October 17th, 2004

Fishy Circumstances


It is remarkably difficult to find good information on a host of local issues which are on the November 2nd ballot. Of course, there is plenty of coverage of the presidential and even the senatorial content. Only one Des Moines-local issue has produced reams of newspaper articles, uninformative websites, and local debates: whether or not to unify the city with the county.

But there are other things on the ballot, as there always are. There's another referendum which seems to be getting almost no coverage, whether or not to raise county telephone land-line taxes by fifty cents to help fund "enhanced" 911 services. A web search yielded a great deal of information on a state tax of cell-phones to fund federally-mandated mobile phone 911 improvements, but almost nothing on the county level tax change.

Then there are the judges. Every sixth year, judges in Iowa must have their positions reaffirmed by ballot. I've failed to find any kind of site which tells me what any judges have been up to in their tenure, any data on which to vote one way or the other - or, indeed, not vote at all for that part of the ballot.

More and more of this information will be dealt with in the local press in the coming weeks, but that does no good to the absentee voter, like myself, who must make decisions now based on whatever information she can find.