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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Done and Dusted, unless It Isn't ...

In other words, on Friday I cast my vote for President, Senator and Congressman. But maybe I'll have to cast it again. Casting an absentee ballot from abroad is an interesting business. Not to mention the fact that every state is different!

Thursday night I received a phone call from a certain political organization I belong to located throughout  Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, earlier in the day I had gone to the website www.votefromabroad.org as I realized I better get my act together if I wanted to vote in the Presidential election. So  the phone call was timely, even if it did come in the midst of boiling the potatoes! I immediately got right on it!

The State of Connecticut is one of the easiest to organize casting one's absentee ballot. But it's still a funny old procedure. First I had to print off a request for a ballot from the town clerk of the town where I have an address. I then fax a copy of it with an appropriate covering letter to somewhere 'abroad' and this organization dates it and forwards it to the appropriate people in Connecticut. I must then send the hard copy of the request to the town clerk. When it is received I will be sent an official state ballot which I am to fill out and put in an envelope. This envelope is put into another envelope with a form which identifies me as a legitimate voter. I then mail this larger, all inclusive envelope to the town clerk in Connecticut.

But, I hear you ask -- what if you don't get the ballot back in time????? Which I might not because it's getting a bit close to election day for all this palaver to get done. Enter the Federal Election Ballot.

 Along with the request forms from the State of Connecticut I downloaded and printed out this ballot. What you do is fill in the ballot with the name of the President/Vice President, Senator and Member of Congress. Then mail it to the Town Clerk and IF by chance your official state ballot doesn't make it in time, they will count the Federal Ballot.

After about half an hour or so figuring out the instructions, I had the requests for the State ballot, and the Federal ballot ready for posting and the following day mailed them.

So I guess you could say I've voted -- unless I haven't!

40 comments:

  1. Here in Washington State we have mail ballots only. I actually kind of miss going out early in the morning to vote at my precinct, as I did for years and years in Colorado. I was almost always one of the first in line and saw the same people every year in line with me. Now hubby and I sit at the kitchen table and discuss the issues and candidates before we make our decisions. Congratulations on maybe voting already... :-)

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    1. DJan, I lived in Olympia for the 2008 election. I was so surprised to discover that the state of Washington was mail only! It was so strange to go with my daughter-in-law to a rather innocuous box in the middle of a supermarket parking lot to cast our ballots!

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  2. Hello Katherine:
    Well, whether you have or whether you haven't voted, we think it is really good that you have braved the bureaucracy and tried. So many have sacrificed so much in order that the lucky ones amongst us may have the freedom of voting for the government of our choice. It is surely worth the aggravation....and potatoes can be boiled any day of the week!!

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    1. It's definitely worth the aggravation -- and it was only a half hour out of my life! Less time than it would take to show up in person that's for sure... As for the potatoes -- I have to say I'm glad I remembered to turn them off!

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  3. Well done, Broad. Like Jane and Lance I think it's really important to exercise our right to vote, even if the procedure is rather complicated. We have registered for postal voting and it saves the trek into the village to cast our vote and also means we can get it done ahead of time.

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    1. The Man and I always say if you don't vote you shouldn't complain! And how fortunate that all it takes is a visit to a website. Both my dual-national sons have voted as well!

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  4. Good for you! Every vote counts in a contested election like this. I remember when I first moved to this town how two votes were enough to pass a city levy. Two votes, my husband's and mine.

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    1. Takes one's breath away, doesn't it?

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  5. Well done. If you don't vote, you don't count, as I often tell the slackers I know.

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    1. Or complain -- as I mentioned above!

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  6. Good for you Broad. And, although it was such a hassle to actually get the proper paperwork to mail in your ballot, at least you didn't have to breathe in the fumes of moldy, stinky privacy booth materials as you checked off the names. I await with bated breath my day at the polls...and I do mean 'bated.'

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    1. In Connecticut they have voting booths that are rather bizarre -- with lots of levers and when you go in you pull a large lever that closes the curtain and when you have flicked the levers up and down to indicate who you want to vote for you pull back the big lever again and the vote is cast and the curtain opens. In Washington, DC when I voted they had old-fashioned paper ballots -- I bet they don't have those anymore! In England it's all paper ballots and they are counted in full public view -- which I think is really cool...

