The beginning of the end before the beginning

i-votedI voted yesterday. Not at the polls but via a mail-in ballot. Such a convenience! Besides, I must have labored over the very long ballot for an hour or more. I can’t imagine doing that while standing in a polling booth with impatient people lined up behind me.

I’d already gone over three different blue books — city, county, and state — explaining all the issues and listing all the candidates. There were twenty-two (22!!) presidential candidates; a bunch of city, county, and state issues including new taxes, extending existing taxes, changes to requirements for getting a proposition on the ballot, giving police the same option to unionize that the firefighters have, and the one I care most about — instituting legal end-of-life options like those in Oregon. I was as dutiful and attentive as I could be, but drew the line at voting for the state judges. I just didn’t feel up to reading pages and pages about their records and whether their retention was recommended by some state panel. I’ve put up with months of campaigning. I studied hard and then spent more than an hour marking my ballot. Then I drove it to an official dropbox rather than trust the Post Office to deliver it safely for me. The state even has a website where I can confirm that they’ve received the ballot.

So that’s it. I’m done. Fini. I’m a lame duck voter. No more politics this year.

Heh. I wish …



Categories: Election 2016, Politics

39 replies

  1. Colorado is way, way ahead of Missouri in voting. We have to all do it on November 8 unless we certify absence or other excuse. The advantages of your way are obvious from your account. Good for you.

  2. Early voting starts here in Arkansas on Monday. Normally pretty crowded for the first few days…

    • I’m encouraged by something that was, I’m sure, entirely coincidental. While I was at the drive-by dropbox, another person pullled up behind me. Made me think/hope we might have a record turnout this year.

  3. Early voting in Texas begins Monday also, but I’ll wait till Tuesday because the polls should be less crowded by then. My vote will only help insure that Libertarian Party candidates will be on the next ballot.

    To me, it doesn’t make any difference which of the two major party candidates win. Both of them are intolerable and unworthy of the office – Hillary is a conscious, narcissistic, unrepentant liar and Trump is an unconscious, narcissistic unrepentant liar.

    God help us all.

  4. I think we’re getting that help. I really do.

  5. I understood that the American Predidential election always took place on the same day as the Melbourne Cup. The first Tuesday in November, but I notice that this year it’s on the second Tuesday in November.

    Is this something to do with the difficulties, envisioned in the early days, of perhaps getting people to towns and polling stations?

    • Sort of. The Constitution specifies it should be the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. You can read the lengthy explanation for that on Wikipedia. In part, it did have to do with travel time.

      • Thanks for clearing that up for me PT, I’ll now go and read up on Wikipedia; seems I might have had just a very little idea if travel comes into the equation.

        Whatever the reasons they’re bound to interest me now that my curiosity is firmly aroused XD

        • Our election system was logical and well thought out, once upon a time. But it sure seems arcane and badly out of whack now.

          • That was an interesting read, and when I thought about it, it made a lot of sense when first devised. I think I prefer having the elections on a Saturday, as we do seems to make more sense in this day and age; yet many complain because in Australia Saturdays are devoted to sport and if you don’t take an interest in sport there’s always sport to amise you! Ridiculous, but there it is.

            • I think one reason we now have so many states with extended voting periods, early voting, mail-in ballots, etc., is because so many adults work. A single day of the week, during the normal work week, was difficult for both employers and employees.

          • Well I’m now more convinced than ever that here in Australia we have the best system; even to the compulsory voting of which I’m an advocate.
            There is no possibility here of those so inclined to rort the system by the double voting that I’ve been reading about that occurs in the USA, it can’t happen here; it’s too regulated and controlled by one body who’s only reason for being is the elections!

      • The Melbourne Cup is ALWAYS run on the first Tuesday in November; and has since it’s inception in 1862.
        It is celebrated in Melbourne and Victoria with a “Public Holiday”. The only PH in the world celebrated for an horse race, something to really crow about don’t you agree? XD XD XD XD

