How Should I Vote?

No, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. Candidates are human beings, likely to shift positions with little notice and once entrenched, it is darn near impossible to get rid of them. Besides, we could run into trouble with the IRS.
That said, there are plenty of ballot issues on the November ballot that may be getting lost in the shuffle, what, with all the attention focused on the Presidential, Senate, and House races (not to mention legislative races) statewide.
While ballots may vary locally, here are some of the proposed ballot measures and what they will do along with some thoughts about how believers in free markets and individual liberty might respond.
Constitutional Amendments
CA 1 Increase the size of certain school boards to nine members and conduct elections by mail-in ballot.
Proponents argue that increasing the size of the school board will somehow improve their administration, but it would seem that it is a half-hearted attempt at best. Allowing choice and forcing schools to compete for students would be more effective.
CA 2 Allow midterm salary increases for county officers.
Do we really need to pay bureaucrats any more than we already do?
CA 3 (2008) Require confirmation of heads of cabinet-level departments or agencies who are subject to senate confirmation at the beginning of each term of a governor.
This is largely irrelevant because the Senate will more than likely act as a rubber stamp. True accountability only comes with greater transparency.
CA 4 (2008) Allow school elections to be held with other non-partisan elections.
Yes! Giving a broader swath of voters the ability to vote on school elections, especially bond measures and tax increases will prevent education bureaucrats from monopolizing low-turnout votes. Also, holding all of these additional elections costs taxpayers’ money.
CA 5 (2008) Require the governor to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office by appointment, with consent of the senate.
Like amendment three, this amendment will have very little impact.
Ballot Measures
Measure A: Should the state issue $14,725,000 of debt to build additional senior centers?
Measure B: Should the state issue $11,019,000 to build new libraries?
Measure C: Should the state issue $57,925,000 in debt to build a variety of health care-related facilities?
Measure D: Should the state issue $140,133,000 in debt to build higher education facilities? This ballot measure explicitly provides for property tax increases to pay for the debt on these bonds.

Believers in limited government and free markets should vote against ballot measures because they represent deferred tax increases and result in an inevitable expansion of government. This article provides some insights as to why voters would want to vote “no” on bond measures.
There is yet another issue on many New Mexico voters’ ballots (voters in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Taos counties) this November, that is the 1/8th cent tax hike to pay for the Rail Runner commuter rail project and some other transportation projects. Believe it or not, no one has the exact language for it (or at least they won’t give it to me). Needless to say, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have been longtime critics of the Rail Runner and can’t imagine anyone who believes in limited government would vote for such a project, particularly since it is nearly completed already and won’t be abandoned if the tax hike is defeated.
Watch this space for specific ballot language.

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