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Election day is finally over


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.

better off than 4 years ago poll


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

Electoral College

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.


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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

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.
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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Rohit @ The Money Mail November 7, 2012, 12:51 am

    I dint know you could vote by mail in some states. I think that is a great facility the state provides you.

    In a democracy, your vote is your voice. If you don’t vote, you are letting someone take control of your voice and destiny.

    • retirebyforty November 7, 2012, 2:07 pm

      I love vote by mail. It’s so much easier than going to the poll.

  • Betty November 7, 2012, 5:34 am

    I voted.

    People should get out and, vote mainly because of the local issues.
    Here in AR we too voted on legalizing medical marijuana. I don’t the
    outcome of the vote, it is too early.

    Also on the ballot……our congressional vote, our sheriff, among other offices.
    The county was voting on new taxes for road improvements, gambling casinos
    too. People need to get out and, see what is taking place.

    I live in a small town. It was a dry county up until 4 years ago. Things are
    changing fast here. I don’t want the casinos. I didn’t want the bars either.
    But, those that want these things are the active voters.

    • retirebyforty November 7, 2012, 2:09 pm

      We voted down a casino. They keep trying every 4 years. I don’t want a casino in town. It will just channel local money out of state.

  • SMB November 7, 2012, 7:33 am

    It would also be interesting to see if switching to popular vote would increase the percentage of voters. I think that some of the low turnout has to do with people not voting because their state is definitely going to go one way or another.

    Also, seems like a great day to invest in stocks!

    • retirebyforty November 7, 2012, 2:10 pm

      I doubt it will make a big difference in turnout. If they don’t care enough to vote on local issues, I don’t think changing to popular vote would help. Stock is down quite a bit!

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor November 7, 2012, 9:35 am

    I always have a great feeling of satisfaction after voting. Perhaps one day my Presidential choice will actually win. 🙂 (And no I didn’t vote for Romney.)

    • retirebyforty November 7, 2012, 2:11 pm

      The 2 big party is so dominating. I don’t know if anyone else can get the votes. Someday…

  • krantcents November 7, 2012, 2:04 pm

    I am glad the election is over because I am tired of all the rhetoric. The constant fact checking bothers me too. My understanding of the electoral vote is to give more power to the larger states.

    • jim November 7, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Actually the electoral college is more to balance power between states regardless of size.
      The electoral college was based in states rights and more practical design for the 18th century. It tends to benefit smaller states more than larger states. Would Presidential candidates bother campaigning much in Ohio if Ohio’s votes were split along popular votes? No, yet with the electoral college they were there all the time as it was a crucial swing state. If we had a pure popular vote then there would be much less reason to go Ohio much or places like Nevada or Wyoming. With the electoral college the candidates tend to focus more time on swing states. The larges states California and Texas are not swing states and don’t get much time relative to their size. If we had a popular vote and no electoral college then the politicians would likely campaign in big cities with large population bases so they can hit more people at once and neglect rural or smaller areas where their time would potentially influence far fewer votes.

  • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland November 7, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I liked this! To be clear, in Oregon and Washington, you MUST vote by mail. There are no (zip, zero, zilch) polling places, only dropoff places and places you can get more ballots if you lost yours.

  • jim November 7, 2012, 3:39 pm

    I like vote by mail and I think more states should adopt it. I see stories on the news about people standing in line for 4 hours at a polling center in Florida.. wouldn’t happen with vote by mail.

  • Lance @ Money Life and More November 7, 2012, 4:09 pm

    I voted and am very very glad the election is over. I’m so sick of all of the ads that were shown in my state (Florida).

  • Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey November 7, 2012, 5:16 pm

    I am also glad the election is over. People should go out and vote. I believe that it is our responsibility to our nation and our children, one of the opportunities that we can partake in choosing the leaders of our country.

  • [email protected] November 7, 2012, 6:09 pm

    Many people I talked to who did not vote said they weren’t informed enough about the election to vote. That’s one of the worst excuses ever. We have social media, the internet ect… there is no excuse not to vote. It’s either laziness or apathy. One guy came in groaning and moaning about the outcome. I asked if he voted for the losers on the issues he complained about. he said he didn’t vote. I told him he didn’t have a right to complain because he didn’t take part in it. Boy did that keep him quite.

    • retirebyforty November 7, 2012, 9:32 pm

      Good job with that guy. 🙂

  • savvyfinanciallatina November 8, 2012, 11:25 am

    I hope Congress and the President start doing something instead of bickering all day long. That’s all I want!

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