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October 6, 2006

Register to Vote
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:11 AM * 35 comments

Voter registration deadlines are coming up over the next few days. (For example, New York’s is 13 October. Nevada is 7 October. That’s tomorrow.)

Register to vote.

Make sure all your friends are registered to vote.

Then get out there and vote.

Comments on Register to Vote:
#1 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 01:15 AM:

did my change of address today, since I've moved to a different county.

#2 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 01:36 AM:

I've voted every election since I've been eligible. I even had two nurses take me with two IV poles to the poll during the first renal failure. It was nice to get out of the hospital and the other voters graciously let us go to the front of the long line.

#3 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 03:08 AM:

Nevada is October 7 if registering by mail. It is October 17 if registering in person at the county election office. Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennesee, on the other hand... and since the seventh is a Saturday, that depends upon finding a post office open on a Saturday.

(Tennessee actually gives you until the eighth, but given the lack of post offices available open on Sunday, the extra day is not going to do much good.)

I looked all this stuff up for my own (rather unwieldy) post on registration a couple of weeks ago.

#4 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 07:53 AM:

and don't forget to vote!

#5 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 09:48 AM:

Here's a site for checking on your registration.

#6 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 11:17 AM:

The NationalMail Voter Registration Form

State-by-State Voter Registration Info --
from the top of

from my Writing Congress - everything you need in one place
(currently under revision for the new Congress)

#7 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 11:48 AM:

Marilee, doesn't the US have mobile polling teams, or something similar, to go around places like nursing homes and hospitals?

#8 ::: Stanford Matthews ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 11:51 AM:

Besides vote early and vote often, I recommend not voting for incumbents. I am not the only one who considers this Congress impotent. My rule of thumb is vote for the chanllenger unless the incumbent was impressive. I find no evidence of that. If you vote party, you vote for more of the same.... nothing. Again, the main issues of the day are being ignored before an election.

Someone Has to Look at the Issues

Issues Are Lost on the Mid-terms

Politicians Off Topic

#9 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 01:45 PM:

Stanford, I agree with you... at the primary level. And only up to a point. The challenger has to be credible. Ned Lamont in Connecticut, for example, was and is a very credible candidate.

In the general election, all bets are off. Before the Republican Party became the way it is now, I would vote for a Republican challenger over a Democratic incumbent.

However, this Congress is not a do-nothing, impotent Congress; it is an actively malevolent Congress. (See Military Commissions Bill, as the most egregious but certainly not the only example.) And one party is far more responsible for that than the other. I will do everything in my power to remove that party from power, and encourage others to do so, even if that means voting for incumbents.

Besides, I don't think it's a good idea for the Executive, House and Senate all to be controlled by the same party.

#10 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 01:54 PM:

Stanford -- I will NEVER vote for a Republican candidate, unless and until they remove the anti-abortion plank from the Republican Party platform.

Nor will I vote Republican as long as that party is opposed to civil unions.

For a party that is so anti-gay, it's interesting that their latest scandal comes from the actions of someone who says he is a homosexual.

#11 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 03:04 PM:

I've missed exactly one vote, in the years since I first registered in 1971: last February, when there was a single seat at issue in my precinct, two people I don't know running for a seat on the board of a Public Utility District which administers a single park and swimming poool. And I felt guilty.

#12 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 03:12 PM:

California is the 23rd, according to what I've just looked up. And I'm re-registered in the East Bay. I've missed a few, and I feel bad about them too.

#13 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 03:16 PM:

California is the 23rd, according to what I've just looked up. And I'm re-registered in the East Bay. I've missed a few, and I feel bad about them too.

#14 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 04:49 PM:

For New York City residents reluctant to register at Nancy's link, you can call (212) VOTE-NYC (868-3692) and find out by entering your zip code, date of birth, and last name, and get your voter serial number, polling place address, election district, and assembly district to boot.

#15 ::: Lorax ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 05:04 PM:

Nancy, the mydems site isn't as useful as one would hope; the data for some states hasn't been updated for years, though most were updated around late 2005-early 2006. This isn't so good if you want to make sure a recent change of registration due to a move has taken effect, or to be on the alert for Florida-style registration purges. (I mean, really, what good does it do anyone to know they were registered as of 2002?)

