Sorry about the silence here. One obstacle to blogging (the holiday season) is now over, and after the election and a few other things are over, I'll have more time to post.
In the meantime, here are Mah Rabu's entirely unsurprising endorsements for tomorrow's election: Obama for President, and Democrats for everything (on the Working Families Party line when possible, if you're in New York).
One exception: the procedure for selecting judicial candidates for the "Supreme Court" of New York is a travesty (even more so than judicial elections in general). (The U.S. Supreme Court agrees, though they didn't find it unconstitutional.) Four seats are up for election in Manhattan, and there are four candidates running: two who are in both the Democratic and the Republican column, and two in just the Democratic column. So I'll be voting for the two who are only nominated by the Democratic party; I don't trust judges who associate themselves with a criminal organization.
We don't have anything like the excitement surrounding Prop 8 in California, but we do have one ballot proposal in New York: The New York Constitution requires that state civil service positions be filled by examination, and (like federal law) gives disabled veterans a bonus on the exam score. A veteran is currently eligible for this bonus if s/he "was disabled in the actual performance of duty in any war, is receiving disability payments therefor from the United States veterans administration, and his or her disability is certified by such administration to be in existence at the time of application for appointment or promotion". The constitutional amendment before the voters would eliminate the second clause (so that the veteran does not need to be receiving disability payments to get the bonus, but only to have his/her disability certified by the VA) and would change the language from "United States veterans administration" to "United States Department of Veterans Affairs" (reflecting a name change from 1989, when it became a cabinet-level department).
This amendment seems uncontroversial. Obviously the name change part, but also the other part. I mean, disabled veterans -- who's going to campaign against that? (Other than John McCain, that is, but he's not so popular here in New York.) So I'm going to vote yes unless someone convinces me otherwise in the next 11 hours. But the proposition might run into difficulties anyway because of its confusing wording. I've heard one anecdote about someone who was voting absentee and couldn't figure out what the amendment was about, showed it to 4 people all of whom couldn't figure it out either, and finally voted no because they thought it would make people lose disability benefits. So we'll see what happens tomorrow.