I WILL VOTE 2012

It is the eve of the 2012 Presidential Election…  I am making sure I understand each proposition and presidential candidate.  I chose, this election, to be an EDUCATED voter rather than just a voter.  I have watched all the debates and read about the props.  I am absolutely sick of the commercials, phone calls, continuous mail over flowing my mail box, and the signs on every corner.  I will be happy when tomorrow is over, but I will be even more happy to know that I participated in a very important election.  And what will make me happiest is if the man I truly believe in gets elected.

I wanted to take a little time and break down the propositions.  I have had many girls and women talk about the confusion that the commercials cause, so I thought I would talk facts.  These statements are partially reworded by me, but come from the 2012 official ballot and http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov

Each prop comes with a fiscal impact.  A fiscal impact refers to the cost associated with new legislative or ballot measure proposals.

Prop 32– Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.  Won’t allow corporations, unions, and government to use money deducted from employees’ wages for political purposes.  Fiscal Impact:  Increased costs to state and local government, potentially exceeding $1 million annually, to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements.

Prop 33– Allows insurance companies to set prices of insurance based on whether a driver had prior insurance coverage.  Provides some discount to those who have had prior insurance, no matter the insurance carrier.  Allows insurance companies to give increased rates to those drivers with no prior insurance coverage or gaps in coverage. Fiscal Impact: Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues.

Prop 34– Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole.  Gives money to law enforcement agencies for investigations of murder and rape.  Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state and county criminal justice savings of about $130 million annually within a few years, which could vary by tens of millions of dollars. One-time state costs of $100 million for local law enforcement grants.

Prop 35– Increases prison sentences and fines for those convicted of human trafficking. Requires those convicted to register as sex offenders and for those registered to disclose internet activities and identities.  Fiscal Impact: Costs of a few million dollars annually to state and local governments for addressing human trafficking offenses. Potential increased annual fine revenue of a similar amount, dedicated primarily for human trafficking victims.

Prop 36– Revises law to only give life sentences on a third strike conviction if the crime is serious or violent.  If a criminal offender commits a non serious, nonviolent crime they will be sentenced to a shorter time in prison rather than a life sentence.  Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state correctional savings of around $70 million annually, with even greater savings (up to $90 million) over the next couple of decades. These savings could vary significantly depending on future state actions.

Prop 37– Requires labeling of food made from animals or plants with genetic material changed in specific ways.  Prohibits this food from being marketed as “natural.” This prop does provide exemptions.  Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Additional, but likely not significant, governmental costs to address violations under the measure.
I am still deciding on one or two of these props.  Some are a moral vs financial battle for me.  I will have my mind made up before heading to the polls tomorrow.  I hope you all do the same.

Voting, I believe, is an obligation.  We should all care about the leader of our country and we should participate in the voting of new laws.  Those of us who complain but do not vote, are in no position to do so.  If you have an opinion, make it count.  If you don’t, then make sure you don’t speak on it after this is all said and done.
I believe in America.  I believe it is our obligation as American citizens to VOTE.  I believe in the man I’m voting for.

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