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November 07, 2006

Election Day 2006

I have always said that political talk here should be and will be rare. Today is an exception. No advice on who to vote for, just a call to anyone that reads the site to actually vote.

Tera turned in her ballot early, but I was not smart enough to do so. I was up at 6:00 AM when the polls opened to cast my ballot.

This is a critical election in Arizona with several controversial initiatives on the ballot. My representative is safe, but Arizona is one of the contested Senate seats that Democrats need to take over the Senate, which if predictions about Stevens retiring this year also means take over the Supreme Court. Things like a woman's right to (choose/murder depending on point of view) hinge on the Senate Elections.

I am going to be glued to the news tonight and checking several of my favorite blogs for updates. Elections are like horse races or the lottery. Voting is how you buy your ticket and place your bet. Let's hope my horses come in first tonight. =)

Posted by Justin at November 7, 2006 07:44 AM


Like you, I'll be glued to the set tonite. As an IT geek, what's your take on electronic voting? Is there any cause for concern that touch screen machines are easier to hack? My home state of Nevada deals with this partially by making a paper audit copy of every electronic ballot cast--does AZ do so as well?

Are such machines really any more complex than any other sort of ballot? Personally, I think any voter not smart enough to figure out how to use one is probably too dim to be trusted with the franchise anyway (the allegations that such machines are unfair because they're confusing is usually made by Democrats--should other Democrats be insulted by the implied assumption that stupid people would overwhelmingly vote Democratic if only we make it easy enough?). LIkewise, I have no problem with being required to show ID to vote--I have to show it to get on a plane, cash a check, or use a credit card. Why not to vote?

I don't know which outcome is more frightening--that the Republicans win and assume based thereon that everyone likes what they've been doing and wants more of the same, or that the Democrats win and dedicate the next two years to nothing but showing how evil the Republicans were rather than fixing the war, fixing the deficit, fixing healthcare, etc. Best bet may be a victory for one side or the other that's so narrow that the winner will feel compelled to actually do something or lose big in the next round. I'm not optimistic, though.

Posted by: dan curriden at November 7, 2006 03:31 PM

It is funny, but notice how all the problems seem to happen in Democratic Districts. Watching Jesse Jackson explain how the ballot was confusing Democrats in Florida in 2000, but not confusing to everyone else was hysterical.

My biggest worry is the repeal of the tax cuts and the effect that will have on the economy. I am not happy about Iraq, but no one is, however, I am very happy about the economy. Good unemployment rate. Great job growth. Modest inflation. Good wage growth. It is an excellent economy as evidenced by the growth of my mutual funds, investments, 401k, property values, etc.

If the Democrats mess with the Capital Gains tax, it will further destroy the real estate market that is already having problems. Wall Street prefers a do-nothing congress, and I think a split house (which will probably happen) may turn out to be a good thing. No one can screw anything up. But the funny part is to think that somehow a modest Democrat victory will somehow send a signal about the War in Iraq. Normally midterm elections favor the other party and to watch it be this close is very odd. Unpopular war. Divided country. Yet the election is this close. I would think that the outrage over Iraq would be sufficient to make this a landslide.

But either way, this will be far from a mandate on Iraq or the economy.

Posted by: Justin B at November 7, 2006 05:45 PM

There were an incredible number of close races, but a huge swing in the balance of power. Afterwards though, I can't see this as a victory for the far left fringe of the Democrat Party, but rather as a defeat of Rumsfeld who was the first head to roll and for an administration that has done a very poor job of communicating and of handling the war in Iraq that they convinced us was both necessary and winnable.

I don't think that the new Congress will mess with tax rates. I do think they will work with the President to pass immigration reform (that includes amnesty) as well as immediately raise the Federal minimum wage, although several states passed raises anyway that were less than the $7.15 that the last Congress proposed.

My concerns are pretty narrow. I want to see low taxes and an environment that encourages small businesses to invest as well as continues the record homeownership. I have my concerns about the leftist socialist wing of the Democrat Party and their anti-business rhetoric, but at the end of the day, they talk a good game, but I don't think they will raise taxes but may let the Bush tax cuts expire (which amounts to raising taxes).

Expect a Centrist agenda by the Dems since they want to pass things that have popular support and that won't get vetoed by Bush.

Posted by: Justin B at November 8, 2006 05:02 PM