Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My nightmare at the polls...

Even election day doesn't go off without a hitch around here...

I got out of work at 5PM and headed straight to the polls.  Now, I used to live in Massachusetts but a number of years ago (not sure how many, I'm guessing around six) I moved to Connecticut.  Although I changed my license and all that, I DID NOT register to vote in Connecticut.

It never crossed my mind at first.  I was still reasonably close to Massachusetts, so why not drive over the line and go vote in my old hometown?  I didn't see anything wrong with that.

Someone made me fill out paperwork to register in CT for the last election, but it turned out to be a huge hassle.  I remember trying to drop it off at Town Hall but they wouldn't take it for some reason.  I was annoyed to be getting the run-around, so I saw voting in Massachusetts to be the simpler option.

For the last presidential election, I walked in, stood in line, told the woman at the desk my name, and voted.  Simple.

This time?

My name wasn't on the list.

A man there got on the phone with someone to determine that I had been deleted from the system because I moved to Connecticut.  But I already had been living in Connecticut for years when I voted the first time. That didn't quite explain things.  But then I learned I hadn't returned a census. (My ex threw it out.)  And that Massachusetts purges voters from the system every 3 years to clear out anyone who is deceased.

Awesome.

The man with the phone told me I wasn't registered anywhere.

"So I can't vote?"  I asked.  "I can't vote at all?"

He shook his head and told me he was sorry.  He said that he had a crazy ex, too, and she probably would have thrown out his census as well.

I felt really lost, standing in the middle of the polling room.  My opinion officially didn't matter.  I was completely useless in a sea of people who were making their opinion count.
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Cut to me bitching on Facebook about how I'm probably the only moron who didn't know you had to RE-Register to vote.  (The first time had been so easy!  I thought it would always be like that--I had no clue you ever got purged from the system.)

Luckily, a few of my friends thought that this sounded fishy.

"What about a provisional ballot?"  They asked me.

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And so, after trips to THREE different polling places (where most people working the polls don't actually have any idea what a provisional ballot is!), half a tank of gas, and some car-contained yelling and crying (done at different points in time) I have officially voted.

Although, providential ballots don't get counted until the 16th, so I'm not exactly sure how my vote affects the election...but, whatever.  I feel better anyway.

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