Category Archives: voting

the vet didn’t vet — let’s not end up with regret

Saw this courtesy of my friend Jack.

As the video says, “It hasn’t happened yet…” Let’s make sure it doesn’t. If your state will let you vote early, do it today. And if you have an hour (or 5, or 10) to spare, head to your local campaign office and make some calls or knock on some doors.

Help make sure that next Tuesday, the result is one America won’t regret.

vote early and beat the crowd!

At the Obama rally we attended on Wednesday, we heard one message repeatedly from volunteers by the line to get in and from the volunteer organizer who was the first speaker: Vote early.

I don’t know how the laws work in the rest of the states, but in Indiana we can go to any of several locations in our county and cast an early ballot. This isn’t the same as voting absentee: the ballots are collected, sorted by precinct, and counted later along with all the rest cast on Nov. 4.

Encouraging people to vote early ensures that those supporters’ votes are cast regardless of what happens on Election Day. You don’t have to worry about a long line, or the precinct running out of ballots, or having to work, or finding childcare, or being sick, or forgetting to take your ID with you, or it being too wet/cold/snowy outside. You can go vote any day that you have a few free minutes; and if you do forget your ID, or some other mix-up occurs, you can try again the next day.

I love the idea. I may do it, although I get a huge shot of satisfaction from actually entering a voting booth on Election Day and marking the boxes on my (paper!) ballot. But I’m frankly nervous about our local government’s ability to safely store the early ballots and then reliably produce them when the time comes. I’ll probably go to the County Clerk’s office and ask some questions about procedures, and then decide.

If you live somewhere that allows early voting, why not go ahead and vote today? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done your civic duty and helped forge the future of our country. Then, when Nov. 4 rolls around, if you just can’t bear to stay away from the polls, you can give rides to elderly friends or others who need some assistance.

if Clinton’s campaign goes with the “nuclear option,” I won’t vote for her

Tuesday I’ll be voting in the Indiana Democratic primary, and I’m thoroughly excited that my vote will actually count for something this time around. For a little while, the race was running neck and neck, but for the last few days Real Clear Politics has Clinton’s lead increasing; today she’s in front by an average of almost 6%. At the same time, Obama’s lead in North Carolina keeps shrinking: today it’s averaging 7%.

I assume that these shifts are due in large part to the knee-capping operation undertaken last week by the Rev. Jeremiah “Throw Barack Under the Bus” Wright. They make me nervous, because they seem to herald a continuation of the race for the nomination. I’d been among those fervently hoping that a strong show in Indiana and a blow-out in North Carolina would seal things up for Obama.

And then this morning, I saw this on the Huffington Post: Clinton’s campaign has a secret weapon to build its delegate count, but her top strategists say privately that any attempt to deploy it would require a sharp (and by no means inevitable) shift in the political climate within Democratic circles by the end of this month.

With at least 50 percent of the Democratic Party’s 30-member Rules and Bylaws Committee committed to Clinton, her backers could — when the committee meets at the end of this month — try to ram through a decision to seat the disputed 210-member Florida and 156-member Michigan delegations. Such a decision would give Clinton an estimated 55 or more delegates than Obama, according to Clinton campaign operatives.

Sure, there’s that fact that making such an attempt “would require a sharp (and by no means inevitable) shift in the political climate.” But when my husband and I were on a walk during this beautiful spring evening, I realized that I have no doubt at all that if such a shift occurred, perhaps following unexpectedly strong Clinton showings in the next several primaries, Hillary and Co. would absolutely undertake their “nuclear option” to force through a convention decision on her behalf. I think they’d do whatever it took to get her the candidacy.

And here’s the next thought that came to me, very unexpectedly, on my walk: if Clinton and her people pull this kind of stunt, I won’t vote for her in the general election.

My husband’s immediate response to my saying so was, “But any Democrat is better than McCain.” I agree with him. But if she does this, then she’ll demonstrate something I’ve thought all along, and which has influenced my decision to vote for Obama: when it comes right down to it, I believe that Clinton’s campaign is 100% All About Her. If she shows that she’s willing to do anything and everything to get the nomination, including stomp all over the process and ignore the wishes of Democratic voters, then she’ll show me that she’s no better a person than the worst Republican. I won’t vote for someone like that.

It’s the first glimmer I’ve had into understanding why people vote for Ralph Nader; they see such fundamental flaws in the candidates of the two major parties that they refuse to vote for either of them. I hope that Clinton won’t cause me — and, potentially, a lot of other people — to leave the President box empty on my ballot in November.


This morning, the Huffington Post says the Clinton campaign is absolutely planning to push for seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates at the May 31 meeting of the Rules and Bylaws committee. One response:

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said: “Wow. The nuclear option will yield nuclear winter for the Democratic Party.”

Unbelievable. Clinton apparently has no concern for what this action will do to her party and the country.

primary goodies

I was the 76th person to vote in my precinct a little while ago. Indiana holds local elections and primaries today, and I had only a few choices to make on my ballot: which candidate to support for the Democratic nomination for mayor, and nominees for seats on the city council. Given the seemingly less-than-urgent nature of this election, I expect turnout to be maybe 10% if we’re lucky.

As always, I don’t understand why people don’t vote. It took maybe 15 minutes out of my day. It’s exciting, in a wonky sort of way. It’s one of the best benefits of living in the great democracy that is the United States. (It’s also a good way to distract yourself if your big, stupid golden retriever has just killed one of the baby robins that was born in a nest above your deck; and that you’ve been watching eat and grow for a couple of weeks; and that you were thrilled to actually see fledge, hurling itself bravely from the nest with the warbled encouragement of its mother, only to land on the ground and be immediately mauled by the big, stupid dog who would not come away or stop no matter how loudly you yelled.)

The most interesting part of voting today was the assortment of goodies I was handed by volunteers outside my polling place. I don’t think they’re allowed to say anything in support of their candidate, because as I walked to the door they approached me, mute and smiling, one at a time, holding out their tokens of electoral regard. Here’s the count:

  • bag (useful for holding everything) containing a comb.
  • 1 pencil (always useful).
  • 1 emery board from a former mayor who’s trying to get reelected.
  • 5 emery boards from the current mayor who’s also trying to get reelected (this seems like overkill to me, or compensation, or something).
  • 1 business card (booooring; this candidate needs to learn from the others).
  • The winner: a bag of Hershey’s kisses from a man running for city council, who owns a jewelry store and thus knows a lot about small metallic objects. The note with the candy reads “A Kiss for Your Vote.” The bag contains 9 kisses, so it’s possible that he’s encouraging vote fraud; but I’m choosing not to worry about it.

If I got all this stuff on the day of some piddly local races, imagine what they’ll be handing out next year during the presidential primary. Heck, I’m figuring Hillary Clinton should be good for at least 50 bucks.