Pimp the Vote

I wanted to draw attention to Jane’s chilling post on the meaning of voting in the context of the status of individuals in other countries.

As for me: I already voted. (Yes, huge relief. PHEW.) I don’t as a rule trust the voting machines in any location, particularly since every time I’ve voted there’s been a different machine from a different manufacturer. So I am a permanent absentee in the state of New Jersey (sounds like a paranormal romance plot, doesn’t it? Permanently absent, but still there). My #2 pencil and I voted this weekend. One down, only a few million to go.

Back to your regularly scheduled romance novel banter.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Lovecow2000 says:

    Speaking of voting machines….

    Check out this leaked 11/2 Simpsons episode:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFOTC30RhHY

    Okay, so it does favor Obama, but it explores why so many of us prefer not to use the machines. 

    Cat owners may appreciate this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s13dLaTIHSg

  2. 2
    DS says:

    We vote on a paper ballot, then it is scanned into a machine and the paper ballot is deposited in a ballot box.  Suspenders and belt but I feel better about it than straight electronic voting.

  3. 3
    Tibbles says:

    We have the electronic machines in our county which is a good thing around here since our neighboring county didn’t get over 30% of its votes counted during the primaries because they ran out of the proper ballots and had people writing it on notebook paper.  I don’t like the electronic, but it is better than idjits who can’t order enough ballots to cover all their voters and still can’t count right.

  4. 4
    Suze says:

    I’m voting, knowing full well that my roommate and I will cancel each other out.

    I figure that, by cancelling his vote, I’m freeing up another spot for a right-thinking person’s vote to count.  We have way too many wrong-headed people (like my roommate) in my consituency.

    And may I mention that HOLY, am I ever glad that our (Cdn) electoral system precludes the 2 years of campaigning for an election that runs every 4 years.  Egad, if Americans are getting burnt out on elections, this is why.  (There are a lot of things wrong with our electoral system, by the way, but the no fixed election date w/ perpetual campaign thing isn’t one of them.)

    action81: Take Action!  Um, 81 times?

  5. 5
    Jody says:

    Still waiting to vote, though not waiting to decide. But getting back to romance, even in THESE TIMES (now more than ever?) here’s a hilarious song that somehow manages to make the federal bailout steamy and sexy. Who woulda thunkit? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZUXXSxZPhw

  6. 6

    Add me to the absentee voting ranks. Of course, it’s because I JUST realized I was going to be in Mexico on Nov 4th. How I missed that…I have no idea….

    Verification word: stay41

    Reply: No, I already have the tickets and I am going

  7. 7
    J.C. Wilder says:

    I always use absentee ballots too, Sarah. This year I think I’m going to work the election and volunteer at one of the voting centers. When I think about what others have sacrificed in order for us to have the right to vote, it really is the least I can do.

  8. 8
    Shanna says:

    I vote absentee as well but I hate that in California they don’t always count all the absentee ballots (if it won’t change the outcome). I want my vote to be counted but I’m also not confident in the voting machines.

  9. 9
    Spider (@ work) says:

    DC specifies that you are not to use them unless you are physically unable to go to your polling location.  *sigh*  Employers are required to give you time to go vote, but not unless your workday entirely covers the time period that the polling stations are open.

  10. 10
    Kathsan says:

    I am a permanent absentee in the state of New Jersey (sounds like a paranormal romance plot, doesn’t it? Permanently absent, but still there).

    I would so read that book.

  11. 11
    Anon76 says:

    You know, I know I may get a lot of flack for this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Le sigh.

    I don’t think early ballots should be allowed. (Ducking)

    Why? Because sometimes events happen just before the Presidential election that really affects the scheme of things. Instead of them just dealing with their own personal politics, the candidates are faced with an immediate crisis of major proportions. In that one moment, you get to see them for what they really are.

    How do their reactions coincide with your basic fundamentals? Are all the previous sound bites cancelled out by his/her immediate response to the issue at hand? Do you still feel as confident with the candidate once put to that test.

    True, that kind of situation doesn’t happen often, but to pre-vote unless there is absolutely no way you can vote in person is rather jumping the gun, IMHO.

    (ducking and running)

  12. 12
    Marilyn says:

    I live in FL (Pinellas Co., home of the hanging chad) and they are encouraging voting by mail this year. Even with the early voting that was instituted presidential election, most spent hours in line to vote. I stood in line for two hours on a Saturday and didn’t get close to the voting machine before I had to leave. I stood in line another hour and a half on voting day. Voting by mail is a Godsend for me. I’m not a good waiter..I can’t imagine anything happening that is going to change my vote.

  13. 13
    Mac says:

    True, that kind of situation doesn’t happen often, but to pre-vote unless there is absolutely no way you can vote in person is rather jumping the gun, IMHO.

