Tonawanda News

November 8, 2013

Taking issue with election issues

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Everyone should have voted Tuesday. But few of us did.

I was one of those who took the time to get out there and cast my ballot. It was kind of sad how little there was to actually vote for. Many seats in my city were uncontested. That seemed to be popular in many municipalities across Western New York.

Of course, I can’t blame people for not wanting to run for office. I wouldn’t want to deal with the pressure that comes from being an elected official. Aside from a small stipend, you mostly get paid in grief.

But it’s still sad only having one option to vote for. It’s not much of a vote. “Hey kids, do you want broccoli for dinner? Or broccoli?” Seriously. Not much of an option.

There were three “races” in which my only option was broccoli. I chose not to eat. I’ve made a habit of refusing to vote for any candidate who runs unopposed — no matter how much I might actually like that candidate. It’s my protest against the system, I suppose. Plus it saves ink.

My other frustration with the system is that each candidate can run on multiple lines. It’s called “fusion voting.” It should be called “the great scam.” Basically, major party candidates work their hardest to also secure their position on minor party lines. They have to do this because some people just won’t vote “Republican.” But they’ll vote “Conservative” or whatever.

As I told my friend Tim Schmitt from WLVL on Tuesday night, if you will vote for a candidate, but only on a line other than “Republican” or “Democrat,” you need to grow up. Your claim that “I’ve never voted Republican in my life” is juvenile. It’s like Bill Clinton not inhaling or “not having sexual relations with that woman, miss Lewinsky.” Really, you’re no better than Bill Clinton.

My last disappointment from this year’s election was the passage of Proposition 1, the referendum to allow casino voting in New York State. Although I have no opposition to casinos and generally think that anything that doesn’t infringe on others’ rights should be legal, I was offended by the way the ballot measure was worded, as well as how it was marketed.

The propaganda for the initiative pretty much said if you vote against it, you hate money and progress. So of course people voted for it. Well, at least the people who voted. Not that there were many of them.

Scott Leffler is a voter who votes. Vote for him on Twitter @scottleffler.