Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ballot Offers Hodgepodge on Issues Big and Small

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ballot Offers Hodgepodge on Issues Big and Small

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage, Times-Union columnist

If you haven't done your homework, some of you are going to be in for ballot shock come Tuesday.

In previous columns, we've already gone over some of the biggest head-scratchers that will be asking for a yes or no vote -- the 10 proposed constitutional amendments.

But the ballot contains some other stumpers that may have you reaching for a coin to flip.

The ones I'm asked most often about are the races for the Soil and Water Conservation Board.

My answer is: I haven't a clue.

Fortunately, the board does little and is relatively harmless. Perhaps the biggest benefit for the winners is being introduced at public functions as an elected official. I think they also get to use "honorable" in front of their names.

The best rule of thumb for these races is if you know a candidate, vote. If you don't recognize any of the names, don't vote.

Following close behind the Soil and Water Conservation Board in terms of confusion are the retention votes for two Supreme Court justices and members of the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Frankly, it's almost impossible for regular folks to know if these judges are doing a good job and should remain in office.

If you believe the appellate courts are on the right track, then vote yes to retain. If not, vote no to kick them out.

The governor's race, of course, has attracted most of the attention during this campaign cycle, but there are other important races on the ballot.

One is the battle for attorney general, often called the second most powerful office in Florida.

The race is between Education Commissioner Charlie Crist and Democratic state Sen. Buddy Dyer.

Unfortunately, neither measures up when compared to Bob Butterworth, the outgoing attorney general forced to leave because of term limits. …

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