In California, at least (where I just moved last month), you can verify your registration by calling the county registrar of voters. For people who have moved recently this may be more effective than the website.

#16 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2006, 07:08 PM:

Epacris, not that I know of. You can use absentee ballots, but I didn't know I would be in the hospital nine months that year.

#17 ::: Cynthia Wood ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2006, 11:01 AM:

Got my voter card in the mail two days ago. Now I can vote at my new address, and at least hope my vote counts, instead of by absentee ballot in Iowa, and finding that my vote has been rejected for one of myriad lame reasons.

#18 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2006, 12:20 PM:

Epacris @ 7: doesn't the US have mobile polling teams, or something similar, to go around places like nursing homes and hospitals?

Not that I'm aware of, but when I lived in Rochester, NY, many of the polling places seemed to be located inside of retirement homes instead of the usual school basement.

I've been doing the permanent absentee voter thing since about 2002. I'm becoming increasingly concerned about this given the GOP tendency to challenge lots of ballots in heavily Democratic districts.

I live in Seattle, in one of the bluest districts there is. Last year, a couple of districts over, the GOP challenged the ballots of whole buildings full of people. Although, if I recall, the local authorities took a dim view of this and charges were filed. I don't know what ever came of the case, but the whole affair leaves me worried about the state of American democracy and the moral bankruptcy of the GOP.

#19 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2006, 10:24 PM:

I don't know about the Seattle case, but something similar went on in St. Louis in 2000, as detailed in an appendix to this interesting 2003 report on voter fraud. Republicans claimed that some huge number of votes came from addresses in vacant lots, and alleged a vast Democratic fraud conspiracy. It eventually turned out that most of these were not vacant lots at all but legitimate addresses misrecorded as vacant for one reason or another.

#20 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2006, 12:30 AM:

There are lots of egregious illegal, immoral, unethical and completely offensive and obnoxious behaviors engaged in by the Police State Party with regards to (dis)enfranchisement.

Two years ago, a Republicrap Party executive in New Hampshire hired an business to jam the phone lines of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, deliberately and with malicious intent preventing Democrats from being reminded to vote by the Democratic Party, and preventing Democrats trying to call the hotline to arrange for getting rides to polling places, from being able to get through and get to their polling location.

The apparatchik was actually tried, convicted, and jailed for interfering with a federal election. But, the same job he had in the Republican Party before he got hauled into court and sent to prison for several months, was there for him as soon as he got out of jail.... the same job involved in promoting the Police State Party and doing election campaign strategy etc....

#21 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2006, 02:19 AM:

Paula: don't forget that the RNC paid for his defense lawyers.

Betsy Devine has been doing a great job of covering the topic and all the developments since (like Lincoln Chafee paying Tobin's wife $386K for "consulting services").

#22 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2006, 12:41 PM:

I'm registered, and I vote. I'm in a blue state -- California -- and the Democrat I'm going to vote for is in no danger of losing his seat; hell, I suspect the Republicans would happily concede it, just so they can spend money elsewhere. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure they're running someone against George Miller.

Given that, I've been thinking of what I can do to help the Democrats in November. There are a couple of nearby districts where "safe" Republithugs are suddenly finding their challengers gaining on them. I've been thinking of offering my services in those districts. I have a car, I can drive people to polls, I can poll watch; whatever needs doing...

#23 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2006, 07:28 PM:

Lizzy: contact your county elections department and volunteer to work as a poll worker. They're always looking for people.

#24 ::: Terri MacMillan ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2006, 10:52 PM: if you're an American living abroad. 8 minutes, a printer and a stamp, and you're good to go.

never voted in my life (now 48) before 2004. africanamerican/cherokee, distrust of the gov't is ingrained, but a combination of the venality of this administration and Howard Dean got me wound up like an enraged energizer bunny and I haven't stopped since...

btw, I'm going to a 3-day writer's retreat in a couple weeks on the outskirts of Tokyo...Making Light is part of the reason I decided to do it, and I thank you!

1-time author, constant lurker

#25 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2006, 11:18 PM:

JESR, I'm with you. I know my election site volunteers by face and they know I come out every time.

I missed an election last spring (one issue or two, don't remember and I just overlooked until I looked at the news online after 7 pm) and the next time they said 'we missed you last time!' But then they're also my neighbors, etc.

