Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Can Vote But Can You?

Richard Holden called me yesterday and said he'd meet me at 9:30.  I showed up, but he wasn't there.  Luckily, I had talked to George Monger so he and Joe Young were able to help me.  They found that Margo and I were put into the wrong split precinct and fixed the problem.  (Update:  It was the SCEC IT department that did the actual fixing.) I've since voted and it worked fine.  They said that they would go through my precinct and check for other errors and get back to me.  The two of them were of great help and should be commended.

As I left, I ran into Richard Holden in the parking lot.  I was less than satisfied with the conversation.  He blamed the errors on the county commission making them rush.  When I questioned this, he admitted that in hindsight they could have started earlier but that they had decided to do the process all at once.  He made several remarks that "luckily this is early voting so we have time to fix it."  Early voting is a huge percent of the vote and once these votes are cast wrongly they can't be undone.  What really annoyed me is when he made an entirely irrelevant sexist remark about me being formerly part of District 89 which to quote him "as I somewhat disrespectfully like to say has always been ran by the ladies."  Another time he used the word "girls" similarly.  What the heck that was about is beyond me.  I hadn't mentioned any of the past district 89 representatives.  Women in general, and elected officials in specific deserve better than to be spoken of condescendingly because of their gender. 

I have a lot of problems here.  First of all, early voting is not a practice to prepare for election day.  It is election day.  These votes are real.  Holden's cavalier attitude about early voting is concerning.  Secondly, when a voter complains these concerns need sent up the chain of command.  Voters don't normally have the time, resources, or knowledge to fight this on their own.  Poll workers should respond helpfully and not dismiss their concerns.  Finally, I'm getting reports of the same problem from across the county.  This isn't limited to my precinct.  We need to know how many people are affected, and how many people lost their vote.

When you vote, check everything for accuracy and demand answers if you have a concern.  NEVER submit a ballot until you are satisfied with all the answers.  Cancel your ballot and complain if you need to.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'd Just Like to Vote

After I picked my daughter up from daycare today, I decided to take her to vote.  She always gets excited over the chance to push buttons and get stickers.  One of the races that I was most interested in voting for was District 93.  Mike Kernell has been a great leader for the state and deserves to be reelected.  When I got to the the state house race it listed me as in District 98.My wife was listed in District 98 as well. A few weeks ago, the election commission listed me as in 93.  That wasn't old information, because the old district was 89.  I've been getting mail from District 93 candidates, and my neighborhood is packed with Mike Kernell signs.  Now the election commission has me listed in District 98.  If you go to the state website, I am clearly in District 93.  You can see that here: 


I am essentially in the middle of the district.  It's hard to get farther from the boundaries in this district than I am.  You can see here that my house is a mile from the District 98 line:



When I first complained, the election worker dismissed it by saying lots of people have been complaining that they weren't in the districts they thought they were in but that the districts had changed.  She said "people are like but I have signs for so and so..."  When I returned with a map, the supervisor there said that she couldn't do anything about it and that I should call the election commission on my own (the election commission was already closed as it was nearly 7.)  My preschooler is quite annoyed that she didn't get to vote.  Maybe her next lesson in civics will be how to complain to an election commission.  If this happened to two of us, then how many people who don't pay close attention have already voted wrong?  This is unacceptable.  It needs fixed now, but even if it is fixed people have almost certainly lost their votes. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

School Board District 2

The only race left that I'm undecided on is School Board District 2.  If anybody out there has any information about this race, I'd love to hear it.  As important as they are, these school board races are flying under the radar for most people. My district is between Tyree Daniels and Teresa Jones.  I'm reading their Coalition for a Better Memphis paperwork out of a lack of any other information.  My favorite part was where it asks the candidates to list 5 organizations that are working to support them.  Teresa Jones listed a tennis club and a Memphis in May BBQ team.  That amused me.  If I can find a school board forum, I'll go and give a report about what all the candidates said.  Anybody know of one?