Is a sticky scientific or health dilemma holding you up from pulling the lever in the voting booth tomorrow? We've still got our trusty blow-by-blow of the presidential candidates' positions on controversial policy topics for quick reference.
Some regional and local hot campaigns to watch from our recent in-depth report on science and the election: A lawsuit over whether to allow drilling for gas in Colorado's Roan Plateau could influence who gets the state's open U.S. Senate seat. While neither Democratic candidate Mark Udall nor Republican Bob Schaffer has taken clear positions on the debate, political scientist Robert Duffy told ScientificAmerican.com last month that the controversy "helps Udall marginally." Udall has a 47 to 43 percent lead over Schaffer in a new Denver Post poll.
If you dig green energy, you'll want to keep an eye on California, where voters will weigh in on two alt-power propositions. Prop 7 ("Big Solar") would make utilities get half of their power from renewable resources by 2025. Prop 10 ("Big Natural Gas) would authorize a $5 billion bond to give rebates to consumers who buy natural gas and other fuel-efficient cars.
The question is whether Californians will sign off on borrowing money to pay for the measures when the state is buckling under growing debt and the collapsed credit markets. Forty-three percent of voters oppose Prop 7, 39 percent support it and 18 percent are undecided, according to a Field Poll released Friday. Prop 10's prospects look better: 49 percent support it and 39 oppose it, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Washington State residents will decide whether to allow assisted suicide. An October 28 SurveyUSA poll found that 54 percent of voters were leaning toward it, 37 percent away and 9 percent didn’t know.
In Wisconsin's 8th District, voters will choose whether to re-elect Steve Kagen, MD, an allergist in his first term who turned down his congressional health care insurance and has his own ideas for health care reform. He's in a tight race against Republican John Gard, whom he narrowly beat in 2006.
Meanwhile, members of 180 science, education and business organizations wrote to Barack Obama and John McCain on Friday, urging them to appoint a Cabinet-level, White House science advisor by Inauguration Day. McCain has said he would appoint a White House science advisor, and Obama would name a first-ever chief technology officer, according to positions they took in response to questions from the group ScienceDebate 2008.
And we'll see how popular electronic voting systems prove to be. The systems have fallen out of fashion, we noted today, over concerns about hacking and vote flipping, when the machine registers a vote for a candidate different from one the voter actually chose.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr