Because I've been writing in our village for so many years and am so well-known, a lot of people have been stopping me on the streets the past few weeks and saying, "Hey, Royce, we can't make sense of the November ballot issues. Can you help us?"
And so today we bring you "Ask Mr. Ballot Person," a Q-and-A session in which I will respond to some of the many questions that I will make up, starting with this one:
Q: So these El Paso County and state ballot information booklets that I have recently received in the mail ... were they written by monkeys?
A: No, it's worse. They were written by lawyers.
Q: What's the difference?
A: After lawyers pick the bugs out of each other's back hair, they list it as "3.5 hours" and someone gets a bill for $3,700.
Q: Three pages of my El Paso County election pamphlet are blank — I am not kidding — except that each blank page contains the words, "This page is intentionally blank." What do you think about that?
A: I think if I want to see something that's very close to being blank, I'll look at our highly esteemed U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Vacant Stare.
Q: Under county issue 1A, which would raise taxes and give the sheriff's department additional funds for crucial needs such as Tasers and Sheriff Terry Maketa's hair gel, the issue takes some 350 words. Here's a small part of it: "... and without affecting the county's ability to collect and spend other revenues or funds under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution; with such sales and use tax increase being collected, administered and enforced pursuant to El Paso County Board of County Commissioners Resolution No. 12-309." What the hell does any of that mean?
A: It means that Commissioner Sallie Clark will stay on the board for 139 terms and still be campaigning when she is 1,294 years old.
A: No. It actually means that pursuant to extraneous or enfranchised phase modulation, spending increases mandated by all or some pursuant factors will apply to systolic trinomial toadfish; pursuant (i.e., priority pedestrians) inherent in revenues without limitation except as specified in County Resolution 45-897. I hope that helps.
Q: Under the summary of comments against Ballot Issue 1A, I find this: "Big government hurts consumers and business. If in doubt, vote no. We can support law enforcement best by not throwing dollars at government based on emotional appeals, in the vain hope some will be spent wisely." Geez, who really thinks like that?
A: Some retired military people who never, ever vote for a tax increase or school bond issue, fearing it might reduce their monthly government check.
Q: Are there any others who reject support of any type of government?
A: Yes. They live under their houses with lots of guns and 50-year supplies of drinking water and canned goods.
Q: I was reading the ballot information booklet for the state and saw a proposal to legalize marijuana. What are Amendment 64's implications?
A: Scientists and other experts believe it will result in people being willing to pay a scalper $400 for a ticket to a Cheech & Chong performance.
Q: There are 13 pages of legal terms and definitions including a definition of weed as "all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant ..." Why is this so complicated?
A: Sorry. I wasn't listening. I was smoking a doobie and a seed thereof exploded into my eye.
Q: Paragraph G has 54 words to define marijuana accessories, including "any equipment, products, or materials which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating ... or for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body." Did they leave out any of these so-called marijuana accessories?
A: Yes. Because of editing errors, two important marijuana accessories were omitted: the first is pizza and the second is skateboard.
Rich Tosches (firstname.lastname@example.org) also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post.