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great gray owl

Early voting and absentee ballots

The state of Colorado has early voting. It's wonderfully convenient and that's how I voted for Kerry in 2004, but I'm not doing it this time.

This time I got an absentee ballot. I remember when it was hard to get an absentee ballot: there were only a few reasons for which you could apply for them. [Shoot. *I* had to pass a literacy test in order to be registered to vote, and I couldn't vote until I was twenty-one. Ah, the old days.] I voted absentee from CT in the old days once, when I was in college if I remember correctly. The only thing I remember for sure is voting for my father, who was running for the Board of Fire Commissioners. [Yes, he won, thanks ever so much for asking.]

Now it's easy. People mail you forms you can request absentee ballots with. Michelle sent one of these in and got her ballot by mail. And if you go to the County Courthouse, you just fill out a form with your name and address and your driver's license [or state ID] number, and they issue it on the spot. Which I did on Friday. I only went there to see how complicated it would be and how bad the lines would be, but it wasn't and they weren't.

Why did I do this? There are several reasons. The first is that we have new computer voting machines. I voted in the primary on one of these, and I neither like nor trust them. [I'm voting for the Democrat for County Clerk, because I know her and also because she doesn't like them either, and because I won't vote for a Republican until they grow up.] The machines are not the nice ones that I remember from Ann Arbor and Superior Charter Township where you fill in marks on a paper ballot and then the machine reads it. These leave a paper trail, and are the ones most recommended by those I trust. The ones we have are just total junk, in my not at all humble opinion. [The ballots these horrible machines replaced were the punch kind, the kind that can produce the famous 'hanging chad'. I remember using these in Detroit, too, back when I lived there.]

The second is that I don't want to worry about getting there and getting through the line during my lunch hour.

But the most important is that we have seven proposed amendments to the state constitution, seven statewide referenda, a county ballot issue, and a county referendum, for a grand total of 16 thingies to try to remember whether you're in favor of or not. I want to do this in the comfort of my home, thank you very much.

Speaking of voting and elections, which I was, Michigan and Colorado both have sets of brothers in Congress, one in the House and one in the Senate. Michigan has the Levins and Colorado has the Salazars. [Nice Latino name, right? Successful immigrants, you think? Nope. At least, not recently. The family has been in what is now the state of Colorado since this was part of Mexico.] Anyway, at least until the next Congress [depending on the result of the House race, that is], I voted for three of them: Carl Levin, Ken Salazar, and John Salazar. I've never lived in Sander Levin's district, so I've never been able to vote for him.

[I just went to the Congressional Directory to check on how to spell Sander, and found I've voted for Carl every time he's run for the Senate.]

[And I'm not happy with some of John Salazar's votes, but I *can't* vote for a Republican. I just *can't*.]

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great gray owl

April 2013

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