Post-Election Day Thoughts, 2015
Here in Ohio, aside from some local races, the only things I had on my ballot to vote for were state initiatives. Here’s how I voted:
Issue One: This one changed the state redistricting process so that it’s handled by a non-partisan committee rather than by whoever’s in the majority in the state government when redistricting comes along. Well, I’m a fan of not gerrymandering the shit out of districts for political gain, so I voted for it. So did 71% of the voters, so good for us. Note well, however: the Federal redistricting is still in the hands of the state legislature.
Issue Two: This issue was designed to keep people who are proposing state initiatives from gaining a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel through said initiative. This issue was a direct response to Issue Three, which was on the ballot as well. I think this is a perfectly reasonable thing, and I voted for it. So did 52% of Ohio voters, so it passed. Again, good for us.
Issue Three: This would have legalized marijuana use for medical and recreational use, but also would have created a cartel of producers who would be the only ones authorized to grow pot in Ohio. Basically, a bunch of rich jerks were trying to corner the pot market in the state by appealing to people’s desire to toke up. It didn’t work; 64% of the voters turned it down, including me. I’m not against the legalization of pot generally, but I was against this. That was some bullshit right here.
Aside from the Ohio issues, the other major election event I was paying attention to was the Kentucky governor’s race, because my pal Drew Curtis — who I supported both as a friend and through campaign contributions — was running for the job as an independent. He didn’t win — he got 3.7% of the vote, but neither was he a spoiler for the other guy who lost, Democrat Jack Conway, who garnered 43.8% of the vote. Add up their totals and it’s still less than what Republican Matt Blevin ended up getting (Drew, I know, believes he drew votes off both of them, which, if true, makes him even less of a spoiler). I’m not especially impressed with Kentucky’s choice for Governor, as Blevin seems like a real piece of work. But he’s not my governor, thank goodness (mine is John Kasich, who wasn’t my first pick, to be clear, but is what passes for a moderate in the GOP these days, i.e., he’s not entirely divorced from reality — and his Democratic opponent in the election was a real fuck-up, so, uh, yeah).
In Ohio, roughly 3 million people voted, out of a voter base of about 7.8 million, so that’s about 39%, which is an average off-year turnout; for comparison, 70% of registered voters showed up in 2012, when we elected a president. It does make me wonder what the hell the people not voting every chance they get are thinking.
Generally speaking nationwide this particular election looks to have been good for conservatives/GOP and less so for Democrats/progressives, which is SOP for election days where there’s not someone running for president. Note to progressives and/or Democrats: Maybe, and I’m just spitballing here, you should think of going out and voting every single election day. Try it! It’s kooky fun! Also — another wacky idea! — you might think about trying to actually build local and state organizations that aren’t fumbly and get walked over by the GOP machine on those levels. Rumor is, there is actual government and law going on at that level! And you can’t expect a Democrat to win the White House every single time. Just putting that out there for your consideration.
All that said, for me, in Ohio, this election day went pretty much exactly how I wanted it to. I can’t complain.