Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Elections 2008 Ballot Issue

Last weekend we filled out our ballots and it was very therapeutic. Here in Washington State everybody votes by mail. I like it compared to going to the polls and I don't think I have had problems before, but now I'm not so sure.

The picture to the left shows the directions for filling in the little bubbles next to your candidate choices on our ballots. Does it seem odd to you that the first and third incorrect ways to fill in the bubble looks like a reasonable way to mark the ballot? At least the first one?

I have to admit that in the past I very likely could have filled out the bubbles similar to the first incorrect example. Are the machines that read these ballots so insensitive that the bubble has to look like it is printed on your desktop printer? What if there is just the tiniest bit of white space there or the pen line is just ever so slightly on the line or just outside of it? Even if there are no other stray marks that could be misconstrued as two bubbles filled in.

It seems like an easy way to discount a person's vote to me! I know that it is every voter's responsibility to fill out their ballots correctly, but I wonder how many ballots will not be counted because of a very easy and silly mistake incorrectly marking the bubble?

It felt really good to finally cast my vote, but I do worry about our election system being rigged. My niece and a friend of ours didn't recieve their ballots in the mail. Was it a simple mistake or voter purging?

The whole issue with Acorn is a total red herring. The real problem is voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. I read that in one state, those who have lost their homes in the mortgage crisis won't be allowed to vote because they don't have an updated address. There are tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes, and they are disproportionately low to middle class folks who are probably going to vote for the Democrats.

I think everybody should be checking out Greg Palast's website with the 7 easy steps to steal back your vote. Greg is a best-selling author and real investigative reporter and has lots of good information and video clips on his website. There is also a free download of his "Steal Back Your Vote" comic book that Greg and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. put together.

If you are concerned about your ballot, call your county auditor's office and let them know your problem. Better yet, contact your Secretary of State who is responsible for your statewide elections.

Now Go Vote!

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