October 2008


Penalized for Good Behavior

When it comes to elections, I like to plan ahead.

Perhaps too far ahead: in July I stopped by the Monroe County Election Office to drop off my application for an absentee ballot.

All was fine with the paperwork I’d previously filled out, and I mentioned that the worst part about voting was that mailing the ballot back is expensive. I believe last time I spent about 3,50€ to mail it back to the States. The friendly folks behind the counter suggested email voting—and I thought to myself, “Sure, why not!”

So I signed up.

Consequently I still have not received my ballot.

I first called last Monday and the man who answered the phone left me the impression that it would be sent to me shortly—and that if I hadn’t received it within a week, to call back. So I called back today, and I was informed that the email ballots will not be sent out until next week. Specific day, unannounced.

It’s not that I am unsympathetic. I understand this is the office’s high season, but it does make me nervous: I planned ahead, made sure all my ducks were in a row, and I wanted extra time in case something went wrong—but now the window for correcting errors is rapidly shrinking, and I won’t know if there is a problem until after the ballots are sent out.

Next time, I’m going for paper, even if it does cost a pretty penny to mail it home.

3 comments to Penalized for Good Behavior

  • I hope this is lesson learned for you. I wouldn’t trust an e-mail ballot, and they certainly don’t take into account the time it takes for mail to travel overseas, do they?

    I’d be frustrated too though.

  • We made sure we were both registered and squared away around late July/early August. It took 8 weeks until the ballots got here – the morning we were leaving town for a week, no less, so it had to wait for another week. Upon returning, we finally finished all the research, filled them out and sent them.

    The next day, they showed back up in my mailbox due to the piss-poor envelope design. So I had to buy a large envelope that would fit both of them (because they’re such an odd size) and send them that way, after confirming with the city clerk that my actions wouldn’t somehow invalidate our ballots.

    There has got to be a better way.

  • I agree. I already sent off my ballot, but am still worried whether it will arrive promptly, knowing how the Hungarian postal service is. I want to finally vote for a winning pres candidate.