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violetandblue Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:45 AM
Original message
Voting Question
People on here keep saying to "vote early." Does this mean absentee voting? For the Gore/Bush election, I was away at school and requested an absentee ballot and never got it. Is this really better than voting by machine? I mean, if they want to, can't they just toss the ballots in the river? I have doubts about my vote counting either way, but I was planning on going on Election Day to vote. What are the advantages of absentee ballots? My mom thought "vote early" meant you should show up at the polls early. I assumed it meant that voting by paper is better.
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Flirtus Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. different things in different places.
Where I live there are actual polling sites open two weeks or so before 'Election Day'. So you can vote in person and not worry about lines or broken machines or bad weather.

Absentee voting is another way to accomplish it, but through the mail, and I'd rather vote in person.

My county election commission has a pretty thorough recorded message with all this information, and I'm sure it's on line, too, so you could find out the info for where you live.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. Like Flirtus said above
But let me add that, at least here in this state, absentee ballot records are kept by each town - who resquests one, when it's mailed, when it's returned, and when it's deposited in the ballot box (at least once on election day.)

Here in Maine, I believe today is the start of the period when ballots are available at all towns halls and people can actually cast a vote in person. It's considered and counted as an "absentee ballot".
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Let me add another
"it depends" and you must know and have confidence in your state or municipality on this.

Here in Kansas we have advance voting both by mail, and by voting machines set up in the our county voter registration place. At least a third of ballots in my part of Kansas (Johnson County, which is a suburb of Kansas City, MO) are cast early. It means that campaigning is diminishingly effective the closer you get to election day. I found that out when I ran for office two years ago, and in the last three weeks kept on being told at the door that the person had already voted, and too bad, because if I'd only been there earlier, they'd have voted for me. I also did a mailing timed to arrive the day before election day, which again was bad timing.

For a lot of people around here, once they've voted by mail they'll never again deal with standing in line on election day. And at least in this county, all the mailed-in ballots are counted FIRST, before the voting machine counts, so your vote by mail here is counted. In general, there's a high degree of honesty here. And even though we have the Diebold machines, I did not hear confirmed stories of vote switching on the machine. Basically, this is such a Republican state, there's no need to fool with our machines.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. You have a very valid point
More and more, Election Day just means the "last day" of voting. Much of our campaigning has had to be moved up to avoid the situation you mention - people who have already voted. We learned this the hard way.

That said, with good record keeping, we can avoid contacting those who have voted and target those we know have not voted yet in our GOTV efforts.

Early voting has absolutely changed the timing for campaigns.
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violetandblue Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. LOL!
" "it depends" and you must know and have confidence in your state or municipality on this."

I live in Ohio, and I KNOW my state and municipality, which gives me no confidence. :( Actually, I'm not sure exactly who runs the local voting. I distrust my state in general, though the local people are probably more trustworthy. We have a Democratic mayor - I don't know if that makes a difference. I'm probably just going to vote on Election Day because I don't know if they do early voting at the polls here and I'm going to be too busy (and too lazy) to sort it all out. I don't think the polls open earlier than Election Day here because I've never read about that happening. It sounds like voting by mail may be a better bet if local officials handle it, but I'm still skeptical of the whole system. Thanks.
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