Monday, November 3, 2008

5 Ways to Protect Your Vote

If there's one thing we see every election, it's that Republicans will try to manipulate the rules any way they can to prevent some people from voting. Don't be discouraged--be prepared. If we're armed with the right information, we can beat most of these dirty tricks.

  1. Be Prepared, and Conquer the Lines.
    We can't let long lines stop anyone from voting. There are several ways you can reduce lines and make sure they don't prevent you or anyone else from voting:
    • Vote early if you can. You can find early voting times and locations at
    • Double-check your polling location before you go to vote. You can look it up at
    • Have a Plan & Have Fun. Have a plan in case there are lines. Bring some food, drinks, friends, books, games, a chair -- anything that will prevent you and other voters from walking away. Have fun while you wait and encourage your friends and neighbors to stay in line so their vote is counted.
    • Don't give up--don't walk away without voting.

  2. Two numbers you should have in your phone.
    Put these numbers in your phone so you're prepared to report problems and help other voters find their polling place:
    • 866-OUR-VOTE is a hotline that's been set up to collect information about problems on election day--lawyers and election protection advocates are ready to respond. It's the best way to make sure someone addresses any problems you see.
    • The number for your local election board--in case you need to tell someone where they can vote. Enter you zip code at, then look for "Contact [your county] election officials" on the right.

  3. Beware of lies, misinformation and dirty tricks; spread the truth.

    Republican operatives are spreading plain lies to frighten new voters. In Philadelphia, anonymous flyers in Black neighborhoods have falsely claimed that voters with unpaid traffic tickets or outstanding warrants will be arrested at the polls. If you hear a scary rumor, it's probably a lie. Call your local election officials to check it out--and make sure your friends and neighbors know the truth.

  4. Leave the Obama gear at home.

    In some places, you won't be allowed into the polling place if you're wearing clothes and pins that support a given candidate. This isn't true everywhere, but it's best to play it safe. You can contact your local board of elections to find out if it's a problem in your area. If it is, bring some extra plain T-shirts or sweaters to loan neighbors who show up unaware of the rule.

  5. Read the ballot carefully, and ask questions!

    Some ballots can be confusing even for smart and informed voters. Read instructions on the ballot carefully, and if you're not sure you understand something, ask a poll worker to explain. Remember what happened in 2000 in Florida--a confusing ballot caused thousands of people to mistakenly vote for the wrong Presidential candidate. Don't let that happen to you!


clintpatty said...

I don't think lines will be a problem here. I'll probably get there at 6:58 and be the 3rd person in line.

Bello Velo said...

Clint, that is fine but if you look at the readers of the blog it is not just Alabama, you are big in NY though.

You should also call WLRH they are asking people to report voting irregularities

Information is Power!!

Anonymous said...

I don't agree, this is too important to live in denial or have rosy colored glasses on. Alabama has a terrible history when it comes to voting. Wake up down there.

clintpatty said...

I'll have to confess ignorance on those things. I don't know much about voting irregularities or black people being disenfranchised in Alabama. And I should since information is power. But I wasn't putting on rosy glasses about it. I don't have rosy glasses about the voting lines, but there seriously probably isn't going to be much of a wait here. The leaving the political clothes at home is a good idea here because campaigning within 100ft or something of the polling place is illegal here.

clintpatty said...

Kind of a long post with a story and my opinions. I'm not a Republican.

Here is a story I received along with a comment that it was interesting:

> In a local restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, I laughed as
> he had given away his political preference--just imagine the
> coincidence.
> When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him
> that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood
> there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to
> redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless
> guy outside.
> The server angrily stormed from my sight.
> I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server
> inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was
> grateful.
> At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I
> realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but
> the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even
> though the actual recipient deserved money more.
> I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in
> concept than in practical application.

Interesting is all I would give it. I don't think it's very accurate. A server that was more of an Obama supporter would have explained that it's more like giving the homeless guy $1 out of that. But it's the same $1 that's been taken from the server for the past years. Obama wants to take $15 instead of $12 from the restaurant owner who gets $100 and $33 instead of $18 from the realtor who owns the building the restaurant is in and makes $500, or something more like that. At least that's more like Obama's redistribution of wealth concept than taking all $10 and giving it to someone else. We'll see how that actually works out if the polls are right. But I already know how redistributing our wealth more and more to the ultra rich who are involved with government like Haliburton/Exxon/etc and to Iraq has turned out, so I don't want that redistribution of wealth.

