Skip to main content

This was the first time I have voted in-person in AZ. I had previously used a mail-in ballot and expected to do so again, but what happened a few weeks ago changed that. Dkos user Late Again post a diary asking Are you voting for Obama in November? Are you really sure about that?+ on August 9th. He included a link to CanIVote.org. The Can I Vote website redirected me to the AZ Secretary of State page where I could check the status of my registration. I was surprised to discover that my registration was inactive.

I assumed my registration was inactive due to having changed my mailing address. My previous address was technically still valid, but I had transferred my mail to a different house. I went ahead and re-registered to update the address to the new mailing address. Either address was acceptable, as far as I could tell, since I split my time equally between the two and they are both in the same city/county. I also updated my DMV record at the same time, but did not order a new license. In fact, I was not offered the option to order a new license.

After re-registering, I checked the AZ SOS site every day to see if my status had changed. Last Thursday, August 23, it finally updated to reflect the new address and my active status. I requested a mail-in ballot, but since it took two weeks for it to process through the system it was too late for me to receive one for the primary.

This morning I went to the SOS site and looked up my polling location. It's on the other side of town. This is actually one of the reasons I didn't want to update the address on my registration, because I am at my parents more than I am at my own house and they live on the other side of town. In any case, I drove to the address that the SOS site directed me to.

At the polling site, the first thing they did was ask me for an ID. I was a bit annoyed by this, but didn't make a fuss. I handed over my ID and watched as the woman looked for my name on the rolls. A minute or so later she told me I was not on the list. She then checked the "add ons" and I was not on that list, either. Then another woman came and looked and also could not find me. The woman had me show her where my house is and confirmed I was at the correct polling location. I was advised I would have to vote on a provisional ballot.

I went over to a table where another woman took my driver's license. She then tried to tell me I needed to go to a different polling location because the address on my driver's license was incorrect. I advised her that I had updated the records with the DMV and the SOS office and had not been sent a new driver's license or a voter registration card. She asked if I had utility bills with the new address and I said of course I do, but I don't carry them around. I started to get annoyed and said rather loudly that I am an American citizen and have a right to vote. She finally agreed to let me vote on the provisional ballot, but put the old address on it.

There weren't very many offices for me to vote for. In fact, there were only three. The other offices in my district didn't even have Democratic candidates at all.

As I was leaving, the woman who I was arguing with about whether my ID was proper followed me to the door saying, "I'm sorry, it's just that there's a lot of trouble with, you know, all the immigrants and stuff."

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  GOP plan is succeeding... well done bigots, (7+ / 0-)

    well done

  •  Were it me, I would go down to the voter reg ofc (8+ / 0-)

    (or whatever they call it in AZ) and raise holy hell.

    I would not allow THEM to get away with this. It is wrong even if you were given a provisional ballot.

    This whole situation sucks.

    I would also report what you were told by the poll worker and let them know this kind of language and where it leads is wholly unacceptable.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:51:31 PM PDT

  •  I guess Democrats who live in states where the (8+ / 0-)

    election process is run by Republicans should never move close to an election.

    “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

    by ahumbleopinion on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:51:47 PM PDT

    •  i've only missed one presidential election in my (4+ / 0-)

      life - it was when i moved to california from ny - and didn't have 30 days to register prior to the nov election.  the clerk at the board of elections told me i was ineligible, although i found out AFTER the election, i could have voted for the presidential candidate, just not local ones.

      i was SO angry i couldn't see straight - i had MY rights stolen.  since then, california has changed their rules - but i will never forget having my voice taken away.

      this is what really worries me about this election - the deliberate attempt to steal votes from americans.  this is the REAL "voter fraud" in america!

  •  Here you can go to the office and vote . (5+ / 0-)

    We do have more than a few vote provisional at my polling place .
    Last time I had a young lady who was all pissed off because she was not on the rolls , after she was done with the other people I waited on her , got her calmed down and found out that she had changed her address with the DMV , she thought the DMV was all she needed to do . I got her all set up with a provisional and a registration form .

    Also , my blind voter came in to vote , we got the machine set up for "blind voting" but the machine kept hanging . Man o man was he pissed .
    There was another touch screen across the room we could have set up for "blind voting" but the office said no way .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:08:46 PM PDT

    •  thanks for serving as a poll worker (0+ / 0-)

      When stuff goes wrong, as it always does, the poll workers often bear the brunt of voters' frustrations. To stay focused on making the system work (as well as possible!) for voters is a tremendous contribution.

      we got the machine set up for "blind voting" but the machine kept hanging
      It's a damn sick irony that accessibility is a major selling point of a lot of this equipment, yet the voting experience for people who use the accessibility features often is brutally poor.

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:01:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you make voting for the blind ? (0+ / 0-)

        Braille ballots ? How do they mark them .
        This voter did not want anybody to help him vote ,
        he wanted to be alone with the machine .

        With my machine , it reads the ballot to the voter and the voter hears his / her choice via earphones . Unfortunately there is no way on my machine for a blind voter to review the printout . The printout is in a sealed windowed box so that no one gets to touch the printout .

