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Far Too Many Choices on California's Ballot

I think choice is a wonderful thing within limits, but this ballot contains far too many choices for somebody with my limited capacity.

Seven years of higher education did not remotely begin to prepare me for the California ballot. I have been studying the “Official Voter Information Guide” which is only slightly thinner than the phone book, the “Official Sample Ballot” with accompanying voting instructions, and the Santa Monica “Supplemental Sample Ballot.” I haven’t had time to sleep in days, am utterly exhausted, and haven’t even voted yet.     

I think choice is a wonderful thing within limits, but this ballot contains far too many choices for somebody with my limited capacity. Even the task of choosing a president becomes daunting when you add to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney the name of Roseanne Barr. Now I really have to do some soul searching. We all understand if Roseanne is elected, the national anthem, as we know it, is dead.     

If I understand the ballot which I’m sure I don’t, I am being asked to vote on everything from genetic engineering to condom wearing. For those of you who live outside of California and read my column, I am not making this stuff up.     

In order to enlighten the voter, we have the opportunity to read statements in support of and opposed to each ballot measure. Rather than enlighten, these statements tend to give me a severe migraine headache.      

For instance, take the proposal to label foods which contain genetic engineering. The proponents argue we should be entitled to know exactly what we are eating. I think full disclosure might force me into a Gandhi like fast. The opponents counter with the simple argument that enforcement of this regulation will drive the cost of a Twinkie to somewhere between $500 and $1,000.       

And then there is the ballot question to beat all ballot questions—should male actors in pornographic films be compelled to wear a condom? Denmark and Sweden have nothing on California! Ah yes, this is the question that tries men’s souls. Must I vote on this issue?

Can’t the legislators take my power to decide away? What are we paying them for if not to make tough decisions like this. I, who wrote in this very Malibu Patch that pornography should not be allowed in the Malibu Library, believe condoms have no place on the California ballot. In the drug store “yes,” on the ballot “no.”

Max November 04, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I have great news for you. You are not required to cast a ballot here come Tuesday. Why, you may ask? Well, I spent the day researching at the library. As an aside, based on one of your previous columns, I was continually approached by the staff, checking to see if I was reading pornography because I kept whispering aloud “If I were a porn star, how could I get away without having to wear a condom during a shoot?” I told the librarians that I was simply doing my duty as a bona fide American voter. But, enough about me. The reasons why YOU are not allowed to vote here are 3-fold: (1) You are not yet a Malibuian citizen in good standing (“your papers, please”). Do you know who played third base for the Malibu Tigers in the 1955 Little League World Series? (There’s a reason why they asked such questions during WW2 of suspicious soldiers.) Can you name the founding Fathers of Malibu? In the Malibu Bill of Rights, which amendment gives movie stars the right to refuse to autograph anything except moving violations (this is a trick question, since it only applies to SAG members)? (2) You are still a citizen of New Jersey (and can’t hold dual citizenship here); (3) You are a Judge in good standing (albeit, a Pie Eating Contest Judge) and can't cast a ballot due to Conflict of Interest protocol. So, my dear Burt, please feel free to kick back on our local beaches this Tuesday, without a worry in the world, while us “little people” deal with the politics.

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