I was almost disenfranchised this afternoon. As I had today with Kaelyn, I was following some of the news coming out about today's election. Local congressmen Steve Chabot was refused a ballot because his valid driver's license had a different address on it than he was registered at. He promptly went home claiming, "that's the law" and got a bill with his name on it to prove it.
First voting observation: is there anyone in Cheviot who doesn't know Steve Chabot? Isn't the point of requiring ID to make sure that the person is who they say they are? This is just a blatant example of how voting scandals have made the system a mockery. Also, this is an example of poll workers on a power trip.
Once I heard this I called Kelly and reminded her to get a bill when she got home, as we were voting this afternoon together; my driver's license still has our Maineville address on it. I began to think how stupid this was a looked it up on the internet to see this law for myself. Apparently Chabot was wrongfully turned away. I found Ohio State revised code 3505.18 which states, "Voters must bring identification to the polls in order to verify identity. Identification may include a current and valid photo identification." The state of Ohio website also states, "You may also use your Ohio driver's license or Ohio photo I.D. -- even if it shows a previous address."
I was ready to go.
I memorized the number of the law and went with Kelly to the polling place. Of course, they ask to see my ID and I show them my license. I show them. And this is how it breaks down:
"Is this your current address?"
"No ma'am, it isn't."
"You're going to need another piece of information if you want to vote."
"Ma'am, Ohio Revised Code 3505.18 states that . . ."
Pollster rolls her eyes and cuts me off
"We've been hearing this all day."
"Ma'am, you've heard it because it's the law."
I'm getting warmed up. I'm ready to be disenfranchised. Wonder what it will feel like.
At this, my wife pulls out an electric bill and hands it to the lady. She remembered to pack it with her like I asked and had no desire to see me argue the finer issues of the Ohio Revised Code with a senior citizen. So my disenfranchisement was avoided because Kelly felt we had better things to do with our time. I was ready to call the police and report a crime. But my wife reminded me that we're in a part of town where the police have better things to do. Fine. Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton when you need them?
Second voting observation: the ballots in Hamilton County are ridiculous. It's a scan-tron type sheet the size of a legal document. When the poll worker assists you in feeding the sheet into the electronic scanner they can totally see who you voted for. So in order to solve the problems stemming from the past couple of Presidential elections, the best they can come up with is a worse version of standardized tests I took twenty years ago in elementary school. Isn't that special?
Democracy in action: it's like killing your own dinner.