Did you vote? I did (maybe).

I moved to a new house not that long ago. A couple of weeks back, my wife and I went to the DMV and updated our driver’s licenses. While we were there, we both requested that the DMV update our voter registrations. Approximately one week ago, my wife got a card in the mail confirming her voter registration had been updated. I got… nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I got busy fighting with HR and the insurance company trying to get my health insurance cards1.

Then today rolls around. On a break at work, I start checking the Internet to find out where I’m supposed to go and vote tonight. While I’m doing that I run across a link allowing Iowa voters to check their voter registration. I try it out and find that my voter registration did NOT get updated. Grrrr. Tonight after dinner (roughly 6:15PM), Ariesna and I head over to the polling place to vote. I tell the person inside the door that I need the provisional ballot. She tells me to tell somebody else after I’ve signed in. I sign in, get in line and then tell the pollworker who has the book of names. She looks confused and refers me over to my 3rd pollworker of the evening.

Again, I get to wait around for my chance to talk to her. I explain my situation, including the bit about already talking the county auditor’s office. Her eyes look a bit glazed over and she seemed pretty confused. She mumbles something and then brings me some paperwork to fill out. Then she goes to try help 3-4 other people, disappears for a while and eventually comes back to take my paperwork. I hand it over and she disappears again. I hear somebody mention that the phone in the polling place doesn’t work, so apparently she’s running around the building to another room to call the county auditor’s office. Of course, if she could have kept track of what I’d said she wouldn’t have had to do that…. Eventually she comes back, gives me one of the provisional ballots and lets me vote. Wheee!

Next year, I’m so totally going to sign up for the absentee ballot. It’s just so much easier than dealing with understaffed (one of the other pollworkers mentioned they’d all been there since 6AM) & undertrained people at the polls.

1 So far, I’m still waiting. *sigh*


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Freedom isn’t free, it costs a buck-o-five! I was wondering how you were going to vote. Woke up this morning and found out that Leach was kicked out. I’m all for kicking out multiple term politicians, but from the look of things, their replacements are usually former political office holders, so it isn’t like new people are really being elected. Kind of defeats the purpose.

The most interesting editorial I read about the 2006-Vote was about the large number of ballot initiatives, where voters have to decide on things like banning gay marriage, or allowing a new school tax, and so on. The origins of democracy are usually traced back to Greece, where politics was decided by a rock. Each person would pick a rock and place their vote depending on the issue. One rock, one vote. Today, we still practice this where each congressman has one vote. By placing more issues on the ballot, essentially politicians are asking voters to do their job. The idea of not being able to raise taxes without having it approved by voter ballot is just a stupid idea. Governments have to govern, and the politicians appointed to office need to be responsible and do their job and govern, that’s why they were elected in the first place! If we keep adding to voter ballots, then we might as well give the rock to the voter and no longer pay elected officials any salary at all.

Hmm. I don’t know the specifics of ballot initiatives. I have a hypothesis that, like so many ideas that get contaminated by politicians, ballot initiatives are a good idea, implemented poorly.

The idea that the people themselves can choose to enact a law is not fundamentally flawed, so long as it’s a supermajority that favors the law. The rationale being that, with a supermajority, you can vote in an amendment to the Constitution, so you might as well be able to pass a law.

But to have a simple majority dictate law — yeah, that’s mob-rule.

Politics is a lot like marriage. If you work on your relationship and put effort into the life you are building together, then you can survive the ups and downs of life. If you ignore your relationship and put little effort into fixing it then you have constant arguments and eventually the marriage falls apart. While couples may need to ask outsiders for their advice, ultimately it comes down to what the two people in the marriage decide to do. Government should inquire what people’s opinions are, but it is their ultimate responsibility to make sure government progresses and not falls apart. In the Bush era, things fell apart all the time: Iraq, Katrina, congressmen chasing teenagers, etc… Bush should have actually put away his pride and learned to work with everyone. Instead he chose to do what he wanted and he built a huge mess. However Congress is also at fault for not pressing the President to come to the table.

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