Proposition 105 is a truly strange idea – one that would empower people who don’t bother to vote.
Prop. 105 goes by the misleading name of “Majority Rules – Let the People Decide.” That seems to make sense. But what the proposition actually would do is put voters and nonvoters on equal footing when it comes to deciding some future ballot measures.
The proposition would require that any ballot initiative that imposes additional taxes or spending be approved by a majority of registered voters. That’s not by a majority of those who vote, but a majority of all voters who are registered – regardless of whether they actually cast a ballot.
That would make it virtually impossible for such initiatives to ever be approved. Someone who goes to the polls and votes “yes” on a future ballot measure would be canceled out by someone who does not vote. All nonvoters would, in essense, be counted as “no” votes.
Consider this scenario: Were 75 percent of the registered voters to go to the polls, 2 of every 3 voters who cast ballots would have to support a measure for it to pass – an unfairly high standard.
Those who support this proposition claim the state budget has ballooned because of initiatives that cost money.
There is some truth to that. Voters approved improved health care for low-income residents – a move that brought two federal dollars to Arizona for every $1 in state money spent. The Legislature didn’t want to do that, but a majority of voters did. That’s how the system works. That’s majority rules.
There’s a basic principle at work here: Those who take the time to educate themselves and vote should have their say. The act of not voting should not be the same as voting “no.”
The Tucson Citizen urges a “no” vote on Proposition 105.