I get a thrill out of voting. When I think of Washington double-crossing the voters I close my eyes and think of Gen. Washington crossing the Delaware; I cross the street and vote because it's my duty, I have to cancel out my brother-in-law's vote and I want that sticker.

Last week Ken Rudin, NPR's political junkie, noted that the enthusiasm of voters is so low that some Chicago voters are actually thinking of voting only once.

I'm hoping this is the year the enthusiasm of Latino voters is so high that some will actually vote, which will be a stunning surprise because geologists tell us the official state fossil is the petrified voter. This is understandable, since the three largest man-made lakes in the U.S. are Lake Mead, Lake Powell and the puddle that forms under any voter reading through the propositions for the first time.

I am not going to rent old horror movies for my kids for Halloween. We're going to roast marshmallows and watch campaign ads from around the nation. "Friday the 13th" has nothing on November's "Tuesday the 6th" fright fest.

Speaking of horror, this election is up to the independent voter, the dithering whelp who holds up three fingers when he tells us the two-party system has failed us, yet isn't sure how many Supremes serve with Diana Ross on the Court.

This year's ballot guide is so heavy, emergency rooms are full of herniated citizens who have attempted to lift the document. I rented a forklift, donned a pith helmet, chugged a liter of Red Bull and launched an expedition into our choices.

First the props: I favor 409 because I drive here. Because I draw cartoons here I favor 120, which proposes that Arizona, like a rebel confederate militia, take over the Grand Canyon and all federal lands. This bilious nonsense is also known as the satirists' full-time employment act.

I support 204 because our Legislature, hating public school teachers more than it hates headless illegals, has raided the school penny jar like playground bullies, extorting coinage from the defenseless nerd in the corner once too often.

And while I'm on a rant, vouchers and choice have been robbing Peter Public Education to pay Private Schools Paul for decades in this state. Vouchers and choice have not resulted in positive shining achievements outstripping public education. It's a scheme that siphons money away from public education so that whites can flee diversity, the pious can escape the secular world, aristocrats' darlings can flee the masses and, most nobly, so ideologues, lacking grit, courage and stamina, can escape tackling the complex problems that public education poses.

Which brings me to state Sen. Frank Antenori, a bullying, blustering, bullheaded bombast who should be blowing methane on a morning radio talk show. Foaming Frank will make Jon Justice sound like Gandhi in ballerina slippers, and he'll go far once he gnaws through his leash.

Ann Kirkpatrick, a smart prosecutor, teacher and mom, is tangling with Tucson's Richard Nixon, Jonathan Paton, over a seat in Congress.

Like Congressman Tricky Dick going after communists, Paton exploited Dolores Huerta's stupid comments at Tucson High, held puppet show hearings, and ended up chilling free expression on school campuses. It cost him nothing save for his soul.

Tucson's Nixon eyed Children's Protective Services and saw an agency that was underfunded, understaffed and demoralized. And kids were dying. Years later, after Paton's courageous chest-thumping and "reforms," CPS is an agency that is underfunded, understaffed and demoralized. And kids are dying.

Senate candidate Jeff Flake is running an ad telling us that his opponent, Richard Carmona, has a temper. Although John McCain's temper has never concerned Congressman Flake, Carmona's intolerance for baloney makes Flake fret for our nation so much he found a split end in his hairbrush last week.

Flake's slimy ad features a partisan lamenting a run-in with Carmona. Cristina Beato, a doc with a padded résumé, was his boss at Health and Human Services, and he had difference of opinion with Marco Rubio in heels. And now she's getting him back.

Could it get any uglier? Maybe. In the next round of ads, Flake may compare Carmona to Frank Antenori.

Flake offers us two lessons here: When you are losing ground, fling mud. And only Breck shampoo can get the mud out of your hair and prevent split ends.

Sen. Al Melvin is being challenged by Jo Holt, a retired biochemist. This is an ironic moment: a rational scientist is facing the only known living evidence that Darwin was wrong.

Challenged by Mark Napier, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has asked two folks who endorsed him when he first ran for office to endorse him again. Geronimo agreed, and Padre Kino taped a spot.

Go get your sticker on Nov. 6.

Email Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons: tooner@azstarnet.com