When I voted at 7:10 a.m. this morning in St. Johns County, Florida, my right to vote was challenged because a poll worker decided my signature did not match my driver's license signature. I was given an "Affadavit of Elector When Signature is Different" form to sign and was going to be given a provisional ballot, but I objected to that decision, telling the worker that I've been voting at the same precinct with the same address for a decade and they were "abrogating my right to vote." (When negotiating a government bureaucracy, the most obscure verb wins.)

Affadavit of Elector when Signature is Different form, state of FloridaIn Florida, provisional ballots aren't counted unless they are approved by a canvassing board. My wife has observed the work of these boards as a newspaper reporter, and it's an arbitrary and capricious process. I decided at that point I wasn't going to leave the polling place until I was able to cast a legitimate ballot or I was ordered to leave. I don't want to look back on this election, years later, as the one in which I might or might not have voted for Barack Obama.

I always bring my sons to vote, so my fourth grader was at my side, telling the worker that my signature was acceptable. My mother was visiting from Texas, and she also walked up and affirmed who I was, which demonstrates how thorough I am at providing proper forms of ID.

A supervisor at the precinct discussed the decision to make me vote provisionally with a poll observer, who I'm guessing is an attorney because he wore glasses on a chain perched on the end of his nose, like someone who might be called upon to inspect a hanging chad. He told her, "The issue here isn't whether the signature matches; it's whether he is the person he says he is." He then told me not to move, because he was going to go outside and make a call.

He didn't have to go outside. The decision was made that I could fill out a form that reflected my updated signature, and I was given a regular ballot.

Though my signature has grown progressively worse over time -- millions of mouse clicks have been hell on my mad cursive skills -- it's clear to me that poll workers in this county are being told to apply strong scrutiny to signatures. This seems excessive to me when the state requires a driver's license to vote, and I had my license and voter's registration card with me. Eight years ago a worker also challenged my signature, but another worker told him he was wrong. Individual votes in Florida were a pretty big deal that time around.

When I was leaving the building, a poll worker who was not a witness to the challenge told me unexpectedly that I should "put this on your blog." Apparently, he overheard my wife talking about the situation and mentioning that I'm one of those people.

As a general rule, I resist the temptation in commercial or governmental conflicts to play the blogger card, because I don't want to be the douchebag who doesn't get the banana peppers he ordered on his pizza, so he threatens Domino's with the dire consequences of a strongly worded blog entry on a site with Google page rank 6.

But this was so going on my blog.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

At least in Florida they check. Here in Maryland all they do is ask your name and see whether that name exists on their rolls. I could quite easily vote as someone else in any number of places in Maryland simply by keeping track of the obituaries.

So check the indignity. At least Florida doesn't make fraud completely easy.


 

My driver's license has a picture of me on it. That should be a sufficient safeguard, and a much better indicator than whether my signature today matches the one they have on file for me, which looks at least 20 years old. What do they do to elderly voters whose signatures go to hell?


 

Paraphrasing Morrissey: Florida, so much to answer for. I can say it, my parents live in Hernando County.


 

The entire process needs to be Federalized in a Federal election so that the enire process is 1000% uniform. That means the machines, the identifcation and it all goes into one place with the states with out any power whatsoever, especially some "right-winger" checking signatures. This ia a ridiculous example of more Republican dirty tricks, as obvious as the flyers stating Democrats should vote on Wednesday. Someday?


 

Steve,

I'd call scrutiny in a different class from fraud. Scrutiny is fine; what we allow for here in MD is ridiculous.


 

Here in Maine, I have an 18 year old niece who is registered to vote. In order to register she needed to provide:

A drivers license (she doesn't drive and doesn't have a license)

A property tax bill (her mom and dad are divorced and live in two separate homes and my nieces name, as a minor, does not appear on the tax bills due to her not paying the tax)

An income tax filing (she's in HS, and did volunteer work overseas last year and ergo did not work, and did not file a tax return)

A school ID (she goes to a private school and the school ID does NOT have address information on it even though the school is here in the Portland area. They do have a student that drives in from NH every day and if the school ID IS/WERE to be acceptible, does that mean a NH student could vote here in Maine even though she's only here for 8 hours a day??)

A Social Security card (My niece does have one of those, but when was the last time you updated your address information on your SS card?? Too, in that she does NOT work, she has no earnings statement going into SS that would even remotely relate to her residence)

Sooo, if you give the government all of the above information as part of the """"real ID"" (really??) program, esactly which document was it that identified YOU to your RESIDENCY?? Damned if I know.


