Vote ’08: Vote by Mail and Registration Deadlines

california voter's guide with andre the giant obey stickerIsn’t it too late to register already? How do you vote by mail? I keep hearing this questions both directly and in passing and so I’m writing this brief post to address the answers, at least in specificity to the State of California (voting guide). You can also call for CA voting info: 1-800-345-VOTE. Find specific state-by-state info here

Is it too late to register to vote?
Not even close. October 20 is the last day to vote in California and most other states. Vote via the widget here.

How can I vote by mail?
In California, you can apply after October 6 via this form (PDF) or any of the other forms (in multiple languages) listed here. Currently, only 28 states allow no-excuse absentee voting. For information on your site, check The Vote by Mail Project.

Why the hell do we have to vote on Tuesday?
To answer this question, I urge everyone to explore the Why Tuesday? website. Fortunately, more and more states are allowing vote-by-mail, but it would be easiest to drop by a ballot box on a saturday or sunday, considering we’re not all farmers anymore.

There you go. Please leave any questions, thoughts, and comments below. You can also follow me on Twitter. No go and vote!

Why My Vote Might Not Be Counted

echo park voting elysian elementary poll primary super tuesday ballot non-partisan

UPDATE: It is still contested whether or not these votes (such as mine, and two of my three colleagues who also voted Democratic on a Nonpartisan ballot) will be disqualified. Obama campaign lawyer Stephen Kaufman defines two issues decline-to-state voters are experiencing today, one statewide and one only in LA County. CA campaign chair Buffy Wicks just sent out an URGENT UPDATE, the Clinton campaign has still said nothing beyond: “False reports about voting problems in LA are being drudged up – Everything is going smoothly in LA.”

Despite all the preparation I did before going down the street to Elysian Park Elementary to vote this morning I missed something HUGE. Perhaps I should have read my literature closer, or at least this blog post:

Thousands of non-partisan voters’ ballots in Democratic Primary could go uncounted if voters fail to follow instructions carefully.

As a registered decline-to-state voter, I was aware that I could choose either a Democratic or American Independent ballot. I had no idea, however, that I would be handed a punch card that said only “non-partisan.” Furthermore, at the top of the card there apparently was an additional and crucial bubble on it, signifying whether the non-partisan was voting for the American Independent candidate or one of the Democratic candidates. City officials are getting the word out to citizens now, but it’s a little to late. This extra bubble is ONLY for DTS voters in Los Angeles County.

This is only one of my concerns. Despite SoS Debra Bowen doing the right thing and recalling all electronic voting machines until they’re proven reliable, the Inkavote machine used to verify and count my ballot was apparently broken! As I went to slip my punch card in, the poll worker told me, “it’s broken, just give it to me and I’ll put it in the box myself later.” What?!? You’ve got 6 months to fix this, Bowen.

OK. That’s my Super Tuesday story for now. I hope you can all make it down to Seven Grand later to watch the returns and celebrate my birthday! Let’s party.

‘Independent’ Voters Can Participate in CA Democratic Primary

I’ve long refused to officially declare a party affiliation, if not primarily in protest to how ludicrous and homogeneous the two-party American political system is.

Now that I am completely comfortable with my choice for 2008, I finally went ahead and investigated whether or not “decline-to-state” voters can participate in California’s Feburary 5 Democratic primary. (Decline-to-state voters comprise nearly one-fifth of the state’s registered voters.) To my relief, a Google search led me to the following:

California Democrats have a different view of the proposed Feb. 5, 2008, presidential primary. Decline-to-state voters can simply request a Democratic ballot, either by mail or at the polls, and have their choice recorded alongside those of the party regulars.

On the contrary, the state Republican party will only accept votes from declared Republican voters.

Independence salvaged yet again!

Calif. Acknowledges ‘Global Warming’; Makes Pact With UK

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, while visiting with the governor of the world’s 7th largest economy, agreed to work together to explore ways to fight the Bush Ad… err.. I mean… global warming.

Gov. Schwarzenegger, never afraid to distance himself from the Bush Administration’s hard-right GOP stance, said: “California will not wait for our federal government to take strong action on global warming.”

schwarzenegger and blair

we shall see what comes of this “green partnership“.