It's that time of year again: election eve. I've replanned my morning to make sure I stop by the neighborhood Lutheran church on my way to work tomorrow so I can vote.
Yesterday my husband and I spent a couple of hours studying candidates and ballot measures and determining who we will vote for (he and I live in different cities in Illinois, so we vote in different races). I considered posting who I will be voting for tomorrow, but I figured at least one of the votes I will be casting my rankle one of my readers. So instead, I've decided to play people-pleaser and instead post what races I'll be following as results come in over the next few days.
Illinois U.S. Senator
Both of these races are extremely tight with the Republican candidates leading in the polls going into tomorrow. Illinois is usually reliably Democratic, so this is an interesting one to watch. Not only are Illinoisans frustrated with Democrats at the national level, but we're frustrated with state Democrats as well. Democrats have controlled the governorship, both houses of the state legislature, and both Senate seats for the last several years... and we're sitting on the second worst state debt in the nation. I've never lived in a swing state before nor voted in such tight races before. I'm kinda enjoying the fact that I get to cast my vote in these two races; for once I feel like my one single vote is actually important :-)
Iowa Supreme Court Judge Retention
The justices of the Iowa Supreme Court are appointed by governors, but they are retained by popular vote. Tomorrow three of the justices are up for retention. Judge retention races are usually yawners, but this races has drawn national attention and lots of money from outside the state. Last year the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously determined that my marriage is legally equivalent to all others. This has raised the ire of some, and there is a chance that Iowa may remove one or more of the Supreme Court justices tomorrow.
Illinois Constitutional Amendment
My buddy Pomoprophet lives in a state where the state constitution is modified by sometimes dozens of ballot initiatives every election. Not so here in Illinois. This election is rather unique in that we will have a constitutional amendment on our ballots. The amendment provides for the ability to remove the governor by popular recall--in addition to the legislative impeachment process already in place (which was exercised for the first time a year ago when Blagojevich was removed following his arrest). I'm going to tip my hand on this one: I plan to vote NO on this amendment for one reason: I am generally opposed to direct democracy. I don't want Illinois to evolve into another California.
Other races that interest me (but I'm far too sleepy to write about now):
Pennsylvania U.S. Senator
Florida U.S. Senator
Nevada U.S. Senator
California Proposition 19 (the marijuana legalization measure)
California Proposition 20 and 27 (which contradict each other--and yes, people can vote in favor of both; isn't direct democracy crazy?)
Washington Income Tax Ballot Initiative
One race I will not be watching is that of the U.S. Representative for Peoria. Let me not mince words here: I don't like Aaron Schock. The way he votes against justice frustrates me, but the way he discusses issues absolutely infuriates me. When Schock speaks, he doesn't contribute to rational debate; he adds to the noise. I would love to see him voted out of office, but alas he is Peoria's favorite son. This community has been electing Schock to various legislative roles since before he graduated from high school. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that he will lose tomorrow's race (unfortunately), so there's no point in watching it.
That's OK; I have plenty of other races to watch :-)
Happy voting, everybody!