By Dan Hall

Tuesday, November 6th citizens will be voting on not only candidates but on retaining judges and on several constitutional amendments, propositions, and Jackson County Ballot Proposals. Feeling prepared and knowing I would be out of town on election day, I voted early. Boy, was I surprised that it took me about 15 minutes to vote. So, my advice, to avoid lines, is to vote early or at mid-morning when many voters are at work.

Thomas Jefferson felt that a well-educated electorate was basic to preserving our republic. To me, our coming election will need voters to have the “wisdom of Solomon.” So, what you are about to read is my “take” on the ballot issues. It is always a very serious matter when voters are asked to change the Missouri Constitution through the ballot process. Complicated controversial issues should be debated by the Missouri Legislator where serious hearings are held and votes taken. Not this way, where smooth advertising and nice sounding titles are put on scientific and complicated issues for voters to decide often without a real understanding.

So, let’s take these proposed Missouri Constitutional Amendments one by one.

Amendment one’s title sounds good but the “devil is in the details.” The actual amendment 1 wordage is quite detailed and pages long. But, at the voting booth, the voter will only see a condensed version with little details. I voted NO as Amendment 1 would cause loss of partisan fairness and competitiveness.

Amendment 2, and 3 plus Proposition “C” all deal with legalization of Marijuana often called “Pot.” Again, each of these proposals have nice titles that sound like “Pot” is the miracle answer to what-ever is ailing you. It is not. There is no studied, real science to make the claims that Pot has universal medical benefit.

As a medical doctor recently said, “anything you light up, burn, and ingest into your body does damage.” After reading all three Marijuana proposals I voted NO. Don’t be fooled by these smooth nice sounding titles.

Proposition “B” again sounds nice but has negative economic consequences, particularly to the young inexperienced person seeking a first job. Then, there is the free market question of government dictating what a private employer should pay employees. Often, when the government sets minimum (or floor wage) it becomes the “ceiling” (or top wage). Today, without government controls, the marketplace is delivering workers much higher hourly pay than today’s minimum wage. This is particularly true where the employer offers substantial employee benefits to go with employee pay. My vote was NO to “B.”

Amendment 4 would put, into the Missouri constitution, rules on playing Bingo games. These rules should be dealt with by the Legislature and not be part of our constitution (for heaven’s sake.) My vote was NO to Amendment 4.

Proposition “D” is one worthy of voter support. For over 20 years Missouri roads and bridges have needed upgrade and serious bridge repair. Proposition “D” would help improve our Missouri roads and bridges. My vote was Yes.

Now we get to the seven, yes seven, Jackson County Ballot Proposals. I have read all seven proposals. They all seem to improve what has been an out of control county government. My vote was YES on all seven proposals.

Don’t forget to vote the first Tuesday in November. Polls open at 6 am and close at 7 pm.