  6. Let it be over, please! What a brutal year of politics.
    Voting tomorrow after I try and filter through all that will be on the ballot and fix a cheat sheet to take with me. Always to much unknown.
    We have mail-in ballots here. Convenient. Both parties send sample ones showing exactly how they want you to vote. I like the way you drove yours to an official drop off and have a way to check on it online. That should be required.
    Anyone can request a mail-in ballot here – in as many names as you want – and send them all in. That’s how a woman managed to vote in my name – for 7 years. What a battle – you cannot imaging how upset I got every election. Took 7 years to straighten it out. What finally did it? I personally talked to the state attn. gen. who looked at all the efforts I and local officials tooks and he ordered my my name on the voter rolls there was the statement “MUST HAVE VALID STATE ISSUED VOTER ID” That stopped it.
    They caught the woman but didn’t prosecute…she promised not to do it again. Right.
    Sadly I found 6 other people who were in line during the last presidential election who were stunned to be told “You’ve already voted. “See, on this date, you just forgot” or “OH, see here, you voted by mail. You just forgot.” Right.
    Voter fraud exists. I battled it for years. Apparently it was really bad during LBJ’s elections, too.
    So the outcome will be interesting this year.
    As much fun as the election process? (going outside for sanity)

    • I would be SO angry if someone else used my name to vote, especially if I got to the polls and was told “sorry, you’ve already voted.”

      I think we need to enact some laws that limit the length of the campaign season to, say, a couple of months. That way the voters wouldn’t be driven insane, the campaigns would cost a lot less money, and our elected representatives could concentrate on doing their jobs instead of working on their re-elections for two years.

      I’m just so disgusted with the whole thing …

      • It still makes me angry. One of the last times before I called up the attorney general, was when one poll official smuggly said “Oh, see here, you voted on this date of early voting – which happened to be on the day of my dad’s funeral – which was easy to prove. So I asked, after fillind in the “provisonal ballots” all those years – did my vote counts. “Oh, yes”…but they wouldn’t look me in the eyes. Can’t tell you how much time/effort the battle took for years – we’ll see this week if there’s any problems with my vote this time.
        There’s a case being prosecuted now in Dallas. (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article43878618.html)
        She’s out on bond – and probably voting. These crimminals know exactly what they are doing. Should be enough for instant deportation/revoke of Visa.
        You are right – the process is allowed to start too early and goes for too long. 3 months would be more than enough to get any message out to the voters. Enough already!

        • I sure hope you get to cast a valid vote this year. It’s never been more important.

          • Not only for the candidate, but also for confidence in the election process/system.
            Not really certain about validity as Arlington and Amarillo polling sites are already reporting ( with screenshots of the machines) ballots not recording accurately the person’s vote – switching to opposite. Election officials are struggling and warning people to double check before that final “vote” click button. It’s all over FB and twitter.
            Sigh. Buckle up – it’s going to be a rough ride, I think. Anyone for purple thumbs, photo ID, and signed paper ballots marked with an X? (Oh, if determined, people figure out a way to mess with anything.)

            • I’d have a tough time standing in line anyplace these days, but purple thumbs and signed paper ballots seem to work pretty way. I worry especially about those states that have electronic voting with NO paper backup of any kind. And your situation just proves what I’ve always contended; photo IDs should be required. (There’s plenty of chance for fraud and error here; we register to vote when we get driver’s licenses but thereafter the ballots are mailed to us, and I can see a lot of ways for that to go wrong.)

              BTW, my morning email contained confirmation that my ballot has been received and accepted for counting.

            • CO seems to have a good system. AS I can’t trust the mail-in ballot here ( and just in case there’s any issue I’d reather be there in person as I, at this point, know so many of the officials on sight.) I’m off to stand in line. Mobs apparently yesterday.

            • I had to order a new birth certificate (my original was too old, or something and they wouldn’t accept my existing OK driver’s license) to prove my citizenship before they’d issue a CO driver’s license and register me to vote. I thought it was all to the good until they decided to start issuing DL’s to non-citizens. Our balloting system isn’t perfect, of course. Ballots can go astray in the mail, people change addresses, people new to an address may get and use a ballot intended for a former resident, etc. But I’ve yet to see a foolproof, goof-proof, totally secure system. At least ours is convenient. And I think that probably encourages a bigger turnout.

  7. Here in Texas, voter fraud is easy to do. Since most people seem to be afraid that requiring photo ID’s is unconstitutional, why not simply record every vote in the same way that ATM’s do? That way when someone wanted to contest an election, all they would have to do is compare Drivers License images to those taken during the vote. Oh wait… unscrupulous people can erase files even after they’ve been subpoenaed. Never mind.

“The opinions of others should not deter you from being yourself..” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

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