Friday, September 22, 2006

On Voting Irregularities...

2004 was a very distressing year for me. We had to sell our "dream house" that we built from our own plan. Selling a house is never easy, having to be ready to let perfect strangers come into your home and look in all the nooks and crannies is very upsetting to me, especially as I am not the world's best housekeeper and my menfolk are extremely reluctant to make a housekeeper's life easy.

What does this have to do with voting? (I hear you cry!) We closed the day after the Presidential Election in November. I knew that there was going to be a problem when I arrived at the polls and the lines were very long (usually there are only a few people waiting to sign the books). There also seemed to be a lot of extra people milling around, carrying clipboards and clutching cell phones.

When it was my turn to sign the books, much to my surprise, my name was marked through with the words "not able to vote" hand written in red ink. I asked why this was, and (after a conference with some of the clipboard-clutchers) was told that I didn't live in that district anymore, so I could not vote there.

Well, I am no shrinking violet, so I created a bit of a scene. I believe that I used the specific term "disenfranchised". It seems that some of the clipboard-clutchers had been busy trolling the neighborhoods and looking for "Sold" signs on houses, then looking up the owners on the county tax rolls.

It just seemed very fishy that I would be denied the right to vote just because of a real estate sign, but my DH (a registered Republican) did not have a mark through his name.

Well, in order to vote, I had to go downtown, change my address and registry to the new Board of Elections and vote absentee. I could not vote on any of the local matters, just Federal and State.

Fast forward to January... I get a call from the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. What did they want from me? They wanted to know why I had voted twice. WHAT??? They told me I voted both places. I was glad I embarrassed myself while making such a scene at the first polling place, since my presence and the activities while I was there were, shall we say, very memorable. I even had names of clipboard-clutchers to give the investigator.

He seemed satisfied.

Fast forward to May... I get a call from my local police department. Now what?!?!? You guessed it..."why did you vote twice?" Aarrgh! I went through the whole scenario, gave the same names I gave to the FBI guy, blah, blah, blah... I asked the police officer if he had a lot of this to deal with, and he said, "Yeah, I guess a lot of people voted for Kerry." I couldn't help but blurt out, "How do you know who these people voted for?" He got quiet after that.

I'm glad I don't have so much as an outstanding parking ticket, or this would be a true nightmare, instead of a massive nuisance and a chilling hint into how other voters were being intimidated. If I weren't so bleepin' stubborn, I would have given up. How many people did give up, I wonder...

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