So- I can't vote in the Presidential Election this year.
I would like to vote- however, due to loosely held laws in the great State of MS, I am unable to.
Here's the situation:
In case you live under a rock, we are having an election next month. And, it's a big deal. And, I would like to exercise my right to vote.
While cleaning out during the big move, I found my voter registration card....and it reminded me to register in our new county. Of course, it's too late to register. So, I called the Court House in the BS and asked for an absente ballot. Here is where this story goes south. Here is where I questioned society, the workings of the State of MS, and ethics in general. Here is where I lost my cool.
Circuit Clerk: So, Mrs. Jones, you want to vote in this election with an absente ballot.
Me: Yes- I recently moved to a different county and I have missed the voter registration deadline....and I would like for you to mail me a ballot for the election.
CC: Ooohh.......this is a situation we have here.
Me: (thinking)....Am I the ONLY person that has moved from one town to literally THE NEXT during an election??
Me: Oh we do?? What is the situation? I simply want to vote, and I would like for you to mail me an absente ballot.
CC: Uh, let me make a phone call and call you back. Yeah- when did you move?
Me: Labor Day weekend.
Circuit Clerk calls me back....
CC: Uh Mrs. Jones- I called the Attorney General's office and asked about your situation, and because you moved more than 30 days ago, you are unable to participate in this year's election. If you had moved later in the month, you would be able to.
Meg: (trying not to disappoint Jesus) Ok....let me wrap my mind around this........because I was honost in telling you my move date- you cannot legally mail me an absente ballot.......but, I can send someone to the precinct to vote on my behalf and you would never know because you don't check id's????
CC: If I mail you an absente ballot, you will be committing voter fraud.
Meg: So, I could potentially go to jail for you mailing me a ballot, and I, being Meg Jones and having the identification to back this up, will fill it out and exercise my right to vote could be prosecuted???? Well, that makes a lot of sense. I could "cheat the system" by sending someone on my behalf to vote for me.......or I could legitimately vote by having you mail me a ballot.
CC: I understand, but, these are the rules we have in place and I would be committing fraud by mailing you this ballot.
Meg: You do understand that I am being on the up-and-up and I am doing the right thing by telling you when I actually moved and due to arbitrary rules, I am not allowed to vote by absente ballot.
CC: Mrs. Jones- you can drive to BS and vote in person.
Meg: Or, I can pay someone $5 to vote on behalf of me since you don't check id's.
CC: True. But that would be fraud too.
Meg: True, but what rules do you have in place to prevent that from happening?
CC: If one of the workers recognize that the person claiming to be you isn't you.
Meg: THAT IS YOUR SAFEGUARD?? Person recognition by little blue haired ladies? That is how you are monitoring voter fraud? Why is it again that you can't mail me an absente ballot?
CC: Because you moved over 30 days ago.
Meg: Correct, and I am only 16 days out of your arbitrary time frame (at the time of the phone call, I was 16 days out). Why exactly is the timeframe 30 days??
CC: Well, we needed a cut off date.
Meg: For what? A date to cut off mailing ballots? A date to achieve what exactly?
CC: It's the deadline that is set across the State of MS. A few Saturday's ago- all of the Court House's across MS were open until 12 noon for voters to register.
Meg: Well- that's really convenient for the voters during football season and for the voters who have to work on Saturday's. How did you advertise for this?
CC: Poster's in the Court House.
Meg: Oh, that's great! So, unless I was going to Court, buying a tag or paying a ticket, I WOULD HAVE NEVER KNOWN! Great marketing.
The CC did point out that I could drive to the BS and vote in person. I said yes, I could do that or I could save my gas and you can mail me an absente ballot. AND, I have class the night of the election. Reason #2 to MAIL IT TO ME!
America at it's finest!
It's easier for me to buy a gun than to vote!
The only thing that would have made this story worse is if I had to take a trip to the DMV.
One of my dear friends is a libertarian. I jokingly (but not) asked her not to vote since I can't vote and it will equal out our votes. At least that makes me feel better.