 

At least you got to vote normally - my vote will be provisional this year in St. Louis City (remember those purged, mostly-black voters in 2000 that led to a court decision to keep polls open longer?). I was purged from the voter rolls sometime between the presidential primaries and this morning.

Backstory:
I moved to St. Louis City in 2002, and registered to vote there. Had no problems voting.

I moved to St. Louis County in 2004, and registered to vote there. Had no problems voting (the City and County are separate entities, making St. Louis one of the few independent cities in the country).

I moved back to the city in 2006, and registered to vote through the Motor Voter program when I switched my licences' address. However, I was not on the voter rolls in the 2006 primaries, because they had my address incorrect in the city voter rolls (they had me listed as living on Lindell Blvd in the Central West End neighborhood, where I had lived until 2004, rather than in South City, where my new address was).

I went to the city Board of Election Comissioners, filled out a change-of-address form, and had no problems voting in the 2006 general, 2007 city, or 2008 primary elections.

This morning I went to vote and discovered that I was not on the roster of eligible voters in my precinct.

I also discovered I was not on the inactive voter roster in my precinct.

After an hour of waiting in line for the one judge helping voters (there was quite a line, apparently this has been a minor but still semi-frequent problem today in the city), I discovered that my address had been "rolled back" in the city rolls to my county address. I asked why, and was told that "an automated system" had rolled my address back to the county. I did manage to vote, provisionally.

But this is still a freaking joke. Eight years after the nonsense in 2000 that illegally purged tens of thousands of voters, and this city, one of the oldest west of the Mississippi River, still can't come up with a decent system to track eligible voters.


 

You should try Wisconsin. They actually bus people in from Ill and Minn to vote in that we do not need to prove in any manner who we are. 10,000 fraud votes and counting. You all are ver blessed in that your state atleast has some standards.


 

"As a general rule, I resist the temptation in commercial or governmental conflicts to play the blogger card, because I don't want to be the douchebag who doesn't get the banana peppers he ordered on his pizza, so he threatens Domino's with the dire consequences of a strongly worded blog entry on a site with Google page rank 6."

You shouldn't have any trouble resisting this temptation given that your blog's PageRank is currently zero...


 

So this is what we can expect today. Real stories of attempted and successful voter suppression and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. The real tragedy of recent years is the decline in the GOP from a political party to a full-time criminal enterprise, and the number of "good Americans" doing its dirty work.


 

You shouldn't have any trouble resisting this temptation given that your blog's PageRank is currently zero...

Ouch. Google hasn't caught up to the move to the new domain. But as I told the missus in another context back when we were dating -- trust me, I've got six.


 

The claim about Wisconsin is crazy. There have been these claims for years, but in the 2006 election, fewer than 10 cases of fraud were discovered.


 

I registered to vote last fall from my C Street address in sunny San Diego.
In March I moved to 20th Street.
My driver's license is from seven addresses and two states ago.
My passport has a different address.
The pictures on both my driver's license and passport are me + 65 pounds, though the only people who ever question it are the volunteers on race packet pickup days for the races I run.
My business address is three miles away. That's where I get my utility bills.

I *should* have a heck of a time proving who I am and voting, but I betcha I won't.


 

Fight the power! Wooo!

I've moved in the past year and asked odd questions about what address I should claim and I had way less trouble than that.

That's some good writing there.


 

I had a similar situation this morning in Missouri. I lost a great deal of weight (100 lbs or so) and I have yet to get a new driver's license. The woman at the polling place questioned if it was me or not. Luckily, it wasn't an issue for me, and I was given a standard ballot.


 

Good for you. The McCain campaign staffer who was running their "voter Fairness" issue (think Clear Skies) could not name one instance of an interloper voting as someone else. Not one. This is voter suppression, and about giving their base a grudge to nurse.


 

Florida, so much to answer for

~DW

Holy Crap.

Spud just came to make that exact comment only to find it already made.

"Suffer Little Children" is a Smith's classic.

Well played sir, well played.

When negotiating a government bureaucracy, the most obscure verb wins

Luffs it.

Second best line in the piece next to the closer.

Glad ya stuck by yer guns, Rogers. This is a historic election and the ya did good by insisting on excercising yer right to vote in the traditional and less controversial manner.

Bully fer you!

Be Well.

/Does yer DL picture still show you in a mullet or has it been updated?
//Any word yet where Ann Coulter voted this time around?
///Ha! Spud's reCaptcha words are "midget enrique". LOL!


 

Here in ND, we don't require registration -- show up at the poll with proof of residence (usually just a state ID and an electric bill), and you're good to go. If you've voted in the district before, just your driver's license is enough. Sure, our population of a few hundred thousand for the whole state makes fraud less of a big deal, but we rarely hear about people being denied the right to vote. Good to hear Rogers got to vote - bad to hear that poll operators are potentially discouraging valid voters.


