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A Woman On The Verge

thoughts and musings of my mind

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Voting

Tis The Season….

 

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

Early voting season that is….I have a love hate relationship with early voting. I love it because I can vote on Saturday and not have to rush around on Super Tuesday.  I hate it because all the candidates and their minions hang out at the voting place on Saturday and accost you as you reach the line of demarcation. I have to psych myself up to get into the polling place as it is since I have to talk, because current state requires you state your name and address to vote.

This was the day, I was ready.  I knew I was going to get mobbed before I hit the magic line. I did get mobbed, but I managed to get in to vote and back out without having a meltdown of sorts.

Gaston County Sheriff's OfficeTo be honest I am not really sure why the politicians try to make that last obnoxious push before you go in to vote. I assume, and probably wrongly, that everyone already knows who they are voting for.  Plus if you really want to get my vote, offer me coffee, tea or a donut before I head in there at least then I know you put some of that campaign money to some good use.  The worst in this town is this guy running for sheriff, he seems to think something is wrong with the current sheriff and that we need a new start.  I just think he is an asshat.  The bad thing is, he is a republican, and as most of my friends know I have voted Republican most of my adult life.  So it kills me that he is our chosen republican candidate.  I knew I wasn’t voting for him, I knew my vote was going to go to the current sheriff, because I like him.  His people were the ones to come up with a program to have sex offenders in the county report to the courthouse on Halloween since around 2006, as a child of abuse I applaud this effort to keep offenders away from vulnerable and naïve children. Plus in this state all the sheriff really does is manage the jail system, they are financial administrators. I like our current system there haven’t been any scandals about the sheriff’s department and he hasn’t had any budget overruns. So the republican candidate has had to resort to scare tactics and outright lies about the current sheriff.  I don’t like that kind of campaigning, it lacks integrity and strong moral character – two things I think the person holding the office of sheriff needs. So this is the hotly contested campaign in my county this year because we really have nothing else to vote for, aside from a few non-partisan judicial positions – which was the real reason I was there to vote anyway.  I voted, I used my ability to vote for the best candidates, and I really hope Alan Cloninger wins again, because I swear I will sell my house and move if the other guy wins.

and I bet you all thought this was going to be about the fact that Wal-Mart already has Christmas decorations in their stores.

Why is it so hard to vote in Mecklenburg County???

This is an old blog from my website

Why is it so hard???

Having just returned from my somewhat annual pilgrimage to the polling place, I have a few thoughts. They may apply to where you live, however they generally apply to Charlotte. I am sure, though, that others can think of things that are just as befuddling. How many of you get to tour your community on an annual basis? Well, I do. Every year our polling place is changed. This year we voted in a school. Last year we voted at the Native American Center, which I liked because it was a way to expose people to another culture. The year before I didn’t vote because I couldn’t even find the place where I was supposed to go (there was a lack of signs which said VOTE HERE!). I lived in Seattle before this and voted in the same place nearly every year. Okay so polling places change, I can live with that. What really bothered me this evening is the way they check you in. You fill out a piece of paper with your name and signature and apparantly your address, although when I asked why I needed to put that down since I hadn’t moved they said, because. I went from the place where I fill out this piece of paper to stand in line so they could find my name in the BIG BOOK. My last name begins with a T although, for some reason the gentleman felt my last name should begin with a P, he kept trying to send me to another line to check in. Then I got in big trouble because I didn’t fill out my address, I kept saying that I hadn’t moved and the way the form had it phrased it looked like I was supposed to tell them if my address had changed, there was a warning in red directly above the address which stated if you had moved and it had been more than 30 days you were violating the law. Nowhere on the form did it say you must fill this out completely, I argued that fact with the gentleman who insisted my last name began with a P.

Form Example

IF you have moved and it has been more than 30 days you are violating the laws and can not vote. (this is my paraphrase)

I now live at ___________________

Printed Name __________________

Signature ______________________

After stating repeatedly that I hadn’t moved and didn’t understand why I needed to fill in my address, the Voting Judge as she was called just told the gentleman to write in that I refused to fill out my address. Then he looked in the book, again asked me if I was sure my last name started with a T. Since I have had the same last name since birth I don’t understand why he didn’t believe me. He proceeded to check me off and send me on my way. Now my problem isn’t the silly address issue, it is the fact that he didn’t look at my picture ID or my voter’s registration card or anything with a signature besides the one I had given him on the sheet of paper. As a citizen of the US I think this is not the proper way to do things. Anyone could have come in signed my name and voted for me, as long as she was a white female. This procedure reminds me of the old days when people used to stuff ballot boxes with the names of dead people. I don’t know if North Carolina or Charlotte has had any dead people vote in the past decade, but it could be possible. I know it has happened elsewhere in the US.

Moving along. so I go to stand in another line to wait to actually vote. I am not terribly pleased with how things are going, because voting should be a fairly painless process. I don’t mind lines but I do mind feeling like my rights have been taken away from me. Moving on over to the voting booth, which I only have 3 minutes to spend time in. The nice lady, probably a retired nurse or teacher gives me complete directions on how to vote, okay that is fine, but it would be nice if she asked me if I need help. Then she moves away to allow me to vote, and hovers behind me while I push the buttons for my choices. I love the new systems, because it means less paper and a quicker process all together. However, having someone watch me vote is a violation of my rights as a US citizen and this made me terribly cross. So why is it that voting is so difficult? We are all adults here. Voting is the basis of the US and yet in some places they still have rather archaic forms of getting the process done. All I want is some change and I certainly do not think hovering behind a voter is appropriate.

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