Voter Registration Delays in a Republican County

31 10 2008

A story from hometown, New Jersey:

“My boyfriend registered to vote for the first time this year. He and I both live in Morris County, New Jersey. On October 10 he mailed his registration in to Trenton. The deadline for registering was October 14. As of October 29 he had not received any verification of his registration, so he e-mailed the Superintendent of Elections for Morris County, Roseanne Travaglia. On October 30 he received an e-mail response asking him to call her office because she had questions about his registration. When he called, he learned that although he sent his completed registration to the correct address well before the deadline, a clerical error made him ineligible to vote. He was told that Trenton office forwarded his registration to Bergen County instead of Morris County. It arrived in Bergen by the deadline, but by the time Bergen County office forwarded his information to the Morris County office the deadline had passed. He was told that he would have to use a provisional ballot on Election Day in order to vote.

Is this legal? Is this right? He could not have done anything to prevent this from happening except register even earlier than 4 days before the deadline – and that’s what deadlines are for, are they not? This is 100% clerical error – how can he be penalized for something over which he had no control, and in fact is a human mistake made by employees of the State of New Jersey?

Ah, and it’s only Friday. Happy goblin day – the creeps are out in droves.

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The Beginning of Hope or the End of It

31 10 2008

“Right now, in America, we are living in the center of a potential paradigm shift. A definite, burgeoning movement. A time of Hope. With the upcoming elections, we could redefine America’s standing in the world by enacting foreign policy that is based on the universal understanding that we are all interconnected. That the rape of an eight-year-old-girl in Congo is akin to the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Chicago or Phoenix. We use the words and slogans “Never again” and “Not on our watch”, but right now thousands are being displaced, raped, murdered in Eastern DRC.”

There are policies that Barack Obama and I do not see eye to eye on. I have serious reservations about a few of his decisions, and I continue to hold a political torch for Hillary Clinton.

However.

I believe that Barack Obama will do more for the people of Congo than John McCain will.

I believe that Barack Obama will do more for women’s rights in the U.S. than John McCain will.

I believe that an administration under Barack Obama will listen to issues of the poorest American people more than under John McCain.

I believe that Barack Obama will show more diplomacy, both at home and abroad, than John McCain.

I believe that Barack Obama will support scientific research more than John McCain.

I believe that Barack Obama will inspire other leaders better than John McCain.

For all these reasons, I believe that Barack Obama will make a better U.S. president than John McCain.

I will be stepping into the gym of my local high school this Tuesday at 6 am, where I will state my name, show some ID, and make a few choices that will change the course of history for my country and the world. The biggest assholes in the history of America will be the people who, on Wednesday, wake up and realize that they were registered to vote and just didn’t.

 
Read the Article by Eve Ensler at HuffingtonPost





GOP takes out loan to help Senate candidates

29 10 2008


“Republican-held seats have become increasingly competitive since the GOP national convention in early September, Duncan said. Of the endangered Republican seats, Duncan said the RNC was especially watching contests Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon and North Carolina…Duncan did not volunteer any mention of the race in Alaska, where Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, convicted Monday on seven felony charges, faced an uphill fight to retain his seat.”

Convicted of 7 felony charges, and he’s worried about getting re-elected? I think that constitutes a little more than an “uphill battle”, especially when not even he is allowed to vote for himself anymore.

I would no more vote a former Enron executive for Congress than I would a person convicted felony bribery charges.

 
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost





Maybe You Shouldn’t Vote

29 10 2008

“If everyone was a brilliant voter, we would never elect bad leaders, and the last eight years might have turned out quite differently. So this election year, before you step into a voting booth and possibly screw things up for the rest of us, I ask that you take a moment to answer the following questions and determine whether you have the skill and the know-how to vote responsibly for our next president.”

I understand the intention behind suggesting that informed voters are better than lots of voters – and that is true. However, this is not the time to scare first time voters into staying at home. Actually, there is never a time to do that. Part of taking the responsibility of voting seriously is understanding and acknowleging that, despite your assumptions and intentions, the person you selected (if they win) were a bad choice. Four years later, you will likely inform yourself more and become a *more* informed voter.

Ignorance doesn’t just evaporate – it’s a long, painful process to pull yourself up by your intellectual bootstraps and try to better yourself . If you never take the first steps of the journey, however, you will never reach the end. That includes screwing up. Do you think people who voted for a Third Party candidate in 2000 or 2004 haven’t done some soul searching leading up to the 2008 election?

C’mon – don’t be a willful ignoramus – vote as best you can, and pay attention once in a while to how your choice affects the next four years of your life and your neighbors’ lives.

 
More on Voting
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost





Obama Should Spill a Little Red Ink to Turn a Few More Red States Blue

28 10 2008

“Indeed, a significant chunk of that money should be directed to Kentucky where challenger Bruce Lunsford is running just a few points behind McConnell. Want real change in America? Imagine a Senate without McConnell in it.”

A filibuster (talking out a bill) is a form of obstruction in Congress. An attempt is made to infinitely extend debate on a proposal in order to delay the progress or completely prevent a vote on the proposal taking place.

In 1917 in response to the actions of isolationist senators who attempted to out talk a bill, a rule allowing for cloture (ending a filibuster) was adopted by the Democratic Senate. President Wilson urged the Senate to change its rules to thwart what he called a “little group of willful men”.

In the 1960s, no Senate had more than 7 filibusters.

The 1999, with a Democrat president and a Republican supermajority in the Senate, the Senate had 58 filibusters.

In late 2007, with a Republican president and a Democrat majority (but not a super majority), Congress broke the record for the most filibusters, and then broke the record again with the most cloture votes in a single session, topping 70 clotures against a record number of filibusters from the Republican minority.

THATS why they’ve been dubbed the “do nothing” congress – Republicans won’t let the Democrats do a damn thing. Maybe if they had, the citizens wouldn’t be so quick to push for a supermajority.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110th_Congress
More on Al Franken
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost





Obama’s Closing Argument

27 10 2008

Barack Obama has delivered a “closing argument” speech that is employs language and cadence vaguely reminiscent of the Clintonian splendor that I used to admire as a teenager. It’s a long read, but it’s a slice of history in the making. Read it here.





Gay Marriage and the Democratic Hazard

27 10 2008

“What gives the anti-gay marriage forces their influence comes down to moral hazard. If you run no risk sticking your nose into someone else’s bedroom, some people are weak enough to go ahead and do it. What gives them permission is a toxic tradition, deeply embedded in the right wing, of shameless intrusion. McCarthyism, the right to life movement, school prayer, anti-immigration, and a string of other rabble-rousing campaigns have been based on harming other people without risk to yourself. What makes these movements immoral is that the whole situation is upside down. In finance, you are supposed to take extra care of other people’s money, not less, when you are entrusted with it. In a democracy, majority rule is based on respect for minority rights, the basic idea being that a bond of trust allows minorities to feel safe when they are outnumbered.”

Please, Californians – don’t let the rest of us down, who are still awaiting gay marriage to be legal in our state. This is one of the most passive ways you can make history – thirty years from now you can say, “Yes, I did vote on that – I helped pave the way for others. I was an important part of American history – and no one could have done it but me.”

 
More on Gay Marriage
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost