How I'm voting in the March 2024 election

05 Mar 2024

Here is how I am voting on the ballot propositions on the election today. I did this in the November 2022 election, and the act of writing this up made me read up and study them more thoroughly, so doing it again.

This election, I thought I’d save some paper by not having the printed voter material mailed to me and read the PDFs instead. This turned out to be a mistake as I never got around to actually doing it till today, election day. Next time, I’ll ask for paper.

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 There is more flexibility — a law passed by ballot measure can’t be repealed by the legislature, and ballot measures are fairly cumbersome and expensive to do over.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.

If you want to discuss or debate or change my mind about any of these, please shoot me a message!