Whew! Election day is finally over. Like everyone, I am sick and tired of all the political ads. Anyway, here is the result from my poll – Are you better off than 4 years ago? Most people are better off as I predicted. All the comments indicated that it’s because of their personal efforts and the government didn’t have much to do with their success. 77% is quite good.
I’m taking a break today from Personal Finance to share my thoughts on voting. I’m an immigrant to the US and the first time I voted was on the 2008 presidential election. It was very gratifying to vote and put my opinion behind various issues and candidates. I really don’t understand why so many people choose not to vote. In 2008, we had around 62% turnout in the US. Around 130 million eligible voters exercised their right to vote, but that means over 80 million people didn’t vote! People all over the world don’t have any choice but to accept whatever tyranny their dictator pushes on them. I’m thinking a good way to increase voter turnout is to send non voters for a short field trip to a North Korean concentration camp. I’m sure that will bring out their patriotism.
Vote by mail
Most Oregon and Washington residents can vote by mail. I think this is a great idea. We can mark our ballots at home and just drop it in the mail or at one of the ballot boxes around town. Oregon and Washington had about 67% voter turnout in 2008. That’s still not great, but it’s better than the 62% national average. I was really busy this past 2 weeks and didn’t have a chance to vote early. I finally marked my ballot on Monday night and dropped it off at the library on Tuesday. If I had to go to a polling station with our super active 20 month old kid, it would be much more difficult. Even if I lived in another state, I probably would have requested to vote by mail.
Cannabis tax act
Washington, Oregon, and Colorado had a cannabis tax act measure on their ballots this year. The news projected that it would pass in Washington and fail in Oregon. This is pretty interesting and I wonder how the federal government will react. Legalizing marijuana will violate federal law and set up all kinds of conflicts.
Pass – Washington and Colorado
Fail – Oregon
Library funding district
This one is so easy for me. We go to the library 4-5 times a week and I don’t mind paying a bit more tax to support our awesome system. Here is the list of what we get out of our library.
- Story time for Baby RB40
- Great board books for Baby RB40
- A few toys and crayons in the play area for Baby RB40
- Books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs for the adults
- Working space with free wifi
- Internet terminals for when the laptop ran out of battery
- Restroom downtown
I think that’s worth the $1.24 per $1,000 assessed value added to the property tax. For once I’m glad to pay tax.
Result – Pass
This just seems kind of silly to me. Why can’t we go to popular vote already? The Electoral College system is just so archaic. Current technology is good enough to count every vote. I guess it wouldn’t be as fun because we won’t have these exciting finishes from the battleground states anymore.
I hope you voted. Even if you don’t like Obama and Romney, you should at least vote on the local issues. Decisions like funding the library and legalizing marijuana will affect you directly and you can influence the result by voting.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.