Monday, November 7, 2016

2016 watchlist

Election day is tomorrow, and in preparation here is a shortcut for the most interesting, important, potentially important, and unique races in the country. This is important because there are over 100 ballot initiatives in the country right now, and many of them are on the same topics. They also are continuing a trend which have already been passed in other states. They are still important, but they will not be earth shattering and be continuing established political trends in the United States. These initiatives are about marijuana, minimum wage, gun control, and certain types of tax legislation. These can be important, but there are a few races right now that will get less attention but could quickly become trend setters. There are also a number of important races which could be more earth shattering than others. Albeit, every election is important and voters should read their local alternative newspaper to understand the issues. From a national standpoint, here are the ones which I am most interested in:

Presidential election. Established former senator vs. a fascist misogynistic pig. Go Clinton!

Senate elections: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire are potential Democratic pick ups for control of the Senate.

Several gubernatorial elections, probably no switching party this year. Nothing earth shattering.

State legislatures: Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Washington are all split. Possible pickups in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

Ballot initiatives: Focusing on the ones which are not part of continuing trends.

  • Washington: Initiative 732 to replace part of the state tax code with a Carbon Tax is the first of its type in America, modeled after a successful policy in British Columbia, I am working on the campaign and am obsessed with it. It must pass.
  • Maine: Ranked Choice Voting Initiative, Question 5, the first of its type in the United States. I am obsessed with IRV and hopefully once Maine implements this reform it will move around the country.
  • Death Penalty repeal in Nebraska and California, Oklahoma to set it in the constitution. Literally a life and death issue.
  • Maine: makes their tax code more progressive in order to fund education, Question 2
  • Colorado: Prohibit slavery in prisons.
  • California Prop 58: Non-English in Schools

This is where we stand today. There are also thousands of local elections for local government, cities and counties (and equivalents) across the country. These are currently dominated by Republicans and we will see how many Democrats vote down the ballot this year.

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