In the June 6, 2006 Consolidated Direct Primary Election. Also know as "the primaries" which are the local elections. At least that's what it says in the flyer from the county registrar of voters. What impresses people the most is not so much the fact that I'm a permanent absentee voter, with my ballots sent to Baltimore and then pouched to Ouagadougou.
It's the little pencil enclosed with the ballot. That's a nice touch. But I still had to stick a couple of stamps on to mail in my vote. So the government pays for the pencil but not for the postage?
The SmartVoter website says that the positions on the following levels are up for election this year: State Executive, US Senate, US Representative, State Senate, State Assembly, Board of Equalization, Party Committee, School, County. Who knew?
I actually didn't know who most of the people were, except Diane Feinstein and Jerry Brown. According to the NPR segment Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Struggle in California, I'm with the majority of Californians who don't know who the candidates are.
Funnily enough the burning issues of the day like immigration and the Iraq war were not reflected on the ballot. The two propositions up for votes are called California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2006 (Shall the state sell $600 million in bonds to provide grants to local agencies for the construction, renovation, and/or expansion of local library facilities?) and Preschool Education (Should the California Constitution and state law be amended to create and support a new, publicly funded, voluntary preschool program for children to attend in the year prior to kindergarten, to be funded by an increase in personal income tax rates for high income individuals?), both of which I voted for. Maybe I'm being fiscally irresponsible, but these seem like no-brainers for me to support.
At least this time around it won't be like the presidential elections when my Burkinabé colleagues begged me to vote for Kerry.