One year, in 1976, I voted five times, in the Presidential primary, the regular primary, the general election, and two school-related votes. Do I think it makes a difference? I’m not sure. But I keep doing it, just in case. Also, I’ve had ancestors who fought for the right to vote, so I’m just not willing to just give it away.
This year, one race where voting won’t make a lick of difference is in the Albany mayoral contest. I know the challengers HATE that kind of talk, but I believe it, as do most observers. This is a one-party town, Democratic, and the incumbent, Jerry “How-Many-Events-Can-I-Make-In-One-Day?” Jennings, will get his fourth four-year term.
Naturally, I will vote for someone else. In this case, that would be Alice Green, coincidentally the Green Party candidate, and unrelated to me. (But she lives less than two blocks from my house.) Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary came to her house for a fundraiser. When Ralph Nader endorsed her, he practically challenged Jennings’ manhood for failing to debate her; there was also someone in a chicken costume outside City Hall.
There is a Republican candidate, Joe Sullivan, but he is practically Harold Stassen.
The mayor used to be a school vice-principal, so he tries to run the school board as well, though it is not in his purview. We received a very well-crafted flier for three of the six candidates. As it turns out, those three are the ones supported by the mayor.
I don’t know one of the other three candidates; the second is a decent incumbent. But I am familiar with Judy Doesschate. In fact, I’ve known Judy for 30 years. We were in student government together at the State University College at New Paltz in 1974 and 1975. She was the editor of the student newsletter I worked on. Good luck, Judy!
In New York State, there are two Propositions. Prop 2 is easy for me. It’s a $2.9 billion bond issue for transportation. I’m in favor of the things that the bond issue would pay for, but not via that payment methodology.
Prop 1 is harder. It would “reform” the state budget process, which Allah knows we need, since 20 of the last 21 budgets have been late. It pushes back the budget due date from April 1 to May 1 (that’s OK), and if there is no budget, would provide for provisional amounts to go to school districts, instead of them having to borrow, which is great news. Yet it seems that it allows the state legislature, which will be stronger vis a vis the governor in this new paradigm, not to bother working to meet the new deadline for the budget at all. People whose opinions I value come down on both sides of the issue.
So, my three questions for you are of an electoral nature; my tresponses will be in the answer section as well:
How often do you vote? Every election? Just the general elections in November? Every two years? Every four years? Never?
Why do so few Americans vote? Is the registration process in your state too onerous? (Registration is very different from state to state.)
Will you ever run for elected office? For what office? And why? (And if not, why not?)
BONUS QUESTION FOR NEW YORKERS: What’s YOUR take on Prop 1, or for that matter, Prop 2, the Albany mayor’s race, the NYC’s mayor’s race, or anything else electoral?