Monday, February 04, 2008

Disenfranchised!

My state holds its primary elections tomorrow. In my county, the polls are open from noon until 9.

I, however, will be on campus from 11 until 9.30.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but the silencing of Renaissance scholars with 3/3 loads and 30-minute commutes is one seriously underreported electoral scandal.

13 comments:

RageyOne said...

Wow. Those are interesting hours your state has. I like the idea of being open 'til nine, but opening at noon? Seems rather late to me...

Flavia said...

I know! For the general election last year--which was the first and only time I've voted here--the hours ran from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., so I assumed they'd be roughly the same for the primaries.

I've had problems before, since I had much more ridiculous commutes when I was living in Major Eastern city (I remember getting off a massively delayed train from Grad School City and running to my polling place), but have never actually failed in my attempts to vote.

And though I'm kidding, of course, about my being disenfranchised, plenty of people truly can't vote because their work schedules and transportation situations don't allow it. Let's say you've got kids to drop off at daycare or school, a commute of more than an hour each way, and a 9-hour workday. . . it's not just that it's hard: it can be actually impossible to vote even if you want to, and are registered, and know where your polling place is.

The practical barriers to voting, especially for the working poor and lower-middle-class--and the fact that so little attention is paid to them--anger me almost as much as actual electoral fraud.

life_of_a_fool said...

O.k., I'm sorry you're being disenfranchised, and your state does have crazy weird bad hours and that actually is stupid and horrible.

But, your post did make me laugh. Ha.

Maybe I could vote for you. I'm working at home tomorrow, and I think I live in one of those places that at least used to believe in the "vote early, vote often" approach.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it's a bit late now, but aren't you allowed to vote absentee in those circumstances?

Flavia said...

Life: well, good! It was supposed to be funny--though there's a not-totally-unserious point in there too.

Anon: yeah, it's too late, and I'm not sure my circumstances would really count, anyway; the county's voter registration site says something about absentee ballots being permissable if your job requires you to be *out of the county* on the day of an election. And I'm not out of the county, just at the other end of it (and unable/unwilling to take at least an hour and a half out of my workday and waste two gallons of gas to Exercise My Right).

eary voter said...

Can't you vote early? I voted over a week before my state's primary, which was held recently. You might want to check it out. Oh -- and you COULD get up early, you know, and vote. Just saying.

timna said...

in my state the caucus system is good for people who can drive in the snow between 6 and 8 pm. leaves out quite a few people, I imagine.

scr said...

I see eary voter has failed both spelling and reading comprehension. So glad to know that their no doubt well-informed vote counts.

Here in CA, it's possible to register as a permanent voter-by-mail. In fact, I don't think I had ever voted in person anywhere until today. I reregistered at the last minute so that I wouldn't be left out of the primary fun, so I had to do a provisional ballot. Our hours are 7am-8pm which sounds in line with most places. Best of all, my polling place was right next door to where I live. Awesome.

I think Oregon no longer even has in-person voting, it's by mail only.

EARLY voter said...

scr, such a wit! And superb spelling besides! I really, truly hope your candidate wins. Sending mad props your way from redneck land.

Flavia said...

Now, now, children. Behave!

But yes, Ear[l]y Voter, to reiterate the content of my post: the polls in my state open at NOON, which is AFTER I leave for work, so the problem is not my unwillingness to get up early. And in fact, when I commuted from MEC, I left my apartment at 6 a.m.--BEFORE the polls opened--so I had the opposite problem.

In the future, I'll certainly look into early voting by mail. But I didn't have reason to think our polls would open so late in the day, so it didn't occur to me that I'd need to!

early voter said...

Just to clarify -- I voted early at my county supervisors of elections office, not by mail. My state is pretty rare, I think, in our ability to do that. But it was possible to vote 2 weeks before our primary; for all major elections they open the polls 2 weeks early in my beautiful state. No lines!

adjunct whore said...

i just want to admire you through the sphere for highlighting in your hilarious manner how little we register, as in, who in their right mind would disenfranchize the renaissance scholar??

& i want to second my vote for you.

muse said...

For your sake, I am Outraged. Not being able to vote is terrible enough, but a 3/3 load? That's unbearable! I salute you.