Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Unravelling the Mystery

Click to enlargeOK, so a friend told me that Maryland does have a primary, and it will be on Feb. 12th. Thank goodness she happened to mention it. The only source I could find online that wasn't an advertisement? Wikipedia. But that entry wasn't there a few days ago when I looked. At that point, there was NOTHING.

Now, to find my polling place. That was a bigger challenge. I was sure I had never changed my registered voter address from my parents' house. Why would I? Since then I have moved several times, living in apartments with roommates. So it made sense that I would leave it as my parents' address. So I did a search for finding your polling place in Maryland, and found the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Verify Voter Registration page. I searched by my name and my parents' address. Nope, that's not it. Hmmm. I know I had never filled out the form to change my registered address. So how could that be wrong? I finally just started entering all of the zip codes I had lived in and found it that way. Somehow it was changed to an apartment I lived in for one year 7 years ago. I have no idea how, since I know I never sent any forms to the election board.

At least I found my polling place and it's in an area I'm familiar with, and is nearby. But why does it have to be so difficult? Why can't you look up your polling place using your social security number? That would make sense, since each SS# is unique.

For that matter, why do we have to go to one specific place? If you are registeredClick to enlarge to vote in a particular state, why can't you just go vote at any polling place in that state? And while we're at it, why not have voting days on weekends? Or have the polls open for an entire week? Not everyone has the kind of job where you can take a long lunch to drive to your polling place and wait in line to vote. I pointed this out to a coworker today, who is black. He paused, then said "And most people who don't have the kind of job where they can take time off to vote are poor people and minorities." BINGO! I know I joke about conspiracy theories, but seriously, think about it.

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