You can go to CNN for boring old election results, like who won what race and what obnoxious Republican beat which obnoxious Democrat and how we’re all going to get teabagged and have to like it. But Avitable.com is the only place where you’ll read about some of the more obscure amendments and ballot measures that were proposed across the country yesterday.
In Florida, Amendment 5 requires the use of fairness, equal population, and pre-existing geographical boundaries to create legislative voting districts instead of the original methods of drawing the lines along Team Jacob v. Team Edward boundaries using a combination of guesswork, witchcraft, and a sophisticated dart game. This Amendment passed with almost 62% of the vote. Exit polls showed that most voters who voted against it were older Democrats who saw the word “fairness” and immediately thought it had something to do with Fox News.
In Washington, Amendment SJR 8225 proposed redefining the word “interest” in order to recalculate the state’s debt. In the proposed amendment, the word interest would no longer mean “a fee paid on borrowed assets”. Instead, it would refer to “the amount of care or concern in something”, as in “The State of Washington has no interest in its debt being larger than XX dollars.” This Amendment passed with 53% of the voters voting yes and 47% of the voters showing interest in maintaining the definition of interest.
In South Dakota, Amendment K protects the right to secret ballots in federal, state, and union representation elections. The alternative would be public ballots, where the entire South Dakota population would gather in a location big enough to seat all 1,400 of them, and a chosen proctor would go down a list of citizens one by one and ask them to announce their votes by microphone. This Amendment has passed with 75% of the South Dakota citizens who voted choosing yes and one voter just saying no to be arbitrary.
In New Jersey, the Open Space Bond Issue proposes using $400 MM to preserve open space, farmland, and historic areas. “Open space” has been defined as junkyards, trash heaps, and perpetually unfinished construction sites. “Farmland” has been defined as anywhere that might be useful to bury bodies, and “Historic areas” have been defined as anywhere that serves good pasta. This issue passed with 52% of the New Jersey voters voting yes and the other 48% mysteriously disappearing in the middle of the night.
In Oklahoma, SQ 744 supports the funding of public education to the same per-pupil average as neighboring states. Currently, the state of Oklahoma is required to spend $42 per year for each student, and this contrasts with the $1,500 per year for each student that is the average in every other state except for Louisiana, Alabama, and Rhode Island. Although this measure would improve the education levels of Oklahoman children significantly, it was defeated with 80% voting no. Exit polls recorded voters saying that “We ain’t need none of this eddycashin money for no schoolin’.”
In Louisiana, Act 539 proposes that any salary increases for elected officials, as enacted by those elected officials, only go into effect in subsequent terms of office instead of immediately or retroactively. While this act did pass with 73% of the vote, giving some safeguards to the legislature approving raises for themselves, voters neglected to reject the “Free Car for Legislators every Three Months Amendment” and the “Daily $2,000 Coffee Stipend for Legislators Proposal.”
In Maine, Question 2 proposes an increase to access to dental care and education for Maine citizens. With only one dentist and school in the entire state, the average number of teeth per citizen has dwindled to three, which is about how high the average citizen can count. It passed with 57% of the voters thinking they were coloring in circles for fun.