I voted

holding nose

But I didn't like it

I did my civic duty. I cast my ballot in the California recall election.

I voted electronically

In Riverside County they use touch-screen voting machines, so our sticker tells everyone that we voted electronically. This was my first time to use anything other than a punch-card ballot.

• I had a choice of language, English or Spanish
• I could see what I was actually voting on, not just a number next to a hole with a chad
• Without numbers, it too much longer to find the name of the replacement governor, since there were 135 names to sift through. Although I knew from the sample ballot that it was on the last page, I couldn't tell how close I was to the last page, since the list isn't in alphabetical order
• Since the screen is almost vertical, and the "booths" are just 3-sided carrels, anyone who really cared to see who I was voting for could have
clothespin on nose

Recall. I voted no. It's not that I think Gray Davis has done a great job. I held my nose when I voted for him for his second term — he was just the least worst candidate. But I voted not to recall him because I think it is plain wrong to recall someone just because you don't like him and because someone has enough money to pay millions to collect signatures. It is a mis-use of the recall provision.

clothespin on nose

Replacement governor. I voted for Cruz Bustamante. It's not that I think he'd make the most competent governor out of all those on the ballot. This was a defensive vote: I considered Cruz the only one with a realistic chance of getting more votes than Arnold. Arnold would be a disaster as governor. The only good thing about Arnold as governor — I'm reaching for a silver lining to this cloud — would be that it might help wrest control of the California Republican party away from the ultra-right that dominate the convention and primary processes.

Of the Republicans on the ballot, I think Peter Uberroth would have made the best governor, but he has withdrawn and won't possibly get enough votes to stop Arnold. Tom McClintock is clearly the most principled and savvy Republican on the ballot, but he brings too much ultra-right baggage on social issues.

Proposition 53: Dedicate funds to infrastructure. I voted no. California's infrastructure is certainly in need of attention, but a consititutional amendment that prescribes a percentage of General Fund revenues is not the way to get it. One of the reasons California government is such a mess is because of all the ballot initiatives that have taken away flexibility from the Governor and the Assembly to actually manage the budget.

Proposition 54: Prohibit classification by race, ethnicity, color, national origin. I voted no. In general, I think we would be a whole lot better off if we worried less about categorizing people into subgroups. On the other hand, there are still many inequities related to these factors, and I fear that without data it will become even harder to address them. It would be wonderful if our society were race-blind, color-blind, ethnicity-blind, national origin-blind, and a lot of other things-blind as well — the reality is that it is not, and wishing it were won't make it so.

Regardless of how you voted, it's important that you did. Even if you did vote wrong. (Don't email me — it's a joke!)