mail_johnsonI just cast my vote for the Tuesday, November 8th election via mail. While this blog isn’t about politics (and even my columns at The Hill should shift more to religion over politics once this election is over), I thought I would share who I voted for and why.

Voting by mail at all is new for me this year. From 2012 to 2015, I served as an election judge for the Republican party and generally took advantage of early voting so I could remain at my polling station. However, I left the Republican party earlier this year due to Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee telling us that if we weren’t going to support Donald Trump, we should just leave the party (k. bye!). I now consider myself an independent and a “conservatarian.” You have to declare one party or the other to serve as an election judge in Illinois, so I opted not to serve anymore.

Prior to becoming an election judge, I enjoyed going to the polls. However, with my lack of enthusiasm for the candidates this year, I have no desire to be anywhere near the polls on election day. As an Illinois government employee, November 8th will be a paid holiday for me, so I am going to enjoy the day off with my kids and try not to think about this horrible election.

Without further ado, here is how I voted:

President and Vice President of the United States — I voted for Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. This is the first election since I turned 18 in 2000 where I did not vote for the Republican candidates; “Never Trump” means “Never Trump.” This is also the first election where I would have been more than willing to vote for the Democratic candidate—Al Gore, Joe Liebermann, John Kerry*, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine—had any of these recent DNC candidates been the top of the ticket, I certainly would have voted (D) over Trump, but I will NOT vote for a candidate who is married to a sexual predator and has worked to discredit sexual assault victims. That is an evil that I will have no part in. I have my share of disagreements with Johnson (for example, I’m pro-life), and certainly he’s made a slew of gaffes this election, but he didn’t rape anyone, and his spouse didn’t rape anyone, so that’s good enough for me (some bar we’ve set this election, eh?). It is my hope that I have helped him reach 5% of the popular vote so that the Libertarian party will qualify for federal funding in 2020. My vote for Johnson is a vote against the abuses and evils of the two-party system.

I live in Hillary’s original home state of Illinois, which is going to be a solid Hillary state, and as I said in my column last week, I fully expect Hillary to win. I have voted in the only way where my vote might matter.

United States Senator — This was a tough one for me; I helped elect Mark Kirk in a narrow (R) victory back in 2010. I was really turned off by his “bro with no ho” remark in 2015. But I think ObamaCare was an awful piece of legislation that Dems crammed down our throats as soon as they got supermajority power, and they’re likely to “fix” this rancid piece of legislation with single-payer healthcare, so we need as much (R) in the House and Senate as possible. That said, Kirk’s opponent Tammy Duckworth (D) is leading in the polls, so this Senate seat is likely to be a Dem pick-up.

Illinois Comptroller — I helped Bruce Rauner (R) become governor in 2014. Now I regret it for the reasons Crain’s outlined nicely here when they likewise reversed on their 2014 endorsement of him. Furthermore, it’s been 21 months since AFSCME contract negotiations began, and Gov. Rauner has utterly failed to negotiate a contract with AFSCME. Instead, he has been trying to declare impasse since early this year so that he can force a strike and (he hopes) break the union. Key among the disputes is his desire to subcontract state worker jobs to outside agencies so that he can lay off thousands of state workers and pay far less in salaries and benefits. I’ve also been working without any kind of a step increase or COLA, even though my living costs just keep on rising. With the regular COLAs and step increases, I’d be making ~$300/month more right now and my little single-parent family would not be struggling to make ends meet. (Yes, I am aware of how broke Illinois is. Stop acting like state workers are single-handedly responsible for that.)

Since I can’t vote against Governor Rauner, I will vote against his appointed comptroller Leslie Munger (R) instead. Hopefully Susan Mendoza (D) can introduce him to the same level of obstructionist hell that he’s been foisting on state workers. If Governor Rauner had just negotiated a fair contract with AFSCME, Munger easily would have had my vote.

U. S. Representative, 8th District — I am voting for Pete DiCianni (R) for the same reason that I am voting Mark Kirk for senate (see above). However, this race is expected to go to Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) as he is seeking the seat being vacated by Tammy Duckworth.

State Representative 53rd District — David Harris (R) has voted wrong on just about every piece of legislation I cared about: SB 1229 (Union Bill), HB 580 (Union Bill), Public Act 99-90 (got rid of fault divorce in Illinois, which I very much think should exist). He has carried Rauner’s water and voted along partisan lines every time it has mattered instead of crossing over and seeking to work with Democrats for a solution to Illinois’s problems. However, he is running unopposed (what’s up with that, Dems?). I left that part of my ballot blank and did not vote for him.

I voted “yes” to eliminating some local public offices (less government) and “no” on the Illinois earned Sick Time for Employees Act (while I absolutely think employers should give sick time, they should do so freely and not because the government compels them to). I also voted “no” on the proposed amendment to Section 11 Article IX of the Illinois Constitution because I think the state’s budget money should remain fungible.

So, there you have it. How I voted and why.

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*You may notice that I left John Edwards off the list. Cheating on your cancer-stricken wife and denying your own daughter to save face is only slightly less despicable than discrediting sexual assault victims.

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