I mentioned over on Twitter that I voted early this year, because I was traveling on election day. This precipitated questions about how I voted, and in particular what my vote on Issue 2 was. All right, here’s how I voted. For those of you following along at home, here’s the Ohio Secretary of State’s page on the statewide issues on the ballot.
Issue 1: This one raises the age one may be initially elected to judgeship to 75 (the current age is 70), and also and independently amends the State Constitution regarding courts of conciliation and the governor’s ability to appoint supreme court commissions.
I voted NO, because among other things in Ohio judges up to age 80 may be assigned to the bench, so I’m not entirely sure what benefit this change offers and I am disinclined to change a working process without substantial reason. Also I’m disinclined to vote on an issue that does two entirely separate and unrelated things (in this case raising maximum age to be elected a judge and the stuff regarding courts of conciliation and supreme court commissions); that’s bad drafting. Moreover the issues regarding courts of conciliation and supreme court commissions don’t seem to be hugely pressing ones; I don’t think they have to be dealt with now. Indeed I want to see a compelling argument that it needs to be dealt with at all, and my general philosophy when it comes to constitutions, state or otherwise, is “don’t mess with them unless absolutely necessary.”
Issue 2: This issues asks Ohio voters to retain (with a “yes” vote) or repeal (with a “no” vote) Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 5, which was the bill that substantially curtailed the ability of Ohio public employees to collectively bargain, especially in respect to benefits.
I voted NO, because I have the overall philosophical belief that generally speaking people should be allowed to collectively bargain, and while there are several problems I personally have with how unions do things, I don’t think how the Ohio state government dealt with it was the right way to do it; it was basically the attempt by a bunch of politicians who hate unions to cut some balls when they thought they could get away with it. The action wasn’t particularly popular here in Ohio, and the polling for Issue 2 suggests the “No” vote will carry the day. But I don’t believe in polls, I believe in going to the polls and casting my vote.
Issue 3: The issue amends the Ohio state constitution, basically in an attempt to get around any federal mandate to carry health insurance (see: the health care laws passed by the US government).
I voted NO, because as noted before, my general philosophy with constitutions is not to mess with them unless absolutely necessary, and even if I were inclined to agree with this particular proposal, I don’t see why it merits being enshrined in the state constitution rather than simply being a law. And before you ask, yes, I’ve applied this thinking even to issues I would be inclined to agree with, if the issue is to amend the state constitution. That I see this proposal as unnecessary and not beneficial is icing on that constitutional cake.
Also on the ballot where I am: Three local levies, one for emergency services in my township and two for handicapped and social services in my county. I voted for all of them, because I found them reasonable requests and I can afford the rather small tax hike they would entail for me. If you want services, you have to pay for them. In terms of the public servants on the ballot, I voted for the incumbents because I haven’t heard that they’ve been doing a bad job.
And those are my votes for 2011.