Madison County ballot for 2009 election year
For those of my friends living in Madison County, Alabama, the Madison County Circuit Clerk's office has made the 2009 sample ballot available in PDF format. Get it, study it, do your research on the minor races and cast an informed vote.
For those friends NOT living in Alabama, I'd encourage you to take a look at the amendments proposed on the ballot to understand why we rage about the sheer unbridled awfulness of Alabama's state constitution. It is, in a word, embarrassing. Wikipedia:
The inordinate length is both because of and the cause of heavy centralization of government power in the state capital, Montgomery, leaving very little authority to local units. Counties cannot even legislate on local issues, requiring the state legislature, and ipso facto uninvolved parts of the state, to pass local laws.
The constitution addresses many issues that are dealt with by statute in most other states. The most notable issue is taxation. Unlike most other states, a large portion of Alabama's tax code is written into the constitution. Besides prohibiting local governments from passing any ordinances on tax issues, this necessitates its amendment over minor taxation issues. This, along with the requirement that an amendment must be unanimously approved by the legislature or face a statewide vote, has resulted in local county or municipality related amendments being overwhelmingly approved, but ultimately rejected statewide.
Maddening. Just maddening.