Saturday, September 23, 2006

Disenfranchised, or "Broward County, Midwest"

Hey, I liked traveling to Florida so much, I "chose" to plan two more trips. Okay, so it's now my job responsibility. I just wanted to make it sound like I really had an option. :-)

One of my next trips will be during the November election. I'm so excited not to use the electronic voting machines in Midwest Broward, er, Cuyahoga County. Am I anti-technology? Let's review the facts: I blog. I use e-mail. I work in I.T. I shop online. The answer is NO!!!, I am not anti-technology.

I am, however, anti-stupidity. It has been reported that the Chairman of the Board of Blunders (er, Elections) in Midwest Broward refused the week-plus of training on the Diebold machines, and instead whittled it down to a day or so of 'train the trainer' training. Of which, not all the trainers attended. Cost cutting measure, you see.

In case you missed it on the news, the 2006 primary election in Midwest Broward was a fiasco. We were (or should have been) the laughingstock of that election day. I think this technology could be great. But, there is no accountability trail, no solid backup mechanism, and apes running the thing (Sorry, Scottius.)

I think you should have to pass a basic literacy test before you are allowed to vote. Too easy for "helping hands" to prompt you where to cast your vote on these machines. And if you cannot prove you are a U.S. citizen who is not a felon, and that you can pass the literacy test, you should not be allowed to vote. Sorry, this isn't about fairness, it's about our responsibility as citizens to be accountable.

Which brings me to my point. I have lived at my current residence for eight years. I have voted in all but one election, I believe. I am always the first or second from my precinct to sign in and vote. (Mr. 2-doors-down and I are usually 1 and 2 in our precinct.) I recognize the volunteers who help with my precinct, even though I don't know them by name.

Since I will not see them for this coming election, and I would like to see the electronic voting process mature (I mean, get corrected) before I trust my valuable vote in the hands of the Midwest Broward ape boxes, I registered for an absentee ballot. I mailed in my registration, and received this response:

Okay, so that's not really what it said, but it might as well have. What I actually received was a note that said I was not registered to vote, and that I needed to register before I could request an absentee ballot. Huh?

Thank heavens that our zany postal workers are smarter than the Board of Blunders employees. I reviewed the mailing address on the envelope. Yep, one too many zeros on the address, yet they got the mail to the right residence. Darn, did I fill in the absentee ballot registration correctly? Yes. I know this because they sent a copy of the registration with their "we are stupid" note. Then wazzup?

I checked online to see whether I am registered, and I am. Cool, I get to use the Board of Blunders own website against them to prove that I am already registered. Then, I will resend them the original absentee ballot registration, and pray that they process it correcly so I can receive my ballot. Good thing we're over a month away from the election.

Midwest Broward. Mark my words.


Marie N. said...

Well, at least you got a response! Our forms were mailed the same day and I'm still waiting.

I checked my voter registration card -- no exparation date.

Scottius Maximus said...


If you don't want us, sniff-sniff, don't put us in charge!

Anonymous said...

Anyone can vote with a paper absentee ballot. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Anonymous said...

And one other thing...In addition to literacy tests, we should go back to the property ownership requirement!!!

For the CHILDRENS~!!!!!!!!!!!!11one!