Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Our Right To Vote

So as you all know yesterday was election day. This was the biggest mid-term election I can remember in many years. Ronny and I tried to re-register with our new address and found we were too late to do so. We did find out though that because we were already registered at our old address we could vote a provisional ballot by bringing in two accepted pieces of mail showing our new address. We would have to vote on paper ballots but we really didn't care if it was the computer or the paper as long as we could vote. We live in a developing area so I figured there would be quite a few of us needing to do this.

We arrived at our voting location and stood in line. When we reached the front we showed our i.d. and two approved items to verify our new address. We signed in and were instructed to go to the table that had paper ballots. When arriving there we stood in another line and watched the ladies there encourage those standing in the previous line to come to their table if they didn't want to wait so long and vote by paper as opposed to the computer. Then they realized they were running out of ballots. When we made it to the front they only had 1 left for our precinct. I was a bit frustrated as these paper ballots were intended for those voting on a provisional status with address changes. Considering how many new homes get completed daily here you would think they would have been encouraging others to wait in the line for the computer so that everyone else needing the provisional ballots would have one.

I nicely told her that she needed to figure something out as she was now denying my right to vote. She excused herself to make some calls to find out what to do. When she came back she made the announcement that only provisional voters could vote the paper ballots. NO KIDDDING!!!! Wasn't that covered in the training to run a voting station????? I appreciate them wanting to make the voting process a little less tedious and not make people stand in long lines, but not at the expense of someone not being able to vote because they ran out of ballots. In the end they received permission for us to vote on another precinct's ballot and write our number at the bottom. I don't have too much faith in having it counted as any discrepancy seems to throw so many ballots out. We were given a number to call and verify our vote was counted but we would have to wait two weeks to call. What's the point then???

We are now re-registered at our new address so that hopefully we won't have this problem again. I take some responsibility here as we didn't do that soon enough, however running out of ballots should not be an issue in this day and age!!!