    Depends entirely on whether you’re more concerned with the individual or the party.

  14. 14
    Mantelli says:

    I have to vote absentee.  Do you know why?  Because on Election Day, I’m going to get up at 3 a.m.  and get to work around 4:45.  I probably won’t get a lunch break.  I’ll be on duty until at least 8:45 p.m. or as long as it takes to do the job right.

    My employer that day can’t give me the three hour break for voting mandated by Missouri State law, because we can’t spare a single worker from the place where I’ll be working.

    Where will I be?  At a polling place, making sure that everyone gets a chance to vote, that paperwork is done properly, that everyone’s hours get recorded for our sumptuous pay of less than $10/hr, that votes are tallied correctly, and, some time that evening, that my partner and I from the other party deliver the ballots, their backups, and all of the sensitive information from the polling place directly into the hands of federal marshals at the Board of Elections.

    Is it OK for me to vote a little early?

  15. 15
    Mantelli says:

    Hey, Spider, the law about employers giving you time off to vote varies from state to state.  It’s not monolithic.

    Here in Missouri, if there are not three successive hours when the polls are open while you are at work, you may request time off, however you must do so in advance.  In Illinois, it’s two hours. 

    Since our polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., we cover most people’s work hours, but if someone has a long drive, they might need that three-hour window. It’s a good law.

  16. 16
    Lynn M says:

    Somehow the idea of recording my vote with a pencil scares me. If the ballot is scanned immediately, then I’m okay with it. But mailing in a pencil-filled vote open doors to my paranoia about vote tampering. Come to think of it, I’m also paranoid that any vote-by-mail might never make it to the polling/counting place.

    I can’t imagine what event that could happen at this point to change my mind on who I plan to vote for. If I haven’t gotten a good read on my candidate’s character by now, I’m not sure I should be voting for him anyway. In fact, I can’t figure out why there are so many undecideds out there still. I honestly don’t feel like we’re are getting any new information any more, that the election is quickly devolving into a mud-slinging fest. What are the people who are still sitting on the fence waiting for, the ultimate smack-down cage match, winner take all?

  17. 17
    Mantelli says:

    Lynn, optical scanners require a black, black, completely filled-in oval in order to register a vote.  This means that they have to be filled in with a black pen, not a pencil.

    Here in Missouri, our absentee ballots get notarized before they’re mailed, and any tampering would be obvious.  As for messing with the mail, that’s a federal crime, anyway.  Tampering with a ballot’s a class 4 election offense, with a crime of up to $25,000 and a jail sentence, and a federal offense on top of it would make the whole thing a doozy.

    I’m too lazy to find a notary myself, so I always go to the Election Board to vote.

  18. 18
    AgTigress says:

    May I just add one point. 

    In my country, and in yours too, as women, we have a particular duty to vote.  ‘Democracy’ has usually meant only certain sections of the ‘demos’ – the people.  Namely, adult males of a certain social and financial status.  The inclusion of males of humbler social status came much later:  women later still.

    We dishonour the memories of the women who fought so hard for the vote if we throw away that right.  And rights that are not exercised and appreciated can all too easily be lost again.  I am not joking.  Stranger things have happened.

    Because in the UK, and even more, in the USA, the political choice is so ridiculously narrow (no political party in the UK comes anywhere near to my political viewpoint) it is dangerously tempting to think that abstention is a rational choice.  It isn’t.  You have to vote, even if it is for someone who is only marginally better than ghastly.

  19. 19
    AgTigress says:

    I shall be arriving in the USA for a visit on Nov.11:  I hope you lot will have voted in the less ghastly option.  Because it matters to all of us.
    :-D :-D

  20. 20
    Victoria Dahl says:

    My new favorite get-out-the-vote site:

    BotherVoting.com

  21. 21
    Eve says:

    I’m with you AgTrigress.
    I hate the fact voting has gone from ‘who’s best for the job’ to ‘which is the lesser of the evil’.

    As for absentee – I have no choice. We’re Texas residents, but being in the military, we live in Nebraska. This means if we want our votes to count, gotta go absentee.

    As for cancelling eachother’s votes out – my mother and I do this, but knowing that, we still vote.

  22. 22
    toni says:

    I volunteer a lot of time to register voters, and then on election day to drive people to the polling places because I believe that it is important.

    I do not care who you vote for on election day, just please vote.

    I tell that to my family who, down to the last man, support the opposite party from me, but the right to vote is so important in a democratic society that I don’t care.

  23. 23
    Deb Kinnard says:

    I wish it were illegal not to count the absentee ballots. This is a loophole they should’ve closed a long time ago.

    Granted this is more of a political rant than is appropriate for this site, but is there ANYTHING in the US system that isn’t at least half-broken? Sheesh.

