Sunday, October 05, 2008

The other day I sent an e-mail to nearly everyone I know, advising them of the shenanigans in the current election cycle -- polling places being relocated without warning, voters being dropped from the registration rolls, etc.

In my neighborhood, the Urban League has been a familiar presence at our meetings, warning residents of the importance, not only of registering to vote, but of VERIFYING their registration status and polling place. Reed Braden, in his blog, provided a useful link. That's what prompted me to send my e-blast, and the responses have been rather interesting.

Many of the folks on my list do not live in a neighborhood like mine. They will send back responses such as "I've been registered to vote since I was 18, and I voted in the problem here." But not far from where I live, a friend was on the local news the day of the primaries, talking about how he had arrived at his nearby elementary school, only to be told that the polling place was now about 2 miles away. No problem for him, because he had time and wheels. But there are plenty of people near me who are quite elderly, unable to drive, depending on either public transportation or friends to get them to the polling place. They get up early, put on their best clothes, and make a day of it. When the polling place is moved somewhere else, or the friendly lady at the table "just can't seem to find" their name anywhere, it's devastating.

Another friend of mine wrote back that voters have "legal recourse" when they feel their rights have been infringed upon. All well and good, but again, when you're in your 80s and your locomotion and communication skills have deteriorated, it can be a lot of trouble to locate the right phone number to call answer the myriad questions sure to be asked.

That's the story on enrollment and polling places. BUT...

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...

It's out there, folks. The right to vote is under attack. Be vigilant.

Whoops, I need to tweak my codes. There is nothing else beyond this point!

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