Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rock the vote!

So today democracy is in full swing. Feel free to share your Election Day anecdotes here. No SF bloggers will tell you, of course, who we voted for since ACLU-PA is nonpartisan. I will tell you, though, that I asked myself these questions about the candidates: Will this person uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution? Does this person believe in liberty and justice for all?

Already, at 9:28am EST, stories are popping up about problems with electronic voting machines. Our local AM newstalk station reported that they received about six calls from voters from unidentified counties who claimed that when they pushed the buttons for candidates for one party, the candidates from the other party popped up. Fortunately, all of the callers said they were able to fix it before finalizing their votes.

Here's a more benign machine problem:
Pennlive.com: Voting machine glitch strikes some Lebanon County machines

Also, here's an op-ed from yesterday's Harrisburg Patriot News that I found thought-provoking. A professor at Juniata College states that voter registration disenfranchises voters. I'm not aware of an ACLU position on this issue. As a general rule, we believe in expanding the vote, not restricting it:
Long before the first ballot is cast tomorrow, government officials in 44 states and the District of Columbia already will have taken away the right to vote in the upcoming congressional elections from more than 53 million Americans. No, they are not under the age of 18, illegal immigrants or convicted felons.

They are citizens whose only crime is being too busy to notice the arbitrary cutoff date for voter registration.

UPDATE, 10:30am: I intended to put this in the original post but forgot. Here's a piece on prisoners at Bucks County prison (suburban Philly) opting not to vote, even though many/most of them have that right. Speaking of expanding voting rights...

Andy in Harrisburg

2 Comments:

Anonymous Atheism Quotes said...

I've got my fingers crossed. Oregon does a mail-in ballot, which is nice, and allows voter registration at the DMV.

We have a gubernatorial candidate who has already gone on record as saying he would sign any anti-abortion bill the religious groups could get onto his desk.

We have a parental notification law for minors' abortions on the ballot.

We also have several free-speech-restricting amendments up.

So we'll see just how progressive Oregon really is. The major cities with more educated citizens showed up as blue the last election, but the vast majority of the state area-wise is solidly red.

We'll see if enough people make it out to keep Oregon a progressive state.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The line at my voting place was long this morning. That's a good thing! But people were antsy, shuffling in line, looking at their watches and talking to each other about how they can't be late to work. Even I decided to go back after work because I was afraid I wouldn't get a parking space at the train station and then I'd have to drive back home, park my car and catch the bus. Not such a good thing.

Does anyone know why Tuesdays are election days? Why not a Saturday? Or, if it must be a Tuesday, why not make it a national holiday. Seems like for something as important as the voting process, we'd want to remove as many barriers as possible. Just curious.

10:59 AM  

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