Re: Idiots and insane persons. (long)

Shalom Septimus <druggist@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
4. Now the interesting one: (verbatim) "Shall the amendment of Article
II, Section I, paragraph 6 of the constitution, agreed to by the
legislature, revising the current constitutional language concerning
denial of the right to vote by deleting the phrase `idiot or insane
person' and providing instead that a `person who has been adjudicated
by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to
understand the act of voting' shall not enjoy the right of suffrage,
be adopted?"

My reading of that is: "The legislature has decided on different words
for this part of the constituion. Shall we accept their decision and
actually change the constitution?" Yes means the constitution is
changed to the different words. No means the constitution is not

Are these State Public Questions actually binding referenda, such
that a Yes vote means the proposition becomes law, or are they
simply surveys that let the State Legislature see what people would
like them to do, before they go off and do whatever they damn please
as usual?

I can think of N different places to answer that question.

I'm fairly sure I've seen directions from the county election board
here that say "On election day, if you have any trouble figuring out
where your polling place is, actually voting, etc, please call the
election board at $NUMBER." You might get a phone bank at first, but
they can transfer you to the people that actually know.

In Oklahoma, we had a special election about a month ago, which will
probably be the last one for 2007. At the polling places, they were
passing out a business-card-sized calendar of the 2008 elections. One
side also has the URL and the other side has several phone numbers for
the county election board.

If the local election board can't help, the secretary of state or the
state election board probably can.

@PARTY and other organizations (eg League of Women Voters) often have
voter-registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts; they would
probably be only too happy to explain the intricacies to you.

$NEWSPAPER usually has editorials on each of the ballot propositions
in the days before the election, and these will often say things like
"this is only advisory to the legislature" or "this will become law".
Most of them also print the entire ballot on the day before or day of
the election, sometimes simply as a news article, and sometimes on the
opinion page with their recommendations.

The offices of your state legislators can probably also answer these
kinds of questions, or tell you who to ask.

If you know any social studies/civics teachers for about 8th grade
(about 13-14 years old) on up, you might ask them. The political
science department of a local university may also be able to help.

Many of these places can be reached by telephone or that Intarweb
thingy. As far as I know, it's legal and possible to go to the polling
place, get a ballot, decide you need more information, turn in your
ballot as spoiled (not counted), go find out the information, and come
back and vote.

Matt Roberds