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I live in Maryland, my daughter lives in Virgina.  She is a first time voter and I wanted to help her find an early voting place.  You know, Hurrricane Sandy and all.  I was shocked by what I found.  The Virgina web site makes it very hard to find out about early voting.  It is hard to find out because you can't vote early in Virginia.  All they have is absentee voting, and you have to have a good reason, too!

Maryland allows early voting until November 1, including on Sundays. it was easy to find out where to vote early.  And absentee voting requires no excuse. One state makes voting easy, the other places obstacles in our way.

I work in downtown Washington DC, with office mates who live in MD, in DC, in VA, and some who come in from by-God West Virginia!  They came to DC from all over the county and had to pick some place to live when they got here.  

The "smart" ones in my office mostly live in Virgina, having picked it for lower taxes.  I know I have better roads and better services, but I often wonder if I made the wrong choice when I chose MD.  But tonight, I am proud to be a citizen of the Free State.

8:31 PM PT: You can vote early, but let's be honest, there are obstacles that you Virginians need to fix. For example, "Any person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for eleven or more hours of the thirteen that the polls are open (6:00 AM to 7:00 PM). "  Thanks a lot!

Second Update: VA Board of Elections now responding to Hurricane Sandy by making it easier to vote absentee

Originally posted to furiouschads on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Medicare for All: the cleanest slogan and the best way forward.

    by furiouschads on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:05:58 PM PDT

  •  where does she live in va? (0+ / 0-)

    some localities are much easier to vote absentee/early than others...

  •  This actually makes me feel better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl

    I was worried what Sandy would do to early voting. But if there is no early voting, that's a BIG relief. That means the state will vote AFTER Sandy has passed.

    Everyone Chill the fuck out! I got this - unknown but credited to Barack Obama

    by natedogg265 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:21:03 PM PDT

    •  No. Early voting in VA is critical (5+ / 0-)

      The diary is wrong.  Utterly and completely wrong.  At this point the entire effort in VA is in shepherding people to early voting.  The ONLY difference is that it is called In-person Absentee and you have to check a box that amounts to saying it isn't simply "because I feel like it."  That's it.  

      I voted on the 16th.  It took 5 minutes.  

      Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

      by nsfbr on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:48:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is there a reason for this diary? (7+ / 0-)

    The only possible thing it will accomplish is to potentially cause someone who lives in Virginia, like I do, where I've ALREADY VOTED, to think that you can not vote early.

    In-Person Absentee is early voting.  The reasons are plenty and it can amount to almost anything - like for example you are not able to vote on election day because of work or other commitment.  In my case I will be doing GOTV all day, probably outside my locality.

    Please correct or delete this.  Please.  You can do whatever you want in Maryland, fine.  You vote also pretty much doesn't matter apart from the same sex marriage issue.  Every single vote in Virginia matters and I'd prefer to not have a single person discouraged from voting by whatever means they can.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:22:11 PM PDT

  •  In person absentee is actually easy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CoyoteMarti, KateCrashes, codairem

    There are so many reasons, including being at work for 11 hours or more including travel time, which around here fits a lot of people. Being out of the county is another. If she works in DC or MD, it counts.

    •  She lives way down in central VA (0+ / 0-)

      in a huge, empty county.  You are using a commute to DC as a way to make this lemonade?  Amazing.  Go look at how VA compares to other states in ballot access. It isn't a pretty picture.

      Medicare for All: the cleanest slogan and the best way forward.

      by furiouschads on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:38:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you live here? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KateCrashes

        It is checking a box.  It is as easy as filling out a simple form and then voting - on the same voting machine you would vote on if you were doing so on election day.  

        People really need to think about what they are saying here, because talking out of one's ass is not really a great way to win the election.

        And to be clear, I don't give a rat's ass about some website.  I'm telling you what I know from first hand experience.  I haven't voted on election day apart from primaries in years.  

        Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

        by nsfbr on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:52:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where is "here"? It matters. (0+ / 0-)

          I live in the MD suburbs.  Arlington is different than central Virginia.  Have you ever spent time in the woods between Charlottesville and Lynchburg?

          You may not give a rat's ass about your state's official Board of Elections website, but when a kid on her own looks for information on that site, it is not encouraging.  It is set up to depress participation.

          Medicare for All: the cleanest slogan and the best way forward.

          by furiouschads on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 09:05:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have spent time where we need turnout in VA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JamieG from Md

            What you seem to be missing is that we don't need to generate turnout in the vast Red part of the state.  What we do need to do is to get every single vote in the NoVA, Richmond, Newport News, and college areas (Blacksburg, Roanoke, etc.)  

            I'll ask the question I have already asked about this diary:  What purpose does it serve?  None as far as I can tell apart to discourage someone from voting early in Virginia.  That, to me, is not a good outcome for a diary on 10/28/2012 in one of the most important states in this election.  You want to complain about how the now completely controlled by Republican state government I have to deal with is doing everything they can to restrict voting rights, fine.  Do it the day AFTER the election.  Do not do it when it can make someone choose to sit on their hands.  Especially when the team is spending countless hours trying to get people to go vote early here.

            Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

            by nsfbr on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 09:20:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  How To Navigate The VA Voting System (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JamieG from Md

        Step 1 - Have your daughter pull out her Commonwealth of Virginia Voter Registration Card, sent to every registered voter in Virginia.

        Step 2 - Call the listed Voter Registration Office phone number on that card and ask what options are available for voting before election day.

        BTW, you clearly haven't lived in Virginia, or you wouldn't be thinking that your roads are somehow better. And I hope PEPCO performs better at restoring Maryland's power after Sandy than they have to thousands of customers in the past. Our Dominion Virginia Power is not only recognized for their disaster preparedness and quick power restoration capabilities, but their mobile disaster team was the first squad to get power restored after Katrina (they were assigned the New Orleans airport, which required ripping out and replacing all the power conduits--they slept in their trucks and ate food which didn't require heating/refrigeration until they got the job done, which is a quality common to many Virginians).

        We’ve had 30 years of data: supply-side economics don’t work, tax cuts for the wealthy are more likely to encourage the purchase of dressage horses than the creation of new jobs. -- Joe Klein @ Time.com

        by Robert de Loxley on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 12:51:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As an Obama canvasser in Northern Virginia (3+ / 0-)

    I was given information regarding in person absentee voting (which is like early voting).  It provides the a list of things that make you eligible for in person absentee voting, the places where you can vote in person absentee, and the date(s) and times for in person absentee.

    I made sure to discuss this option as I canvassed and gave the Obama voters the information piece if they expressed any kind of interest for themselves or someone else.  

    •  Thank you for canvassing!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      furiouschads, JamieG from Md

      You should make sure you emphasize that this is trivially easy to do and the reasons are "open to interpretation".  

      Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

      by nsfbr on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:58:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "In-person absentee voting" IS Early Voting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md

    They just choose not to call it that, and considering the long list of excuses you can use, it's pretty difficult not to find one that will fit.

    Right now, of course, "expecting a visit from Aunt Sandy" tops the list. :-)

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 09:52:01 PM PDT

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