How I'm voting in the November 2022 election

10 Oct 2022

As a newly minted US citizen, I’m very excited to vote in the November 8 election, and have been diligently studying the voter materials for the last couple of weeks. Here is a list of the races on the ballot and how I’m planning to vote on them. I will not be presumptuous to call it a “voter guide” or an “endorsement” since I really don’t think anyone should be voting based on what I recommend. Why post this, then? Mostly to start a conversation and broaden my worldview. I am more than willing to have my mind changed! Please shoot me a text/email/message and I’ll be happy to buy you a beer or coffee and talk about any of these.

Ballot Measures: State

In general, I think it is better for laws to be passed by the legislature than by ballot measure. There is more flexibility — a law passed by ballot measure can’t be repealed by the legislature, and ballot measures are fairly cumbersome and expensive to do over. There is also less nuance possible — while there’s debate and discussion, and the law goes through several revisions as it passes through committee, state assembly, and state senate, ballot propositions need a yes/no vote and are passed as written.

Thus, when deciding how to vote on a ballot measure, I try to answer two questions: (1) is it good policy, and (2) does it meet the bar for a ballot measure to pass a law.The answer to both should be in the affirmative for me to vote yes.

Ballot Measures: City

While my overall thinking around city ballot measures is similar to how I think of the state-level ones, I lower my bar to vote Yes for a measure at the city level somewhat, compared to state level ones (if I think it is sound policy) for a few reasons. One is that I think the San Francisco board of supervisors is a particularly dysfunctional government body, and so some direct oversight is good. The second is that city elections happen more frequently than state-wide ones, so these are slightly easier to amend. They are still incredibly expensive and wasteful, though, so I might vote no for what I think is good policy, if I think it should pass legislatively instead.

Federal, State, and City level candidates

In addition to these ballot measures, there are 21 elected posts that I will get to vote on. This post has already gotten pretty long, though. I might cover the candidates in a Part 2 of this blog post.

If you made it this far, I commend you! Again, if you want to discuss or debate or change my mind about any of these, please shoot me a message.