        In the case where my machine hung , he should have been able to use the machine across the room , it was an up and running machine at another polling place . But for some unknown reason the people above me said no .
        Before the next election they need to come up with a reason to keep people from voting across the room or admit there is no reason to say no .

        If/when more people go for the touch screen , maybe I will get another machine to run , then one will be a backup for the other . If one machine hangs I'll just say try this other one and the hung one can be sent back and replaced .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:31:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, it's tough (0+ / 0-)

          The ImageCast that we use here, and in most of New York, is a ballot-marking device. (Someone can use the BMD at the same time as voters scan their ballots on the other side.) According to the documentation, it marks the ballot "into a privacy sleeve," and then the voter goes to the other side and scans the ballot, optionally with "an audio/visual final review session." How well that works I don't know, but it sounds less than perfect. (Everything is, of course.)

          In the case where my machine hung , he should have been able to use the machine across the room , it was an up and running machine at another polling place . But for some unknown reason the people above me said no .
          Before the next election they need to come up with a reason to keep people from voting across the room or admit there is no reason to say no .
          Agreed. I can think of some plausible reasons for avoiding this -- I guess the best one would be if the machines actually use different ballot styles because different local contests appear -- but if you don't even know if there is a good reason, you're in a really lousy position. And unfortunately, it's (from what I hear) pretty common for these machines to hang, so any feasible accommodation should be made.

          Election protection: there's an app for that!
          Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

          by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:39:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We do provisional voting on paper ballots and TS (0+ / 0-)
            I guess the best one would be if the machines actually use different ballot styles because different local contests appear
            if someone wants to vote at our polling place when they should vote at another where their name is in the book , we let them vote , we give them the ballot we have . The office then checks the provisional  votes cast , if a provisional vote is cast in a contest the voter is not to vote in , that vote is disregarded .  
            So it can't be that the machine across the room had the wrong ballot in it .
            "an audio/visual final review session."
            That's not "safe". If the audio review says the voter voted for John Smith and the ballot has a mark for Jack Brown , the machine is telling the voter bull shit and the vote is stolen .

            If the blind voter had their own text to speech device ...
            http://www.nfb.org/...
            http://www.knfbreader.com/

            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

            by indycam on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:16:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree, it's not safe (0+ / 0-)

              Having one's own device seems like a more robust solution, although I don't know if text-to-speech devices read ballots right out of the box. (These are the same optical scan ballots that most voters mark by hand, only marked by machine instead -- not like the VVPATs that, as I understand it, your system produces.)

              Election protection: there's an app for that!
              Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

              by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:54:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  With a reader they could maybe use my (0+ / 0-)

                touch screen , "read" the screen and then "read" the paper print out .

                With the paper ballots they could read the paper ballot one line at a time and then mark the ballot ? Then they could go back and reread the ballot to see what was voted for ?

                I think I might email that guy who does the readers .

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 03:31:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Can all these disallowed voters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Translator, edrie, Kingsmeg

    join together and create a class action suit to force these numbnuts to stop their anti-american activities?

    They are violating the civil rights guaranteed by the US Constitution on the very flimsiest of excuses. There must be something that we, the people should be able to do to turn this around.

    Please!!!!

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:17:24 PM PDT

  •  Provisional ballots are often not counted (9+ / 0-)

    You should follow up by calling your county election office, if you haven't already.

    What happened to you is ridiculous but also very common. The real voter fraud is how many people are denied their right to vote due to needless bureaucratic barriers like what you're experiencing.

  •  So was this about ID or about your registration? (5+ / 0-)

    I take it that you had a problem because your ID had a different address than your registration (and that you're required to produce ID in your state)? So, this is something you can address before November? I definitely suggest contacting the county election office about the status of your ballot. You may want to contact your state democratic party or the Obama campaign about this. The campaign is recruiting volunteer lawyers to help people address these issues on election day. Good luck!

  •  That is why I do it in person. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, ThatPoshGirl

    I am trying to get The Girl to register as well.  I do not care how she votes, but just want her to vote.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:39:54 PM PDT

  •  I think you missed the registration deadline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl

    It was July 30 for the August 28 primary. Typically the deadlines are early, in order to allow time for changes to be processed and shared in all directions.

    It's a shame that in a situation like this, you didn't get any clear guidance before the election. I think it's possible that you were on the rolls at your previous address.

    As dsmmom pointed out, if you want the PB to count, probably you should visit the election office (county recorder?) this week. I don't know what they'll do -- it's a bit of a tangle.

    Election protection: there's an app for that!
    Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

    by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 05:31:38 AM PDT

  •  I carry a utility bill because I am the wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl

    Color & gender.

    Tipped & rec'ed, I'm sorry for your trouble.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:37:59 AM PDT

  •  Az absentee vote ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatPoshGirl

    The thing I never liked about the absentee voting in Az is that party affiliation is printed on the exterior of the envelope. While I trust that no one who handles that ballot on its way back to the recorder would ever do anything to tamper or destroy that vote, why tempt fate?

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:00:50 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site