Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Voting Woes

I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to going out to vote today. I've felt so frustrated and helpless about the state of the world lately. (Like, for the last seven years or so) Finally, something that makes me feel like I can make a difference! Well, I know, I can make a difference in a million ways - donate, recycle, smile at strangers, buy local, grow my own food, reduce.... - but you know what I mean. I watch the political news on television and though I can laugh, scream, question, and rant at my new t.v., it's not like it's very interactive. Voting is like having a small moment when you can talk BACK to all the talking heads.

I went out to my polling place, chatted with the folks handing out the ballots (small town, y'know), took my ballot to the booth, turned it over and......


There was a bunch of California Prepositions to vote on and then the section for the presidental primary vote - not a single name I recognized. I took my ballot back out, confused. The lady pointed at the top of the page and said I had the right ballot. It said Green Party.

I'm registered as Green Party?????

Now, don't get me wrong. I like the Green Party. Not that I've heard much from them in the last handful of years, at least around here. But I had no idea that I was registered Green. I also had no idea that it even mattered. California doesn't have open primaries? Didn't we have open primaries in the past? Am I wrong? Or have things changed?

I was so upset that I couldn't cast a vote that counted today.


Unlike doofball me, I hope you were all able to go out and make your voices heard. (Unless, of course, you were going to vote the "other guy".)


Blogger Miss*Laurence said...

This is a strange process. Did I get this right, you ( and every citizen) are registered on one political list and can only vote for them? That's Absolutely strange!
Here you vote for whoever you think fits best, once a blue one, once a red one, once a green one... It's supposed to be anonymous, but it isn't in the UK, since they have your ballot number on the paper!

But in France it is strictly anonymous, each candidate has a separate piece of paper - they are all in a pile on the table, you take one of each ( even when you have 10 of them), go in a booth strictly on your own - even children are not allowed with you - and put the one you want in your envelope.
You know, if I were you I'd be suspicious if you were "labelled" without you knowing.

9:57 AM  
Blogger kristen said...

it's been that way for at least 28 years. I remember my then republican step-mom being horrified that she was somehow in the Peace & Freedom party and the person she had to vote for was Dr. Sears! heh heh.

sorry you didn't get to vote for your actual choice. We had a caucus thing here - which i guess i didn't quite understand was going to be in lieu of primaries...mom and ken went. mom thought it was interesting, ken thought it was the most undemocratic thing he'd ever seen. so there ya go. but, at that time, i really was truly undecided. now, not so much.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

We have caucuses too, which I don't like. We used to have a primary process but they did away with that after the 2000 election??? They were closed caucuses meaning if you were not a registered democratic (or rep) you could not participate. That leaves out a LOT of folks, non affiliated, that cannot vote. Of course they could have changed just for the caucus and changed back but that's a hassle I understand. The one thing I enjoyed about it was seeing how my neighbors were voting!

anyway.....go Obama!!!!

7:13 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Oh... I thought about explaining the Irish system of proportional representation, but it's too complicated for me to even try! But our ballot is secret, and we can vote for any party - or a mix of parties, or independent candidates.

Anyway, I just dropped by to visit after seeing you'd entered my One World One Heart giveaway, and stayed to read your Imbolc and January garden posts. I like your blog. I'll be back!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, how frustrating! I'm in California too, and was super excited to learn that I was able, as a "nonpartisan" voter, to request a Democratic ballot so I could vote for the candidate of my choice.

10:33 PM  

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