
The gubernatorial race was such a blow-out that the GOP candidate conceded just on the strength of the exit polls. While he was a very creepy guy, I think the GOP's big mistake was running a black guy in a statewide race in good old racist Ohio. Of the other statewide races, the only one not won by the Dems was the one where they fielded a black candidate. Maybe I underestimate my fellow state residents. But in the nineties when I lived in one of the most liberal parts of a blue collar manufacturing town, I regularly saw such events as pastey white folks walking around with tee shirts with klansmen on the front and the slogan `the original boys in the hood' on the back. Then there was the neighborhood tavern with a cheery little sign on the front door advising `no coloreds'. Sometimes Ohio makes me despair.
My number one hope is that control of congress will lead to a substantial inquiry into corruption, especially wartime profiteering in Iraq. With billions of dollars unaccounted for, heads ought to roll. An inquiry into intelligence leading up to the war would be nice as well, but IMO that's spilt milk. There isn't much that can be done except to clean up the existing mess. If Democrats can just get this one thing done and done well, barring some unforeseen disaster, they'll increase their margins in 2008.
I also hope that they try to drive through health care reform, living wage leglislation, the 90/10 Proposition, a real social security reform, and figure out how to gracefully exit Iraq. But I don't have my heart set on having any of these items fixed in the short term. They are all hard problems.
And if they could give me Karl Rove's head on a pike, that would be most excellent. But I don't see that happening. A good second option would a re-enactment of the special prosecutor law and appointment of Mr. Fitzgerald to look into white house corruption. But I don't see that happening either.
I also hope that Al Gore runs in 2008. This is not very likely. It appears that he'll only run if he's drafted. I can't recall the last time a party drafted someone rather than picking someone who ran in a primary.
And that is all for now.
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