Against the new jail (silently)

Didn't take me long to miss my first vote . Yesterday, the city held a vote to decide whether to impose a 0.25% sales tax to build a new jail. 

The argument that the capacity of Norman's current jail is not enough and that we're paying neighboring cities to house our felons struck me as being pretty weak. Oklahoma law uses imprisonment way too often, even for non-violent offenders who do not have enough money to post bail or pay fines. Maybe a more libertarian approach to drugs and the like will yield more space in prisons. Also, a sales tax is very regressive especially because Oklahoma does not exempt groceries; if we are going to build a jail, it should be funded by a property tax.

But as I said, I didn't actually cast a vote. Yesterday was a workday.  In the morning, I had to drop S2 at school.  The kids both had programs in the evening -- S1's second-grade class was doing a rap song about recycling in front of the city council; S2's pre-K class was doing their Christmas play.  So, we never made it to the polling station. 

Yes, yes, I should have voted absentee. So, my fault totally for missing the vote. But I wonder why the city couldn't have put this question on the ballot last month ... when something like 75% of registered voters showed up to vote ... Anyway, the measure passed 65% ("Lock 'em up!" always wins), so it probably didn't matter.

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