Saturday, November 3, 2012

California's Sorry Official Sample Ballot

I finally cracked open my California Official Sample Ballot the other night. Quickly flipping past the voting instructions, write-in voting instructions, translated election materials, vote by mail, information for voters, and Voter Bill of Rights pages, I finally reached the start of the ballot itself. And what I saw stopped me cold.

Page 1, of course, is President and Vice President. And on the California ballot, the very first name listed, right at the top, is Roseanne Barr.

Even for California, where Gary Coleman and a porn star once ran for governor, and where Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor, that's just sad.

The Official Sample Ballot fun doesn't stop there, however. California now has non-partisan primaries, so the Democrats and Republicans no longer nominate their own candidates in their own races. It's all just one big jumble now, which has produced some, ah, "unintended consequences," like two Democratic congressmen running against each other for the same House seat. Or this little gem from Page 2 of the ballot:

ELIZABETH EMKEN, Businesswoman/Nonprofit Executive     Party Preference: Republican
DIANNE FEINSTEIN, United States Senator     Party Preference: Democratic

Because Dianne Feinstein isn't really a Democrat, you see, not anymore. And Elizabeth Emken isn't really a Republican. Purge such partisan foolishness from your head! They just happen to "prefer" a particular party, like iced tea over lemonade. So grab your political Arnold Palmer, and drink up!

Orwell would be proud, I think, but maybe I'm expecting too much from California. It has Roseanne Barr at the top of the ballot, after all.