Tear me out & spread me about!
For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? In the last election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses. And when they don’t count, you don’t even know it. Worse: Loads of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them—in which case you’re out of luck. Most states won’t let you vote in-precinct once you’ve applied to vote absentee. Unless you absolutely have to mail in a ballot, don’t go postal.
You can vote before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive” (9.9 million of you), or you’re on some creep’s challenge list. By Election Day, if your name is gone there’s little you can do but hold up the line. And demand a paper ballot.
Think you’re registered to vote? Think again, Jack. With all this purge’n going on (13 million and counting), you could be x’d out and you don’t know it. So check online with your Secretary of State’s office or County Board of Elections. Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman, and your mommy. Then contact the Rainbow PUSH, LULAC, or Rock the Vote and volunteer to register folks, especially at social service agencies. In Florida, that means you’ll get arrested. I’ll send a file in a cake.
In November, they’ll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, a couple million to Hispanic voters alone. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that likely won’t get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication on the spot of your right to a real no-BS ballot from poll judges. Or demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if that’s the problem. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. If you’ve taken Step 1 above and voted early, you have Election Day free to be a poll watcher. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of “suspect” voters. Be firm, but no biting.
The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs, and take the resistance door-to-door—to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union (if you’re not in a union, why not?) or to the troublemakers listed here. This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but it’s still the best weapon for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that would seize the White House.
Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson says, make a date to “Arrive with Five.” And keep a copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits in your holster, our website on your iStuff (we’ll have help lines on our site), and a photo ID that matches your registration name and address. And Bobby, make sure your ID says, “Robert F. Kennedy JUNIOR”—or your vote is toast.
I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and a million Americans stand up and say three magic words: “Count the votes.” You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink.
Democracy requires vigilance. The Day After. That’s when you check in at www.BallotBandits.org one more time. Join the Insurgency.
From The Progressive Populist, November 1, 2012
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