30 October 2008

Absentee voting

In our state we do not have Early Voting, per se. We have Absentee Voting. There are several reasons that people can vote absentee. You have to check your reason and sign a statement swearing it is true. And there are only a limited number of reasons. Being out of town is one. Being handicapped is one. Off on military service is allowed, as is working at a place that is open 10 hrs or more on Election Day. Today is the last day you can vote absentee. All absentee ballots must be turned in by 5:00p.

This morning it occurred to me that I should take advantage of this service. I was remembering the day earlier this month when I got ill so unexpectedly and had to be hospitalised. After all this time if I couldn't get to vote for my candidate I would have been very upset. So I took myself off to the courthouse to cast my ballot.

The courthouse is the only place one can vote absentee. There is very limited parking in the downtown area. They have parking garages, but you have to walk several blocks to the courthouse. There are five handicapped parking places right beside the courthouse. When I got there, two of these spots were filled with police cars. They sure weren't handicapped! I don't know if cops are allowed to disregard the rules or not, but I made photos of their cars in the spots with their license plates in the picture. One spot was taken by a car with no handicapped tag. The other two were filled with two cars with handicapped licenses. (And if you don't know why this matters, back in February I had to get a handicapped plate as I cannot walk very far anymore. Not enough red cells to carry enough oxygen for me to breath.}

I drove around the square 11 times hoping someone would move from one of the spots. No such luck. There is a parking garage on the basement level of the courthouse. I finally drove up there and talked with the security guard. Apparently one can only park there if one works in the courthouse and all spots are assigned. The guard took pity on me though and told me to call the office of the probate court to see if they would give me permission to park there long enough to vote. So I called. They said they don't do that. But I pleaded my case and got put on hold. After 7 minutes and 39 seconds (time showing on my cell) she came back online and said they would let me do that today. Cool! I left my keys with the guard and he moved my car as needed.

The voting process itself is fairly easy. We have paper ballots that get inserted in a machine and read electronically. (Sorry the photo is blurry, but I didn't make a photo of my ballot and this is all I could find online.)

Our ballots are marked with a black felt tip marker. You connect the front end of the arrow to the back end of the arrow by whoever it is you want to vote for. Or by the straight party ticket. I am so glad I thought of this. Now I won't have to worry about unexpected illness, and if I'm doing well that day I can have some fun cooking.

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Martha said...

Congratulations on voting -- in Kansas, we don't have absentee -- we have advance voting -- you don't need a reason.

The County Clerk said that everyone lied anyway so advance voting rather than absentee made sense!


Sharon (junefour) said...

I am glad you were able to vote. We had a lady get special curbside voting permission as she was over 100 and unable to manage stairs so they went to the car and let her cast her vote.

Two of mine voted absentee and one did early voting.

Eileen said...

Luckily, my state has a vote by mail. So my ballot has been cast! Keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed for my candidate!


Hilary said...


I have such a new respect for those that have handicapped placards or plates. I too have a permanent placard since having the two ankle surgeries. I try not to use the handicap spots if I can get a close spot, as I can walk slowly. The two police cars that were parked in those spots represents injustice! Good for you to get photos of that!

Today I had to return something at the Mall. I asked the sales clerk where the closest restroom was and she told me it was on either the first or third floor and I of course, was on the second floor. I quickly stopped in Gap on my way to the elevator (escalators are difficult to manage with the brace), and decided to make a purchase. I asked the sales girl which direction I should go when departing the elevator to get to the restroom. She told me and rang up my purchase. The manager of the store was there beside her and then took a lunch break. As soon as the manager left, the nice sales girl told me that I could use the restroom in the store. She made my day!

Glad you got your vote in! Feel well!