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Responsive Election Board February 12, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in politics.

I got a bit of a surprise yesterday. Because I’m in France I need to vote absentee in the Washington’s primaries. Washington allows you to request an absentee ballot online, which is very cool. Unfortunately, the web site wasn’t clear about what date they would send it out. As a result I asked for it to be sent to my parents home, where I was when I ordered the ballot. At the end of the process there was an explicit date they would send it — ops! I’d be in Seattle right then (next week). There was no way to cancel the request, so I just tried submitting it again with my home address hoping they would take the newest request.

My surprise: an email from the King county Voter Services office! I don’t think there was anyway I was expecting that! I usually tend to think of election services being so understaffed that they don’t have time to consider mistakes that voters like me make.

Does anyone have reoccurring nightmares of 2004 or 2000 in this election? Sometimes the thought “this country is still divided 50-50!” springs, unbidden, into my head. About 15 seconds later I remember – wait, that is just the Democrats! So, at least that split will be ok. 🙂 Of course, I expect the election to be rather bitter no matter who gets elected; swift boating has been shown to work, so I can’t see either party giving that up. 😦



1. carlbrannen - February 12, 2008

The primary election in Washington State truly was a big deal. One of my friends who has never voted at all showed up to caucus.

As far as the 50-50 elections, I think that these are a sign of great healthiness in a 2-party system. What would worry me would be a system where one party repeatedly wins every election. I think that’s only one step away from government control of the press.

Bee is going on about how bad the roads are in her corner of Canada, as compared to Germany. I wonder if one collected statistics on potholes if there would be a correlation with political power. I would bet that the worst roads are in the places where the same party always has control, R or D.

And our elections really aren’t very bitter. It seems to me that there is very little real difference between the two main parties. It’s not like we are really given the choice between voting for Stalin or Hitler. Our system is very very stable, and this is a good thing for the global superpower. The rest of the world pretty much knows what to expect.

A good example of a bitterly contested election is the Republican and Democrat fracas of 1860. Several hundred thousand US citizens were killed in the resulting conflict.

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