 

Oregon here. We have the option to vote by mail or in person. I had my ballot about two weeks ago so I knew my registration was OK far in advance of voting day. Oregon's mail-in system might not be absolutely perfect but it sure beats any other system I've heard of. Registration is fairly straight forward and, for the most part, voting lines are not an issue unless one waits to the very last minute. There are election officials that man drive-in drop-off locations if you failed to put your ballot in the mail early enough. The system provides a paper ballot (and thus a "paper trail") that is scanned once the ballot is confirmed as OK by the election staff. Then there is a mandated random selected hand count to verify the scanned count. What could be any easier / better?


 

Just as I thought: easy as falling off a bike. No lines, no ID needed.... just gave them my previous address and signed on the line.

And then I went to Starbucks for my free coffee. Nice.


 

This ia a ridiculous example of more Republican dirty tricks, as obvious as the flyers stating Democrats should vote on Wednesday. Someday?
# 4 | Steve Broyles | 2008-11-04 10:07 AM | link

Pssst... Steve. Get yer head outta your "bi-ass". There are also the SAME EXACT FLYERS going around but in reverse... DEMS on Tuesday and REPS on WEDS. It's not a VAST RIGHT WING anything. BOTH sides play dirty. Deal with it.


 

I hope that you feel good about the steps that the state has taken to prevent people who do cheat. Your experience proves that the system works!!!!!!!!!!


 

Drew, for Christ's sake, read the post again. His experience does not prove that the system works. They're looking at him, with his matching (though he's presumably grayer) photo ID, and then comparing his signature to a 20-year old signature and using *that* as the basis to deny him the vote.

To put it another way, I can fake my wife's signature just fine, but should they decide that I've become a fairly hirsute, manly-looking woman who is 8 inches taller than what it says on her driver's license, just because the signatures match? A signature is a ridiculously inaccurate measure of identity.


 

As they say in Chicago "It doesn't matter if you're dead or alive, Vote early and Vote often!"


 

We also have the mail-in system here in Washington State. Nothing could be easier -- until they figure out how to secure online voting.


 

To James Robertson:

"At least in Florida they check. Here in Maryland all they do is ask your name and see whether that name exists on their rolls. I could quite easily vote as someone else in any number of places in Maryland simply by keeping track of the obituaries.

So check the indignity. At least Florida doesn't make fraud completely easy.

# 1 | James Robertson | 2008-11-04 09:29 AM | link"

What's easy about that? Trying to be a dead voter? You need to know more than your name. They ask your address too. Do you know how many people have actually been convicted of voter fraud over the past 4 years? Less than ten nationwide. Compare that to over 180,000 votes that weren't counted in Ohio due to Republican election day machinations - routine across the whole country.

How about having everyone vote with a fingerprint? I'd like to see that. But requiring a photo id isn't necessary and it is an undue burden, just like not providing enough voting booths is disinfranchisement, or charging a poll-tax, etc.. My neigbors work the polls, they know me, and I know them. It's important to vote in every election, not least of all for this very reason - know your neighbors. How about the ridculous voting machines we use? In Canada they use paper ballots and count the ballots at the precincts and forward those numbers to the election HQ providing a full count in 1 hour for the nation. We could do that and have neighbors and witnesses watch the counting at each precinct, video tape the procedure, and post the results.



 

Dude, you are a douchebag ... no matter how much you try not to be .... you are ... pulling out the "blogger" card is like bringing a hot dog to a sausage fest, certainly YOU understand.

Providing ID is just simple common sense, I agree here. If this "Jenny" on your blog were within arm's length I would slap her so hard right in the face. We show ID to get on a plane, to the Police, at Banks, purchases with Credit Cards, to buy beer, to buy smokes, to get in a bar, to get a Library Card, etc. etc. ... I mean C'mon, what psychosis generates this form of illogic??


 

I always suspected Rogers was an impostor.

In Austin you need a registration card and nothing else. And at Chick-Fil-A, you don't even need a "I Voted" sticker to get a chicken sandwich. My ancestors died for my right to get a free sandwich.


 

And in small town Kenedy, Texas, all I had to show to the election clerks and judge, all of whom I know and one whom I taught with, was my voter's registration card. No ID, etc. Voting was quite easy and comfortable.


 

I am also in Oregon and so voted by mail. Great system. We have 72%+ turnout statewide here when I last checked a couple of hours ago.


 

Rogers, you aren't suppposed to use your phony blogger name to vote.


