Right To Vote Denied
Election day is one of the most important days for my wife and I. We make an effort to go together, not because we love discussing politics, but we like to cancel each other’s vote. You see, she votes one way (the wrong way) and I vote correctly, and it’s been a great system. We can safely cancel each other’s vote and know the world will be safe from each other’s tyranny.
Now, I’m not one to use my blog to gripe about things, at least that’s not my intent, but my voting experience was less than enjoyable. I like using my blog to tell about some experience I’ve had, some cool story I’ve read or some great new tech thing I’ve learned about. But I’m bending my rules a bit today. I’m going to complain.
Like any Election Day, the whole family wakes up early to get in line at the local high school. To me, there is something very patriotic waiting outside in the cold for the doors to open and to be one of the first to cast your vote.
This year was a little different, now voting with a 3 year old we had to take into account that he had to be taken care of. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed, throwing on a coat and standing in the cold. Now we have to wake up a not-too-happy child, bribe him into getting dressed, and put him into a stroller with a blanket (so he can sleep) while we stand in line. And you know what, the kiddo did GREAT! He was awake the whole time, didn’t complain once and even talked with an older gentleman that was standing in line with us.
The doors finally opened and we were herded inside to vote. When it was my turn, I found out I wasn’t in the book. After a few minutes of arguing with the volunteer it was finally determined that I needed to go to another voting place across town, near an apartment I lived in over 5 years ago. I was told to go there, fill out a change of address form, and even vote there. This sounded odd to me since I wouldn’t be voting on things that mattered to my community, but someone else’s. But I did what I was told.
Later that day, on my way home from work I went to other voting location. I told them my story and they let me know, in so many words, that the people at my voting place were idiots, and they should have called the election board and let me vote right then and there, and there was no way they would let me vote at this location. I thanked them for their candid answer, and off I went, back to my voting location.
I arrived back at my local high school to attempt to cast my vote again where I was told that I couldn’t vote there since the records said I should vote at the other place. Now I got mad. All I wanted to do was to cancel my wife’s vote so the world could be a better place. It’s my right as a citizen of the United States to vote for my representatives.
I firmly asked the volunteer to call the election board to confirm that I can vote on this very important election. She attempted to with no success. She tried to send me away, but I told her I would wait until the polls closed while she continued to try.
Finally she won the battle, and got me to sign a provisional ballet, at least that’s what I think it was. A large yellow sheet of paper that wouldn’t be counted for 14 days, at which time I could call a number and give a pin and find out if my vote counted. This seemed like a load of crap to me, since I know that they votes will all be counted by midnight and my vote will never be counted. There is something truly wrong with this. My voice was not heard.
To me, this is unacceptable. I was made to drive around the city and denied my right to vote. I understand the volunteer has no real power and is only doing what she was told to do. I cannot truly blame her, but I can blame the system.
Rather than pointing a finger and yelling I offer a solution. Our cell phones and computers. Let me, an iPhone owner; vote on my phone or on my computer at home. I’m sure there are security risks and other flaws to my plan, but I’m sure smarter people than I could fix those issues. But this would fix the problems of long lines and ignorant people running the booths.
If you have a better idea of how we can vote in our current system, let me know. Should we continue using the system we still have? Is there a better way to do things? What are your thoughts?