Here in California, we had State Proposition 91 on yesterday’s ballot. It’s designed to make sure that gasoline tax revenue is used for transportation funding, as intended, and not something else.
In an unusual turn of events, no one supported this proposition, not even the people responsible for getting it on the ballot.
How can this be?
It’s a timing thing. It turns out that the approval to be on the ballot was given in 2006. However, a separate proposal that accomplished the same goal wound up on the November 2006 ballot and was passed. This made this year’s Proposition 91 irrelevant. So the original supporters said not to vote for it.
Don’t believe me? Check out the Voter Information Guide and see for yourself. The section for arguments in favor of Proposition 91 states: “Proposition 91 is no longer needed. We respectfully urge you to vote NO ON PROPOSITION 91.”
Okay. Here’s the punchline:
It’s still early as I write this (only 14% of precincts are reporting) but the percentage of YES votes for Proposition 91 is 44% (that’s over one million votes and counting). That’s right. A greater percentage (and greater number) of people have so far voted in favor of Proposition 91 than have voted in favor of Proposition 92, 94, 95, 96 or 97. Of all the propositions on the ballot, only Proposition 93 has received more YES votes—with an only slightly larger percentage: 48%.
Hillary Clinton and John McCain (the projected winners in their respective primaries) each have less votes (by several hundred thousand) than the votes in favor of Proposition 91.
The kindest spin that can be put on this is that “yes on 91” voters read the proposal for the first time when in the voting booth and made their decision knowing nothing else about it. Maybe that’s not exactly a stupid way to vote. But it’s sure close.