Friday, November 02, 2012

A (somewhat) Political Post

Every time I formulate a blog post in my head, I worry about what others will say when I actually post it.  This is one of those posts.

Dave is continuing to travel to California for work.  November is looking ugly.  He is gone 2-1/2 weeks this month.  We discovered last week when we were thinking about his next trip that he was going to be gone on election day.

Yes, we live in Ohio, a battleground state.  There is not a single commercial on right now that is not political in some way.  Dave and I enjoy politics.  We talk about it a lot, but only between the two of us.  We know that not everyone agrees with us, which is totally okay.  We listen to what others say, however, we prefer to do our own research and vote for the candidates and issues that we think are best and not necessarily align with a certain political party.

Anyway, when we discovered that Dave was going to be gone on election day we decided it was important for him to vote early (which is something we can do here in Ohio) since we actually live in a state where your vote matters.  Today we went to the one and only early poling place in Columbus.  There was a line outside that went was probably 30-40 people deep.  What we couldn't see inside the building is that the line wound around and around like a ride at Disney World.  Rumor had it, the weight was around an hour to vote.  (Dave made it in and out in 45 minutes.)  Outside, what a freakin' madhouse.  All the crazies were out.  There were representatives for every candidate under the sun, along with decorated trucks.  There were freaks dressed as Abe Lincoln handing out sample ballots.  There were people being reprimanded for wearing candidate paraphernalia (there was a presidential candidate rally in town earlier).  And there were lots and lots of police making sure that order was being followed.

I did not go into the building with Dave.  I was not voting (I'll vote on election day), so I did not want to go in.  Afterwards he told me about his experience.  You had to fill out a paper with your address, last four digits of social security, and maybe some other information.  One inside they verified nothing.  Dave had out his driver's license and they said, no they didn't need it.  (Hello, what?  Voter fraud?!)  Although they gave him a ballot (I believe it was electronic), voting early was basically doing an absentee/provisional ballot in person.

Here's where I'm going to get nasty comments.

I don't know what happens in other states, only what happens in Ohio.  We recently had a court case trying to overturn early voting in Ohio.  The judge basically laughed at this and threw it out.  Early voting would continue.  I, personally, do not like early voting.  I do not like absentee ballots  (I should say,  I think there's a certain person who should be using this, but there are LOTS of people using absentee ballots who don't need to be).  I think if you are able bodied and registered to vote (and everyone should register to vote), then you get yourself to your polling place on election day and do your civic duty.  Otherwise, you have no voice to complain.  (Side note, this is my opinion and only mine.  I know not everyone agrees and that is fine.  We are allowed to disagree.  I'm not looking for you to change my mind.)  Back to this whole early voting and absentee ballot thing.  In Ohio, the way we understand it, you can vote absentee or provisional, but your vote is only counted if the election is so close in the state that they need to count those ballots (the stuff I read online says they are counted on election night, although tens of thousands are often thrown out because of errors.).  So, there's been a lot made about early voting in Ohio, but in the end your vote probably means nothing.  Let's be real; the election is not going to be that close here.  Why not go to the polls on election day and actually cast your vote?

Please don't leave me nasty comments.  This is my blog and if I want to voice my opinion, I have every right to.  I also have every right not to publish your comment.  :)  Take your frustration out on Tuesday.  Go vote.

8 comments:

Stefanie Frank said...

I voted early. Did it because I'm so #(*&ing SICK of the ads and the crazies and the vitriol. Of course me voting early has no effect on any of that but it put my mind at ease that I've voted. Sounds a bit strange but it works for me.

As for it being like early voting/provisional I didn't realize that. The procedure was exactly the same. Maybe it's different in Nevada . . . ? (don't care enough to google it at this point LOL).

To be honest I don't care for early voting either. We're so damn into convenience these days I think early voting is taking that a bit far. Nevertheless I did take advantage of it. Glenn will go and vote on Tuesday.

TriMOEngr said...

I've only voted absentee once and it was because I was going to be gone on election day. Most of the time I can get in and out quickly at my polling place which is just a mile from home with nice little old men and women that do a wonderful job of moving everyone through. I often go after picking kids up from school (it is next to our old daycare) so that they can see me doing my duty. I'm not a big fan of the early voting and its procedures, but I think it should be allowed (though I don't like that no one checked ID!) because people who have to work long shifts or travel during the election should still be allowed a voice. Also, absentees allow for those serving our country away from home to also have a voice. I've read that "provisional ballots" are likely to be the "hanging chad" of this election - will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Melissa C said...

Hmm. Interesting. I know my dad voted early, but I have no idea why. I don't like the idea of no verification either. It does make for an interesting situation if it comes down to those votes. That is scary. I'm just glad it will all be over Wed.

Karen said...

Interesting. I know there is a controversy over voter ID but we have to show it here in GA. (Although if you didn't have it I am not sure what they would do.). We did early voting because we have our own business and can't get away from the store on Tuesday without shutting down for the day. I had heard something similar about the mail in absentee ballots - that they only get counted if the vote is close - always wondered what the truth is there. Will be glad when the election is over...

Katie Duffy said...

That's interesting. I live in NY and I've often wished 1)that my electoral vote meant something, although for the record I'm usually with the majority in my state, and 2) that we had early voting here. Now that you've pointed out how early voting really goes, I take back #2. My polling place is easy, very little wait, and full of kindly elderly ladies who refuse my ID.

All of that said, it really *might* be that close in Ohio...

Betsy said...

I voted by mail, early for the first time this year and it was weird! But, when I registred to vote in CO I some how signed up for this I guess. I agree, I will miss going to the polling place on Tuesday but also being a battleground state I didn't want to miss the chance to vote if it couldn't be changed to not be mail in voting. Now...let's get this over and all move on to other things!

K2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K2 said...

In Georgia, we use computerized machines on advance voting in Georgia, and the results are uploaded on election day once the polls have been shut down, so the votes are always counted no matter what. Provisional votes are always counted as well, unless it was a felon who filled one out.

As for not asking for i.d., that baffles me. In Georgia, no photo i.d. equals no vote (regardless of whether it's advance voting or voting on election day).

As far as voter fraud, it is real, but it is very rare. Here's an article by ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/voter-fraud-real-rare/story?id=17213376#.UJk1vWeYvcs

I can't speak for Ohio as I don't live there, but I would think that there would be similar processes set up.