Ballot Box Basics

Don't know how to vote? We're here to help!

Just getting around to figuring out who's gonna get your vote? Well, we're from the media elite, and we're here to help.

The esteemed Tucson Weekly Editorial Board released our endorsements way back on Oct. 5, but you may not have been paying attention. We're recapping them here, so you'll have a new copy to take to the polls with you next Tuesday, Nov. 7. Remember: Polls are open between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Rather than focusing on every race, we narrowed it down to the ones were thought were up for grabs or especially important. Plus, we had our say on all 20 propositions on the Pima County ballot.


We're supporting Democrat Gabrielle Giffords because we like her centrist approach more than Republican Randy Graf's conservative stance. However, we do think Randy would make for good copy if he were to win.


We're supporting Democrat Jim Pederson because we're sick of Republican control of Congress and the Bush administration.


We're supporting Democrat Janet Napolitano because we're horrified by what sort of laws would come out of the Arizona Legislature if Republican Len Munsil were governor.


We like Democrat Terry Goddard's record of going after con artists, environmental rapists, identity thieves and other ne'er-do-wells.


We like Republican Tom Horne, who has shown the political skills to work with the various parties interested in education.


We like Republican Jennifer Burns and Democrat Pat Fleming.


We like Democrat Charlene Pesquiera because Republican Al Melvin leans too far right for our tastes.


We're at odds with the conservative platform of Republican David Jorgenson, so we support Republican Pete Hershberger and Democrat Lena Saradnik.


Prop 100: No. Prop 100 would amend the Arizona Constitution to deny bail to any illegal immigrant accused of a "serious felony" if the evidence suggests the accused is guilty. We're comfortable leaving this one up to the judges.

Prop 101: No. Prop 101 is a bad approach to dealing with ever-rising property taxes.

Prop 102: No. Prop 102 would amend the Arizona Constitution to block people who are in the country illegally from collecting punitive damages in civil lawsuits.

Prop 103: No. Proposition 103 would amend the Arizona Constitution to make English the official language of the state. While we want everyone speaking English, we also want them to understand government regulations and what they're voting on.

Prop 104: Yes. Prop 104 would allow counties, cities and towns to borrow more money to pay for roads, police stations and firehouses.

Props 105: No; Prop 106: Yes. Prop 106. Prop 106 is a smart way to provide more land conservation, better planning for state trust land and more money for education. Prop 105 is a bogus alternative proposed by the Arizona Legislature. We're going with the conservationists and teachers.

Prop 107: No. Whatever you may think of gay marriage--and we're OK with it--we don't think local governments and universities should be banned from providing benefits for domestic partnerships. It's mean, and voters should reject it.

Prop 200: No. If people don't have a better reason for voting than winning a million bucks, we'd rather they stay home.

Prop 201: Yes; Prop 206: No. We're going with the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association in supporting Prop 201, which would ban smoking in most public indoor spaces. We're rejecting Prop 206, which is a bogus alternative from R.J. Reynolds that would actually weaken anti-smoking regulations in some communities.

Prop 202: Yes. Raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75, with regular increases tied to the rate of inflation, seems reasonable to us.

Prop 203: Yes. We're not crazy about the financing--an 80-cent increase in the tax on a pack of smokes--but we support more money for health care and child care.

Prop 204: Yes. There's no reason farmers have to put pigs into gestation crates where they can't even turn around. And the argument floated by opponents--that this is the first step toward turning us all into vegans--is just dumb.

Prop 205: Yes. Voting by mail will boost turnout and save money. And half the voters are doing it now.

Prop 207: No. The so-called AZ Homeowners Protection Effort--funded almost entirely by a New York City billionaire--purports to prevent government from using condemnation powers to take your property and hand it over to a private developer. But that's just the window dressing to distract voters from the disastrous part of Proposition 207: a "takings" clause that would require government to reimburse landowners for any new regulation that lowers their property values. That means you can kiss any effort to protect washes, hillsides or any other environmentally sensitive areas goodbye.

Prop 300: No. We're OK with spending a few dollars on safe child care and adult education, even if the recipients are in the country illegally.

Prop 301: No. Prop 301 would send first-time meth offenders to jail instead of into treatment. It's expensive and counterproductive. Vote no.

Prop 302: No. Prop 302 asks voters to increase state lawmakers' annual pay from $24,000 to $36,000. You gotta be kidding.

Prop 400: Yes. Prop 400 would establish a Joint Technological Education District, or JTED, which allows local school districts to share resources and tap state dollars for technical and vocational programs. Great idea.

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