Bush talked about tax cuts for businesses and the rich after 9/11 to bolster the economy. He never repealed those tax like he talked about. That means spending extra money on Iraq, taking money from the non-rich to give to those businesses that the government contracted to, and not taking money from businesses to fund Iraq and domestic spying and such. Now we have huge debt. At the same time the administration encouraged more consumer spending and home buying. They turned a blind eye to bad mortgage practices that helped to cover up the greater recession that would have happened after 9/11 in a free market. How many of those companies figured on a government bailout if it didn't work out? The ultra-rich have grown farther and farther away from the middle class in wealth in the past 8 years. How much of that has been fake money based on our future dependence on them? A lot of non-existent money has been used for mortgages and Iraq, among other things. It is catching up to us. Cutting taxes more but not cutting spending by at least a trillion a year will get us further into play money and control by the people who already have money. Expect trillions more to be spent on 'homeland security'' on the contrary. That includes domestic spying and Iraq. It also *might* mean more money being stole from other Americans and given to Huntsville for defense contracting and BRAC and such, but you might not be hurt if your job is in that area and Obama is elected. Either way, that is redistribution of wealth when the government contracts something to this area.

How will Obama's policies hurt the middle class more the McCain's? How will McCain be restoring a Reagan economy with more spending and less taxes? The Reagan and Clinton administrations had favorable economic situations anyway, and the economy during that time can't be blamed on those administrations only. Just like the dot com bubble bursting and 9/11 gave the Bush administration a bad situation to start, but they sure haven't handled it well. How is Obama killing small businesses? If more money is put back into the business and employees instead of into the pocket of the owner, those taxes can be avoided. The wealth has been getting redistributed more and more to the ultra-rich, and it's time for that to end. They can make less money. They used to make less money and were still rich when the middle class was doing better. This could be through tax increases. They can make less money instead of cutting jobs. Wal-Mart executives can make less money and buy less stuff from China. They would still have plenty of money and plenty of wealth even with tax increases. The difference between $18b and $20b for a Wal-Mart executive makes no difference in their lifestyle. It's just a number. The Wal-Mart worker making $8 instead of $6 per hour and having health care changes something. And IMO makes America better than the executive having the extra $2b.

You may not support Obama, but I really can't see supporting McCain. Much of that campaign is based on fear mongering about Obama's background and proposed policies. Sarah Palin will be President if McCain dies. I believe most of that fear is on a false basis and won't come true. When you consider redistribution of wealth and how you may not like that, don't forget how we've been doing that lately and how we'll do more of that under a McCain administration. The Republican Party won't point out the redistribution that they have been facilitating, but it has been happening, and it is not good for America. It will make us more like central and south American nations and erode the middle class more. If you don't support Obama, there will be 3 minor party candidates on the ballot in Alabama. You can probably find at least 1 of those that represent your views better than McCain or Obama. I know I can. And probably all of them would run the country better.

If you consider all these things and other reasons to not vote for McCain/Palin but still choose to based more on thinking that they will run the country better than feeling that they are better Christians, will not support black people rioting and claiming reparations from the white man, wanting to vote the same as your family, and liking how they talk or look, that's fine. But please take the blinders off that the Republican party wants you to have first. It could be sort of like your faith in God being challenged and strengthened. If you find you don't want a greater divide between the ultra-rich and regular person, not voting for McCain isn't like rejecting your religion. The Republican Party does not represent Jesus better than all others. Regardless of his claimed Christianity, Bush and his administration have had many policies and actions that I cannot possibly see from Jesus if he had been President.

And don't forget to be informed about the local elections.

Tyler said...

I have voted for president in Huntsville 3 times and I assure you the lines where very long every time I voted and with record voter turn out expect I am expecting long lines especially in my neighborhood where the majority of people at my polling station are senior citizens. So if you can go vote with a friend if you use the same polling station or take an iPod and listen to music while you wait your turn but most importantly go vote no matter how long or short the line may be.

Bello Velo said...

You lost me with jesus. I also worked in restaurants for 20 years, this guy or gal sounds like a typical douche bag. Where do you get balls big enough to go around teaching people lessons? Sounds very...... Republican(Militaristic) doesn't it? I hope the server remembers him and deposits a loogie in his salad the next time.

I did talk to a gentleman today whose daughter registered to vote 8 weeks ago and still has not gotten a notification in the mail. I gave him this number and website so hopefully it will get straightened out. I hope it was not her middle eastern name that got it "lost"?

I guess we live in different worlds.

clintpatty said...

I guess lines vary a lot depending on polling station. I'll have up to 2 hours to wait in line before needing to leave for school tomorrow morning if I run into a big surprise.

Jim I probably lost you with Jesus because I wrote that with some Christians in mind as readers. You're not one I don't think, so feel free to skip it. But plenty of fundamentalists want to vote for a candidate who practices a form of Christianity more similar to theirs; some are even like Tracy. Many still believe in the faith of George Bush. I was saying if you're going to include your faith in voting, consider actions of the candidates more than a claimed belief.

That's unfortunate about that lady. I got mine fairly quickly, and I don't even look like a Republican. I'm registered as independent. Hopefully it all got processed, though.

Bello Velo said...

Ok thanks for clearing that up clint.
I will let you know what happened to her tomorrow. good excuse to get some hummus.

Good luck to all!!! This is an amazing time to be in this country. History is happening.

clintpatty said...

Ok I was wrong and yall were right. I was like 10th in line, and that was still more than expected. The people working there said it was the most they've ever had.

Bello Velo said...

Same here, it is a good sign.