Much more interesting were the ballot questions: three statewide and three for my particular ward/precinct. So what happened there?
Question 1: Sale of wine in food stores in MA
I voted yes on this, as I don't see the problem in one-stop-shopping for both one's dinner and the wine to go with. I was also turned off by the liquor lobby's campaign, which brought to mind the Teachers' Union's sensationalist attack against the 2002 ballot question on bilingual education (Don't sue teachers!).
Question 1 was rejected. (That's okay, as my market actually does have a liquor license, and I CAN get wine with dinner if I so choose. Just wanted to see it a possibility across the state.)
Question 2: Nomination of Candidates for Public Office
Essentially, a candidate can be nominated by more than one party, and all the different affiliations will be listed on the ballot. I voted for this, as it seems a good way to be able to support a candidate for their views, rather than party affiliation. It could potentially bring some variety into the election process - allowing us to vote for smaller-party and independent candidates and not have it seem an act of futility.
Question 2 was rejected.
Question 3: Family Child Care Providers
Childcare providers in MA already have bargaining capabilities, so I wasn't worried about that; what particularly interested me was who was backing the initiative. As it turns out, a major entity who is trying to make inroads at my organisation was one of the big supporters. Since I've a rather dim view of them, and I'm all for small businesses/contractors keeping as much autonomy as possible, I voted no on this question.
Question 3 was rejected.
Those were the state-wide questions. The last three, on my neighborhood's ballot, were non-binding questions (via the Somerville News):
Question 4: "would instruct state Rep. Denise Provost, D-Somerville, to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon the President and Congress of the United States to end the war in Iraq immediately and bring all military forces home."
I voted against this, as I do not feel it is the place of my local representatives to be mixing themselves in foreign policy. That is not why I hired them. Aside from that, I happen to be a strong supporter of what the US is trying to accomplish in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Yes, stuff could be going better, (and I hope that things will improve with the change in government) but if we were to pull out now, the situation will do nothing but get a whole lot worse.
Question 4 passed (not surprising).
Question 5: "calls for Provost to vote in favor of a non-binding resolution to return Palestinian refugees to their land of origin."
Question 6: "instructs her to vote for resolutions calling on “all governmental entities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” to sell any investments they hold in Israeli bonds or in companies that supply military equipment to Israel."
Again, superficially, I voted against 5 and 6 for the same reason I voted against question 4. Beyond that, though, I'm just too tired to be getting into my feelings about the group that got these questions on the ballot, or to bother picking nits over Palestinian right of return issue and the whole likening of Israel to South Africa under Apartheid. Suffice it to say that, though these questions were non-binding, they pissed me off enough to get me up early and get me to the polling place when it opened to vote them the hell out.
Questions 5 and 6 were rejected (praise be).
Coming in 2007 or 2008: What will be the Massachusetts voters' response to judicial fiat?