Yes I Can and Did

Yes, I voted today. On a Dieblod voting machine! No, really, I did. Fortunately, I had a USB drive with me. So now everyone in my precinct is voting for Ron Paul. That’s not a problem, is it?

But yes. If you are in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island or Vermont, please do your voting thang. America thanks you. Unless you vote for the wrong person. In which case: Oh, you will get yours.

32 thoughts on “Yes I Can and Did

  1. Did Zeus vote for Ron Paul based on his decriminalization platform? Also, my feline overlord thanks you for pushing nip. He was wandering the house talking to himself last night.

  2. I expect we’ll see another I-was-attacked-by-the-cat-and-my-head-is-bleeding post after you humiliated Zeus like this.

  3. My 18 year-old and I will be going down this afternoon. It snowed in my part of Texas last night. Trying to remember if I ever remarked that it would be a cold day in Hell when Texas actually mattered in the presidential primary.

  4. Re: [4]- I’ve always been kind of puzzled as to how that works. How long in advance to you have to declare to be, say, a Democrat in order to vote in the primary? And what’s involved, do you actually have to give a Party operative some cash to be considered a member of the party? Or is it just a matter of standing up and saying “I am, at this moment, a Democrat. Now gimme the ballot”? And can’t you change your mind at some point? Or are there enforcers coming around to break your kneecaps if you ever bail from the Party and declare for the other side?

  5. In Ohio, you make a checkmark for which ballot you want to receive. I don’t believe it makes an official change to your registered status, although if it does it’s corrected easily enough.

  6. I just got back from a Texas vacation (managed to miss every stump speach, as well as being one week too early for Houston rodeo, two weeks too early for SXSW, three weeks too early for blue bonnets blooming and four for bats under bridges).

    I found it very interesting to see Ron Paul and Barack Obama posters and signs all over the state, but not a single McCain poster, and the only Hillary sign was being carried by a woman in the security line at DFW airport (and yes, they let the sharpened stick through, but not a jar of peanut butter we were carrying). Sounds like Texas wants non-centrists — a repeat of the 1830′s, eh?

  7. As a Florida voter who hasn’t had her vote count in jeebus knows how many years … thank you.

  8. #4 #5: It varies by state. All you have to do to be a “member” of a party is to register as one when you register to vote. Some states let you declare a party (register or change affiliation) on election day. Some don’t. Some let indies vote on either side, just only on one. Some don’t.

    You can generally change your party affiliation just by re-registering and declaring another party, or switching to indie. But they can’t stop you from “joining” the party of your choice, and they can’t kick you out of the party as you become a member by registration with the state.

    Just because you’ve registered for a party doesn’t mean the ideologues who run your county/state party will love you when you show up for party meetings. ;-)

  9. joelfinkle #8: Sounds like you spent most of your time in the Austin area. While Texas is a Very Red State and Austin is our seat of government, Austin is ultra liberal. I live just north of Dallas in the most red urban county in Texas. I’m not seeing McCain posters, but I’ve had plenty of calls from their campaign. There are both Huckabee and Clinton posters on our street.

    My husband sent me an e-mail when he got to work. He tried to vote this morning and the traffic around the polling place (the local elementary school) was terrible and there was no place to park. He’s going to try again later. The school district is building a replacement elementary school on the same lot as the existing building, so we have school traffic, construction traffic, commuter traffic, and voter traffic all snarled in one spot. This is why I’m waiting until school is out to walk down to the polling place.

  10. Austin – primaries are where a party selects the nominee. If you are not in the party, they don’t have to let you vote. In other words, tough rocks.

  11. I was in the hospital on February 12 and couldn’t vote in the DC primary. Too bad; I had expected to be liberated by the 9th or 10th, and hadn’t anticipated the need for an absentee ballot. And Marcia was too busy tending to my affairs to vote, either.

    Came out as we hoped, though; and Marcia’s daughter Anne, who had been staying with us for the past month or so got back to Austin on Sunday so she could vote and caucus there today.

  12. In Vermont, us hicks still use paper ballots.

    And I’ll be voting for Clinton!

    (Just kidding)

    But the thing we are waiting on with baited breath is whether or not Brattleboro, VT will vote to arrest Bush and Cheney if and when they ever step foot in the town.

    Should be lotsa fun

  13. I’m voting this afternoon. Texas has open Primaries. I understand that you have to have voted today to caucus, not sure how they enforce that. Sticker check?

  14. Andrew, You’ll get a card indicating which primary you voted in – that’s your caucus pass. You cannot vote in one primary and caucus in the other.

  15. Frank– we have a paper ballot in my Vt. town too, and you ask for which party’s ballot you want. I also want to hear the results of the annual “informal survey.”

    Andrew, IIRC you get a receipt of some sort in Texas.

  16. I tried to vote today. I wanted to write in a candidate, but neither the Diebold machines or the paper ballots had places to put in the write-in names.

    I have a sticker. That makes it all right, eh, Steve?

  17. I am curious to know the details of the Dieblod voting machine operation.

    Is there some sort of physical record of your vote that you can see and that is stored somewhere?

  18. Ohio is a closed primary state, which means you have to declare a party affiliation to vote in the primary races. You can only vote the primary for your declared party.

    But you can declare your party affiliation when you get to the polling place, and it doesn’t have to be the same one they have on file for you. I think the idea is to make it easy for people who want to switch parties or declare a party affiliation after being listed as “No Party” (at least for the primary), while making it more difficult for members of one party to cross over just to screw with the other party.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer had an article on Sunday about some of the issues involved with crossover voting, as Ohio’s system is currently set up.

    Me? I voted issues only.

  19. In Ohio it does matter what box you check. If you are regestered as one party and you ask for another party in two primaries in a row, (in Ohio, we can have primaries for governer, mayor, senate, ect, as well) you will be asked for more information (current address, if you read Sci-Fi, Browns or Bengals, things like that). That is so the can change your registration and send the info to the new party. This is why I always ask for the “issues only” ballot. Keep ‘em guessing is what I say!

  20. I was wrong, no write in option. Perhaps because it’s a primary.

    I am actually amazed I resisted the temptation to vote for Chris Dodd. He was my first choice.

  21. Mr. Scalzi:

    it DOES register you as a member of that party. The election aparatus is apparently in a tizzy about it this year because they don’t like the fact that there’s a lot more “democrats” on the rolls today simply because that’s the exciting race.

    I requested a GOP absentee ballot (despite wanting to stay independent) in order to vote against someone I was once afraid might win. When it arrived, I felt silly because there were only 3 contested races on it, 2 at the local level and 1 meaningless (as McCain has won. Whew!)

  22. In a precinct in one of the reddest counties in Texas, the line in front of the Democratic table was almost out the door at 1:30 PM. There was no line in front of the Republican table — granted, that might have had something to do with their possession of 4 voting booths as opposed to the Democrats’ 2 booths.

    I asked one of the election judges about the Democratic turnout — he said it was absolutely tremendous.

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