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how to vote in washington state: a handy guide to democracy - here is where i live

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November 7th, 2006


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04:35 am - how to vote in washington state: a handy guide to democracy
1) fill out your ballot. don't fuck up, or you need to get a whole new one, which i assume is difficult. erasing is forbidden.
2) remove the stub on the top of your ballot. the entire contents of this stub are: a number, a barcode, and VOTER: Remove and discard this stub before returning your ballot. included with your ballot was an instruction card (don't bother reading it; my instructions are better). on one side are all the instructions, but on the other side, in giganto font, is HAVE YOU REMOVED THE STUB ON YOUR BALLOT? on the back of your SECRECY ENVELOPE (mentioned soon!) it asks Have you removed the stub on your ballot? why is the stub fucking there to begin with? why is it a warcrime to leave it on? who knows.
3) put your ballot into the SECRECY ENVELOPE. this appears to be a normal envelope with a small hole in it, and more instructions printed on it.
4) put your SECRECY ENVELOPE into the regular mailing envelope, which is light purple for very democratic reasons i don't doubt. this envelope has the mailing address on it, and a voter affidavit which seems like it could have much easier gone on the ballot, along with yet more instructions in case you don't know how to seal envelopes. i'll further note that inside it has instructions 1-4, but on the outside only 3 and 4 appear, still helpfully labeled steps 3 and 4.
5) attach the voting tax stamp, pop it in the mailbox, hope the post office doesn't lose it, and congrats you're a good citizen!

why am i still online? i leave for the airport in 5 hours. i guess i'll go pack.

(17 shots upside the head | en garde!)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lux_et_amor
Date:November 7th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
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stop by here on your way ;-)
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:November 8th, 2006 05:08 am (UTC)
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you're a little out of the way; i'm in nh.
ALTHOUGH i do have a stopover in detroit 11:14am-12:20pm. that's your state. so factoring in travel between gates, having to go out and back in thru security, and pre-boarding time, i think i would have maybe 30 seconds to say hi.
[User Picture]
From:melley
Date:November 7th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
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the stub is prolly there so they can tell if they counted your vote.

these instructions only work if you remembered to request an absentee ballot, unlike me.

have fun in new hamster!
[User Picture]
From:thesnark
Date:November 7th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
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Er, aren't all ballots absentee? You should have received one if you registered to vote.
[User Picture]
From:melley
Date:November 8th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
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Not yet - I think that starts next year or the year after.

However, it turns out my registration was also fucked up.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:November 8th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
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but if i removed the stub before mailing, all it tells them is that there used to be a stub there but they don't get to see it.

i didn't request nothin! they just mailed me a ballot one day.

thanks! so far so good
[User Picture]
From:thesnark
Date:November 7th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)

Insight into the fascinating realm of WA ballot processing

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Uh, the reason why the voter affidavit isn't on your ballot is because your ballot is supposed to be SECRET.

Here is how the ballot processing works:
-The envelopes are all sliced open so just the voter affidavit shows. They are sorted by district using the numbers on the purple envelope.
-Then the purple envelopes are sliced open all the way so that the ballots can be taken out, again making sure that they are sorted by district as different districts will have different things on their ballots.
-Volunteers take the anonymous ballows and complete lines where people were lazy and check for irregularities so that the machine will read each ballot properly.
Meanwhile, the voter affidavits are matched against the signatures on voters' registration cards by people who have been trained to verify handwriting. This is to check for any fraudulent signatures and eliminate ballots belonging to dead people or people with stolen ballots. Those that are flagged as suspect get a postcard sent to them asking them to come in and verify the signature.


[User Picture]
From:thesnark
Date:November 7th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Insight into the fascinating realm of WA ballot processing

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I left out the part where people from each party come in and watch the people slicing, verifying, clarifying, etc to ensure there is no hanky panky. It's really unsettling to have people watch you through a window while you work.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:November 8th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)

Re: Insight into the fascinating realm of WA ballot processing

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i figured out the affidavit thing after i was all packed up, so it was too late to save myself from looking dumb.

once the ballets have been taken and the affidavits are off being checked, if one fails how do you match it back up with the ballet it came from?
[User Picture]
From:thesnark
Date:November 8th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)

Re: Insight into the fascinating realm of WA ballot processing

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That part I don't know. :) If the race is close enough and there are enough of them that it would make a difference, they would simply do a recall of the election, I imagine.
From:katosphere
Date:November 9th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
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Getting a new ballot is actually not that hard. I had to do it because I filled out my ballot with a Sharpie and sealed the envelope before reading the "DO NOT VOTE WITH A SHARPIE UNDER PAIN OF DEATH" warning on the blue card.

All I had to do was go to the auditor's office, ask for a new one, and sign a lil' green slip. There wasn't a line (at 10am election day!), and the lady was even nice.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:November 9th, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC)
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get out of my state, you sharpie-wielding fiend!

did they make you turn in the busted ballot? otherwise i will be voting 10 times in the next election
From:katosphere
Date:November 10th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
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no, but... presumably they thought of that.
[User Picture]
From:amyawesome
Date:November 9th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
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It's Amy espions I switched to this journal, please add it!
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:November 9th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
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added! you switch journals more than anyone i know, amypants
[User Picture]
From:amyawesome
Date:November 9th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Not really, I did name changes a few times, and this time I just went back to my old journal and changed the name. I get sick of the usernames quickly.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:November 9th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
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ah. i guess i meant journal names. i just remember you having a bunch. i think i still have some friended

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