Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Vote - A Modern Civics Lesson

In 2008, Floridians voted with a 52.1% majority to retain a section of the Florida Constitution which empowers the legislature to create laws against Asians owning land in Florida. All Amendment 1 would have done was repeal an archaic provision of the constitution that was put in place to support The Asian Exclusion Act of 1924.

I don't think most Floridians who voted on this knew what it was about. There may have been some who thought it was irrelevant because the legislature never acted on it, and there may have been some with a deep seated fear of Asians, but most just saw "immigrant" in the text and voted against it.

That's a shame. If you're smart enough to vote, you probably have access to a computer and a simple search to educate yourself. My favorite source is Ballotpedia. It's easy to use and lays out the issues clearly.

Now these Amendments and retaining Judges look like boring technical issues but they often have a more direct effect on our lives than any governor, senator or even mayor can have. Looking at the ones on the 2010 Ballot, they include

  • Amendment 1, which will change the way campaigns are funded in Florida.
  • Amendment 2, which will give serving military an additional homestead tax relief
  • Amendment 4, which will change the way our natural resources are protected
  • Amendments 5 & 6, which will change the way our legislative districts are drawn.
  • Amendment 8, which will change the size of Florida classrooms.

Take some time to educate yourself on these issues and others. Again, Ballotpedia is a great resource. So's Google. I know I made my decisions on retaining Supreme Court Justices by Googling "Who endorsed fill in the name?" and saw much useful information.

Kevin Vericker
October 22, 2010

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