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Tuesday, November 2, 2004
How I Voted, and Some Predictions

I was in line to vote in American Fork, Utah, Precinct 5 by 7:10 a.m. The wait was 20 minutes. I am quite comfortable with the punch-card ballot. I neither dangled nor dimpled any chad, and I certainly didn't impregnate any, either. I came away with an "I voted today" sticker. Then I earned two pieces of candy by filling out a KSL exit poll. (The candy was not a motivation, by the way.) On the way to the office, I saw a craft store offering a 15% discount to anyone who voted. Nice touch.

To my mind, showing up in person to vote on Election Day is a reasonable expectation, and if it takes half an hour, so be it.

Here's how I voted and some predictions:

President: I voted for President Bush. I'm sticking to my Labor Day prediction that Bush will win by a larger margin than the polls predict. I think there's the potential for a mini-landslide, but I don't know any better than anyone else, of course. I hope we'll all know who was right within the next 18 hours or so, but time will tell. I'm going to guess that Bush wins the popular vote and between 290 and 300 electoral votes.

Senate: I voted for Bennett, who will win handily. I don't think the division in the Senate will change by more that two seats, at most three - probably in the Republican direction, but I could be surprised. That small a change in the opposite direction would shift control to the Democrats. In any case, the Republicans won't get the 60-40 majority which seems necessary to do substantive things these days. I'd like to see Tom Daschle (D-ND) retired; it could happen.

House: I held my nose and voted for Swallow, but only because the winner goes to Washington, where a Republican majority is very important, in my view. I'm unimpressed by John Swallow. I don't know him personally, but he strikes me as too slick by half and a bit low on political substance - not to mention too eager to campaign on the basis of having a lovely family. I'm also still cranky over the essential cluelessness of his campaign two years ago in the Utah County portion of the 2nd District, when it was an open seat and he did have a real chance to win.

Governor: I voted for Huntsman, who will win by a sizable margin. What I don't understand is why the UEA didn't go absolutely, publicly militant against him, because he wants to explore tuition tax credits - which I favor, by the way.

Amendments: I voted for Amendment 1 (a no-brainer, allowing the legislature to call itself into special session to impeach the governor), which will pass. I voted against Amendment 2 (allowing public universities to own interest in private companies); I am suspicious of public institutions which want to control private companies, and proponents failed to convince me of the amendment's benefits sufficiently to overcome that suspicion. It will probably pass, anyway. I voted for Amendment 3 (on marriage being a man-woman thing), which will pass handily. I am unconvinced by nay-sayers' predictions of the peril in the second sentence. Time will tell, I guess.

Initiative 1: I voted for the 1/20th percent sales tax to go to open space, etc., but I doubt it will pass. Initiatives usually don't; I don't know what the stats are on initiatives specifically to tax ourselves. Maybe the proponents had polling or focus group results I don't know about, but I doubt it, even though they seemed well-funded. If they didn't, then I think they sold the initiative in the wrong way. I think "quality growth" would have been a more effective selling point than clean water and open space. Much of the heavily-populated Wasatch Front is facing these growth issues squarely in the eye, but public consciousness of them is not, I think, very high; and I doubt that the rest of the state cares much. The cause is not lost, however; our new governor has been a leader in the quality growth movement.

An Undervote: As if to prove that it's not always a mistake (duh!) or some sort of expatriated Floridian election fraud, I intentionally committed an undervote on several counts. I didn't vote on any judges, because the only basis I have for judgment is the published opinions of attorneys, which are almost uniformly very positive. And I forgot to study the candidates for my state school board race. Oops.

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