Friday, October 17, 2008
In the 2004 election New Mexico was one of the three states investigated by the BBC for voting fraud.
We have always rather excelled at the graveyard vote but this was different. We had those computerized voting machines with no paper trail and evidently a large number of those voting somehow missed voting for President. And then it was shown that with a cell phone votes could be changed from the parking lot.
New Mexico, under the leadership of Governor Bill Richardson changed over to paper ballots in the 2006 election. We were one of the first. Ohio still hasn't fully transferred back to polling with a paper trail. Nor has Florida I understand.
But irregularities at the polling places was not the only irregularity. Here in New Mexico a Republican organization in 2004 made a major drive to register voters. Seems they only registered Republican voters. And when those that thought they had registered Democrat showed up at the polls there was no record of their registration. They were allowed to cast provisional ballots but when no verification of their registration showed up the ballots were not counted.
So a couple months back someone professing to be from the Democratic Party called to ask if I wanted a mail in ballot. They would have one sent to me if I did. They said I could still take the mail in ballot to the polling place on the actual election day if I chose to do that.
My friends choosing to mail in their ballots have all received them. Once said the deadline for returning them was November 4th. I started to wonder about the information I had received over the phone so I called the Secretary of State Office. And she said that no way would I be allowed to vote on the day of the election if I was sent a mail in ballot. She referred me to the Colfax County Clerk who was very helpful. She checked the computer records and no request for a mail in ballot was made in my name. And I would have had to sign the form.
So my choices now are early voting an hour and a half from here or wait to the actual day. But there is something strange about that too. In the dozen years I have lived here we have always voted at the Community Center. They have changed it to the Angel Fire Courthouse - Clerk's office which is considerably smaller and which would require we all stand outside to wait to vote. This in November and with a far heavier than turnout expected.
So next week I am taking a day and driving to the County Clerk's office in Raton to vote. I really do not trust the process after GW cheated his way into office twice. So I am willing to go the extra miles and take the extra time to avoid being excluded from the process.