I wrote a diary April 16th titled "Beware-Inka Voting" it was my 3rd diary and had 13 comments, but I know more people read it. I live in LA. I had a nightmarish experience voting earlier this year, and it was due to terrible voting machines called "Inka Voting". We are voting for a new mayor. My ink smeared on my first 2 ballots (I am a smart guy damnit!), finally as I handled my 3rd one with kid gloves it was not spoiled and I placed it in the box.
I wrote my diary back then warning others to watch for Inka Voting. They used smearing ink and guess what...IT SMEARS. I also called and wrote our SOS and City Clerk in regards to the ink they used and let them know it was smearing and spoiling ballots (along with getting all over me).
(keep reading please)
Well guess what... Frank T. Martinez (our City Clerk) called me back last month. He told me "it was calls and letters like mine that made a difference". He let me know that upon seeing a large number of spoiled ballots and reading my letter (and others like it), they checked into the number of smeared INKA ballots from our last election and it was outragous. Very High...Way higher than normal and they were looking into it and hoped to have it fixed before the next election.
I live in an area that is really, really blue yet our machines were really, really bad. "Spoil the Lib/Dem ballots in a blue area with crappy machines and use touch screen machines in wealthy Repug areas" were my semi parinoid, tinfoil thoughts. I used to punch chads, now I was an ink stained mess.
Cut to.. Today, as I walked into my Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors to cast my vote for Antonio Villaraigosa who (fingers crossed) will become the next Mayor of Los Angeles, I was greeted at the table by 2 poll workers, they signed me in and then handed me a Ballot and PEN. A non smearing black ink pen. "What employment have we here?" I say. One of them says "we are not using the INKA Machines today. There seemed to be some sort of problem with them, so just use this pen and fill in the circle next to your choices.
I made a difference. I spoke up and was heard. I called..I wrote...I made others aware..and they helped too..and something happened. Before coming to Daily Kos I would never have done anything like this. I am not even sure I would have checked my ballot to make sure it was not spoiled, let alone going door to door to let my neighbors know that our ballots were smearing and to call the SOS and City Clerk and complain.
So..I just wanted to Thank one and all for making me realize that all of our voices do add up. One may seem like a lonely number, but I am no longer just one. When we put all the ones together, they become thousands even millions. And when you have that many voices coming at you..sometimes they just have to listen. Go Kossacks....Go Vote....and Go Villaraigosa!!