In the Friday, Oct. 13 edition of the Payson Roundup, the editorial board began dissecting a cumbersome state ballot with 19 propositions.
Both as members of the media and voters, we felt overwhelmed by all the issues we were asked to research, understand and make a decision about.
From our own experience, we knew it would be easy to get frustrated, and because of that knowledge, we hoped you'd appreciate it if we did some legwork to get you started.
We are not asking you to agree with us, but we hope that reading through our thought process will help you make your own informed decisions on Election Day.
For a more in-depth explanation of each proposition or to read Friday's editorial visit payson.com and click on the Election 2006 icon on the righthand side of the page.
Proposition 105: State trust land reform
Proposition 105 is the first of two on November's ballot aimed at state trust land reform. State trust land has historically been managed to raise money for schools -- usually by selling off parcels when necessary.
Proposition 105 has been referred to by opponents as a "spoiler measure," put on the ballot by the Legislature at the request of home builders to defeat Proposition 106.
It sets aside roughly 37,000 acres of open space that cities or counties could buy for fair-market value. It also would allow the Legislature to set aside another 400,000 acres in the future.
Proposition 105 would allow state trust land to be sold without advertisement and the wording of the proposition seems to cut off much public input from the land sale process.
Proposition 106: Conserving Arizona's Future
Proposition 106 is backed by environmentalists and the state teachers union. It conserves more land -- 690,000 acres. Roughly 360,000 acres could be bought by cities, counties or conservation groups at market value. This land would be managed by a to-be-created seven-member board of trustees.
Though we are not fond of the bureaucracy Proposition 106 will create, we want to see more flexibility within the State Land Department so they can do their job better and return more money to education. According to the ballot language, we believe Proposition 106 will accomplish this.
Proposition 107: Protect Marriage Arizona
Proposition 107 would amend the constitution by defining marriage as between one man and one woman. It would also ban the creation of any legal status that is similar to marriage for same sex couples. This was a difficult proposition for us to reach consensus on.
There were those of us who were bothered by the fact that this proposition banned any civil union contract keeping non-heterosexual couples from ever receiving the benefits of lifetime commitment -- such as family insurance coverage or the ability to leave assets to a partner. Those on that side of the issue also did not see the necessity of this proposition.
And then there were those among us who see this as a very necessary measure -- to define and protect the disintegrating institution of marriage.
Proposition 200: Arizona Voter Reward Act
The Payson Roundup came out against Proposition 200 soon after it officially made it onto the ballot. The proposition would award one voter $1 million by lottery, simply for going to the polls.
At the time we wrote, "How you feel about the Arizona Voter Reward Act might be a good measure of your level of cynicism ... This proposition is cheap and pandering. And we would like to say that we are not so cynical about our political process as to back this ballot measure."
See the Friday, Oct. 20 Payson Roundup for the remaining state ballot propositions.