 

Oklahoma voter here. No ID needed. Just told the worker my name, found it on the list, and signed my name to get my ballot. Could have been anyone voting for me. I carried my ID and voter ID card in my pocket, but never was asked; no one else was asked either.


 

I'd like to personally thank Rex and Weepy Tad for their near-constant rants about Ayers and Wright... and for the endless repetition of President-Elect Obama's middle name...

Were it not for this obsession with such nonsense, we could not have elected President Barack Hussein Obama in a landslide.

God bless y'all!


 

Maryland Here! I am still proud to be an American even if we handed over the Leader of the Best Country in the World to a man that was not known 5 years ago by his own State. I voted for McCain since he has a real track record and was not all just talk. Since this election came down to a heavy urban vote (I am not saying just black vote at all) you can tell that this Nation now wants to spread the wealth. Remember this in 4 years when the poor now are all getting free hand outs from your hard working pockets and it is not your choice. Remember this when the big business such as Big OIL, Big BANKS and those Money Hogging Business Owners close house due to lack of return on investments ... YES FOLKS !! PROFIT IS RTO or RETURN ON INVESTMENT !!! and that is why we start a business.

Tell the guy with the corner market in the inter city that now since we started to Share The Wealth he must open his doors and sell his milk for less profit, he can not make as much on the bread he buys, his business is no longer for his profit it is now owned by the masses.

TAX and GIVE is not the AMERICAN WAY !!! I would also remind you that the reason we are no longer ruled by England was due to the KING taking our money and doing what he wanted with it. Now to be fair he wanted to keep it all and did not share with his poor country men, However this MY FRIENDS is still the same thing......

Black Panthers at a poling place claiming to be SECURITY??? Wow and not on the MAJOR NEWS??? I bet that if the KKK was set up near a voting station in a outback town in Alabama ABC, CBS, NBC and every news paper in America would have been on that story like stink on S&*%!

GOD BLESS AMERICA !!! We need it more then ever...... God knows I hope OBama can prove me wrong .. but DO NOT BANK ON IT!


 

Remember this in 4 years when the poor now are all getting free hand outs from your hard working pockets and it is not your choice.

Boy, being poor sure is going to be great in four years. I'm going to quit my job and join them.


 

"Remember this in 4 years when the poor now are all getting free hand outs from your hard working pockets and it is not your choice."

I remember when Republican's actually used economic arguments that made sense. They now seem to hope that their intended audience can't do simple math and assumes someone is getting something for nothing.

Reagen started killing the welfare system and Clinton helped finish the job.

You do NOT want to be poor in Amerca. Or mentally ill for that matter.
One potentially leads to the other.


 

Maybe somehow this is payback for the fact that you used to sign your checks as Mickey Mouse just to see if the bank would catch it. And I am curious do you sign Roger or Rogers????


 

What's the difference, Booogie Mann? Voting is the only thing you mentioned that is a RIGHT not a privilege!! Your comparisons would have made more sense if you included "We show i.d. to walk down the street." No, wait, we DON'T! So it's a little more complicated than your simple mind believes. You want to slap Jenny? I would love to KICK YOUR ASS.


 

I had forgotten the Mickey Mouse prank. I think my bank back then was eager to approve my checks because I bounced so many of them.

And I am curious do you sign Roger or Rogers?

It would be impossible to tell them apart. My signature's a palsied scribble.


 

Rogers says:

Ouch. Google hasn't caught up to the move to the new domain. But as I told the missus in another context back when we were dating -- trust me, I've got six.

Lonestar says:

Nevermind. Too easy ....


 

I wonder how you would have felt if there had been a couple of thugs, in berets, outside the polling place carrying batons?

You got caught in the "Process" established since the 2000 effort to find votes for Democrat's interests ...

The "Krystalnacht" effort by the leftwing, as demonstrated in this election, is the "Slippery Slope" of that effort and wayyyyyyyy outside the "Process".

However, your "interest(s)" blind you to any such "reality", right?


 

Election's over. And so is the Republican Party.

America has spoken, our beautiful Democracy has worked. America has picked the Democrats to run the House, the Senate and the White House.

Thank Christ!


 

"Thank Christ!"

Barrack Obama: ""It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them ..."

Republicans aren't "like you", and so you cling to religion to display your "bitterness", is that correct?


 

You're right, Madonna (love your early records, btw). It's like a breath of fresh air has come into the whole country - even Indiana!


 

So true!! Walking around, it's like everyone's gotten a little bit nicer here in Missouri! It's almost as if all those racists from the McCain rallies just vanished. And despite this horrible economic situation, everyone just seems... relieved. Like we worked hard and succeeded in putting the smart people back in charge!


 

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