And when I realized I hadn't gone and voted I felt really guilty. I believe in exercising my franchise every time it's offered. I let the side down.

#26 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2006, 12:52 AM:

Paula, we've moved to all-mail voting and my 20 year old son is pissed: he's come to the polling site with us since he was an infant, and had all the voting stuff figured out, and now he doesn't get to do the routine of signing the precinct log and dropping his completed ballot in the canvas bag.

His 18 year old sister is voting absentee from UM Missoula; she took herself to the voter registrar on her 18th birthday and is keeping her registration at home because "Missoula doesn't need any more blue voters, and the 20rd legislative district does."

#27 ::: puddle ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2006, 11:14 PM:

Hi, Terri, imagine meeting you here, lol! Us Deaniacs certainly get around. . . .

Is any one but me NOT getting the front page at all, just this:

Index of /electrolyte

Name Last modified Size Description

Parent Directory 29-Sep-2006 10:37 -
index.html -
Apache/1.3.37 Server at Port 80

#28 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2006, 11:52 PM:

I like the convenience of the permanent absentee voter status in California. It was easy to do and guarantees that no matter what crisis hits at work on Election Day, I don't need to worry about not making it to the polling place because I mailed in my ballot.

#29 ::: RC Cars Guy ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 10:45 AM:

thanks for the reminder and thanks to the commenter that had the link to check your registration, very helpful

#30 ::: Terri in Tokyo ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 07:32 PM:

Puddle, good heavens! you brought me a smile:-), in later efforts, we're trying to get overseas podcasters to put a promo in for last night we mailed out postcards to DemsAbroadJapan folks who hadn't registered online yet.

so much to do, so little time.

see you all on Nov. 8 (fingers, toes and ganglia crossed)...

#32 ::: Madison Guy ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2006, 04:17 PM:

The candidate who will have my vote is the one who speaks up against the Doomsday Scenario unfolding in the Bush administration's clear intention to go for regime change in Iran. The neocons really are determined to go our in a nuclear blaze of glory, whether triggered by American nuclear bunker busters, or perhaps the Pakistani government falling and losing control of its nukes in the messy aftermath of an attack on Iran. We're entering a period that is far more dangerous than the balance of terror of "mutual assurred destruction" deterrence of the cold war, dangerous as that was.

Why so little outrage -- including none from our leading liberal political figures? Perhaps because, judging from things like the reaction to the TV show Jericho, more and more folks seem to think nuclear war is survivable with just a little grit and determination -- just another kind of war. It�s a huge collective failure of memory.

Some thoughts about an increasingly oblivious world poised on the edge of the abyss: Dr. Strangelove, please keep an eye on your toys. Your grandchildren are getting forgetful.

#33 ::: Don Simpson ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2006, 11:23 PM:

Neil -- Your link (in #6) is seems to have an extra http, etc., at the beginning.

All -- I've been a poll clerk for many years (Alameda County, CA) and this year we've switched from Diebold (a.k.a. "hack me, please!") touchscreen machines to paper ballots with Sequoia optical scanners, with a single Sequoia touchscreen machine (for folks that need large print or audio) that keeps a complete paper record (each vote can be viewed and approved by the voter before it it is scrolled onto the output spool). And lots of seals and security procedures. Nothing's perfectly safe (I've watched a lot of episodes of Mission Impossible; plus there's plenty of low-tech ways to defraud), but this is a big improvement.

#34 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2006, 01:27 AM:

Don, we apparently are using that system (or something extremely similar) in Missouri, they had the first test at the primaries this year.

You fill out a college-test type ballot, so there IS a paper form to count if necessary, then run it through the reader so it's recorded.

Maybe they chose it because we're the Show Me State, but we're a skeptical bunch of voters and we don't trust Mr. No-Talent one bit either. His crew did a very ineffectual swift-boating attempt against an Iraq veteran who stood up for an TV ad on Claire's side, unfortunately for them he had all the paperwork that showed the VA kept putting off his appointments and so on. (Mr. Talent is on record as voting for reducing VA funding, Butthead.)

This is all starting to spiral out of all the Rethugs control. I'm enjoying it in an "it's icky but I don't care anymore' sort of way.

#35 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2006, 08:18 PM:

Paula, did you watch them debate on Meet the Press? Talent won on just about every element. Claire may have the right ideas, but she has no idea how to present them effectively.

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