  24. 24
    Jessica says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blog award over at my blog. :) I know you’ve probably gotten a few hundred of these, but i couldn’t help it, I love your blog!

  25. 25
    orannia says:

    I vote absentee as well but I hate that in California they don’t always count all the absentee ballots (if it won’t change the outcome).

    Ummmm, how can it not be illegal to not count absentee ballots? I would have thought that EVERY ballot would have to be counted, to ensure a fair and just result?

    I live in the country that first gave women the right to vote, and we are going to the polls 4 days after the US. I am going to vote because I have the opportunity to do so (yes, I read Jane’s post) and I am very grateful for it. I have to be honest, the outcome of the NZ election is important to NZ, but the outcome of the US election is…well, at least from where I sit important to not just the US but to the world. No pressure guys :)

    Good luck!

    PS And unless they have change things since I last voted, we use paper…but then, there aren’t that as many votes to count :)

  26. 26
    Vicky says:

    Ummmm, how can it not be illegal to not count absentee ballots? I would have thought that EVERY ballot would have to be counted, to ensure a fair and just result?

    It’s not illegal for them not to count all the absentee ballots because in a presidential race it’s usually a given that California’s electoral college votes will all go to the democratic candidate. In addition there are certain propositions on the ballot about a variety of topics. If they already have for example, a million “yes” votes and a half a million “no” votes and only 100,000 absentee ballots left to count, then the outcome will not change. They won’t waste their time counting them unless a re-count is called for. Somewhat understandable but it still sucks for those of us who want to be counted regardless.

  27. 27
    Heather says:

    Eeek, absentee voting scares me. Every state I’ve ever lived in doesn’t generally count absentee ballots unless it gets close and I never want to take the chance my vote doesn’t get counted (which is pretty ridiculous in my mind since a good number of college students vote this way so that entire demographic’s voice isn’t heard.)  So I’ll be schlepping my way to the library sometime after the 20th to participate in early voting or camping out in front of my polling place on November 4th so I can be the first!

  28. 28
    Stormy says:

    I’ll chime in for the absentees as well – I’m out of the country, so I can’t exactly skip over to my election chambers come November!

    This is the first presidential election I’ll get the chance to vote in, and there’s no way in hell I’m passing this up.  I don’t care that my state is the reddest red state to ever red while I’m…uh, not.  My voice will be heard.  And maybe, just maybe, that’ll make all the difference.

  29. 29

    Everyone should vote. Whatever process whether absentee voting, voting by mail, etc.. YOU SHOULD VOTE.

  30. 30
    Diane/Anonym2857 says:

    Did anyone watch Craig Ferguson last night?  He gave a fantastic monologue, one of many he’s made in recent days, about the importance of voting.  He used the example of the Polish Solidarity movement, and how those citizens, who were threatened with real harm if they voted, were given the courage and inspiration to face their oppressors and vote.  And that action broke the back of the unions, then ultimately brought democracy to Poland. The night before the election, the city was covered with posters of Gary Cooper in High Noon, only instead of a gun, he was holding a ballot. It was a goose-bump moment to hear him tell how just the idea of one American, armed with the power to vote could inspire these people to make a difference.

    In my county we have the opportunity to do mail-in/absentee balloting, early voting at select polling places, or voting at the polls on Election Day. In all cases, it’s a paper ballot.  I opted to go the mail-in route this time around. I’ll be filling it out as soon as it arrives, and government drone that I am, will most likely save the stamps and just drop it off on the way in to work.  I usually go to a polling place but this year’s ballot is a killer, with 18 ballot initiatives in addition to all of the local and national races.  I am guessing it will take at least 10 minutes to fill out the ballot, even when you have all the answers lined up and know how you are voting. I can just imagine how horrendous the waits will be if/when the obliviots arrive who haven’t even bothered to read all of the questions before closing the curtain in the booth. And sadly, there are plenty of those obliviots around. I shudder to think what the lines would be like at the polls if early and absentee voting weren’t an option.

    I live in hope of the day when technology advances to the point when, once you’ve voted, you somehow gain dispensation to not have to see/hear/read another damned political advertisement for the duration of the election.  That option would certainly inspire me to vote early!

    Colorado is a swing state for the presidential election, and also has some swing congressional seats, along with all those damned initiatives. As such, we have been bombarded by almost constant political ads, the sleazier the better. It’s enough to make one’s head explode. I caught myself almost spitting at my TV the other day in disgust.  Additionally, I don’t think a day goes by when some political operative or other isn’t in town to speechify, fundraise and cause gridlock on the roads.  It’s enough to make a body long for the days when no one cared about our measly nine electoral votes.

    Even so, voting is still a privilege, a right and a duty that we should all celebrate.

    Diane

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