I didn’t vote in the primaries this month. This is the first election I’ve skipped since I’ve moved to California. I’ve probably voted more in the past two years than I have in my entire life. Not because I didn’t used to vote much, but because they make us vote all the fucking time.
I moved here in the fall of 2003, and I had to vote three times in the first three months. Gubernatorial recall, regular election, mayoral runoff. And everytime you go, it’s a total ordeal if you haven’t prepped in advance. There’s the candidates, but then there’s a slew of city, regional, and state initiatives with all sort of letters and numbers. We have to vote on things like parking lots and seismic retrofit and library funding and pre-k classes and minimum wages and reversing previous initiatives and the number of people that sit on some municipal board and who gets to appoint them. There are initiatives that go together, so if you vote yes on 68 it only makes sense to vote no on 70, but the ballet doesn’t say that, or 71 has to pass in order for the result of 74 to even be considered.
Don’t I elect people to decide these things for me? Am I supposed to trust my fellow citizens to make the “right” decision on something as specific as how many people should sit on some obscure board? I don’t have time to really research these initiatives, should I believe that other voters do? Do elected leaders do anything besides put initiatives on the ballot? The governator has been personally responsible for one or two trips to the ballot box, can’t he solve his own political problems without getting me involved?
I’m tired of democracy.