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  7. Hope that you have succeeded, I know how difficult it is voting from another country!! Take care Diane

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I'm sure it will be fine.

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  8. Well, either you did or you didn't. You know what they say, vote early and vote often.

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    1. I actually had a chance to do that several years ago -- my address had changed and I got ballots from both my new and old ones! (Honesty prevailed, I might add!)

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  9. Hi Broad,

    Well done for braving the beurocracy and casting your vote.
    Will this be the last time you are eligible to vote before your UK nationality comes through?

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    1. No -- I'll have dual nationality and be able to vote in both countries!!!

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  10. Good for you, Broad! Going to such trouble to vote is an inspiration -- and we could certainly use some of that this time around.

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    1. It wasn't all that much trouble -- just a matter of reading instructions -- carefully!

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  11. My 50 year-old friend who was born in the USA but lived here since coming from Germany (his father was military) about 35 years ago, actually went back to the US to cast his vote in the last election. I won't say who he voted for, but I will tell you that his candidate was not white. Any ideas?

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    1. I think I may have voted for the same guy -- a couple of times!! ;-)

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  12. Good for you for voting....I think I might lose my right to vote shortly...and that annoys me because those so and sos have their hands on my pension!

    I used to act as a teller at polling stations and as an observer at the counts when in the U.K.- and, probably highly illegally, counted votes in a Presidential election in the next door commune when in France. Loved it all.

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    1. I've also worked a couple of elections -- loved every minute of it, too!

      I'm curious as to why you think you might lose your right to vote ...??

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    2. I have it in mind that legislation changed so that after twenty years' absence from the U.K. one loses the right to vote...and I've been gone a lot more than that!

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    3. Hmm. Haven't heard that -- Don't visits back to UK soil count as having been present?

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  13. Thanks! This talk of election reminds me I need to call the board of elections and see if they received our request to vote absentee, by paper, from home. I too enjoyed for years going out early to vote. Husband not really able anymore. SO we vote from home. I always sensed a certain excitement at the polls, chatter about the candidates, seeing neighbors and friends. Sort of like a celebration.
    Happy you voted and hope it arrives in time to be counted.
    Blessings, Barb

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    1. I agree with you -- there is a certain excitement about actually going to the polls to cast your vote. I've found it interesting here in England -- there are many polling stations dotted around and in the most unexpected places -- at least to me. I know of several polling stations here that are in people's houses ... Our polling station is just around the corner.

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  14. Bravo for your courage. I hope your vote arrives on time.

    As you and others have noted, voting is so important!

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    1. Well, if one doesn't get there on time -- the other one will!

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  15. G'day Broad. Good on you for choosing to go through all that rigmarole and voting.Take care. Liz...

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    1. Not so much trouble really! Just hope my man wins and at least I did my part...

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  16. Dear Broad, I find myself getting knots in my stomach about this election. I watched the debate last night between President Obama and Governor Romney and the tension I felt kept me from sleep. I finally had to rise and take a sleeping pill. I do so hope your ballot/voting gets to Connecticut on time and is counted. The Republicans are big into fraud this year and yet all sorts of data shows that fraud is miniscule in the elections. Peace.

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    1. I am confident that there won't be problems with my vote being counted in the State of Connecticut. However, there is no way of telling if it was --- a matter of 'faith' as they say -- or is it a 'leap'?!

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  17. oh my gosh! what an effort! i had no idea. voting here is so simple...stand in line, tell them your name and vote.

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    1. Lucky you! Actually, it was just a bit of a rigmarole but well worth it in the end!

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  18. the US is over due for a woman in charge
    I vote for GLEN CLOSE
    PS FAILING THAT YOU NEED A GAY!

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    1. Ahh -- there is one who absolutely fits the bill -- one Rachel Maddow -- you would love her -- check her out on Google ...

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  19. I hope you voted. Otherwise you wouldn't be entitled to complain about the government.

    To vote in Germany I have to apply to the Consulate for my voting papers, who'll then send them to me. I fill them in and return them. Similar to yours but I only vote in the National Elections. I'm not entitled to vote in regional elections, as I don't live there.

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    1. I've absolutely voted -- I just haven't voted twice yet! ;-)

      In the States, it's now quite an easy thing to do as all the necessaries are online. But you do have to mail in the ballot itself.

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!