For over 2 decades, a faded, red and tan voter registration card has kept its place in my wallet. This past month I learned it has absolutely no value, and that my voter registration has disappeared.
My very old, faded registration card.
This of course isn’t uncommon. The board of elections has been ‘purging’ and ‘invalidating’ citizen’s voter registrations for decades now. This year though, the problem is particularly acute. We’re in the heat of a presidential election that will either shape the future of this country into one that reclaims the long dead ‘American dream’, or one that infects the country with a dangerous cancer of hatred that will cause it to implode (yes, I’m talking about Trump). You can read all the horror stories about voter fraud all on many decent news websites tonight. I felt it important to add my vote to this growing outrage.
I registered to vote in 1992. I’ve voted a few times, but I’m a pretty left leaning guy in a left leaning state, thus my vote doesn’t usually have much value in many elections (especially considering the corrupt electoral college system). I registered as a democrat so I can vote in their primaries, even though I’m much more of an independent.
In this election though, too much is on the line. I heard all about the deadlines to register or change parties. I didn’t think any of that pertained to me. I registered in 1992, and have no desire to switch to the racist-sexist-rich-people-and-dumbass party. I have a voter registration card in my wallet, next to a drivers license, and social security card. I pay my taxes every year. I’m a born and raised New Yorker. What could possibly go wrong?
In mid march, when I heard about people having their voter registrations tampered with, I decided to check my status online.
I found no record of myself.
I checked my name in the only 3 “1110X” zip codes I’ve ever lived in.
It is as if I never existed.
I recently had to renew my drivers license – just a few days after I checked my voter registration status. When prompted to register to vote at the DMV Express, I did so. Would that reactive my registration? Does it matter that I’ve now registered twice? Is that a crime, and if so why does the DMV sponsor it? How does this work?
Yesterday I received a letter in the mail, stating that I’ve registered to vote, and that my registration as a democrat would be effective as of November 15th.
November 15. Clearly I was not going to be in the magic oligarch’s book of approved preferred citizens on primary day.
The only possible reason to make my democrat registration effective in November is to deprive me of voting in the primary today. There is absolutely no logical reason for the delay. I’m the same left leaning son of a blue collar union member and army veteran as I was in 1992.
I decided to go attempt to vote anyway. Everyone at the polling station was very nice, but they had no record of me. Instead I was given an ‘affidavit ballot’ – which is basically worthless. My understanding is these ballots are only counted if the democrat or republic parties decide they care to count you. The situation is bad enough as a regular voter: you don’t get to vote for your candidate in a presidential election. You vote for delegates who then *maybe* vote for your candidate. In my situation, I vote on a paper ballot that is only counted if some unknown person in a dark mysterious basement office decides it should be counted. Then that vote gets counted against the delegates who will *maybe* vote for the person of my choice.
My state-sponsored fake ballot that will never be counted.
The only way I could have voted for real today would be to go to a courthouse an hour commute from where I live, and wait for a judge to give me a court order to bring back to my voting location to present to the hired-for-one-day staffers to then let me vote. That would have taken at least 3 hours. I worked a 12 hour day today and barely had 15 minutes to go attempt to vote.
Is voting something only those with the privilege of time are allowed to partake in?
How is that a democracy again?
Why was my right taken from me at all? Who decides this? How? Why?
No good can come from taking away citizens rights, without process or even notification. This entire, fucked up system is garbage. It is a process you would expect in North Korea, not North America.
I propose we replace it with a very, very simple system.
Did you pay taxes last year? Are you a US Citizen? Congratulations, you’re eligible to vote. In any race, for any political party you like.
Of course that’s way too simple for our “elected” officials to understand.