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Demockery, not Democracy

Published:

Last Edited: February 7, 2008, 3:42 am

I realize that the election process in our country has never been perfect, but this year it is a mockery of our very Democracy, our right to vote.  In the end, stripping 210 delegates in one of the largest swing states is the same as punishing voters because of a dispute between the DNC and the Florida Legislature. Yes, I know in the end the Party will select its candidate, but as a registered Florida voter, I believe I have been ignored and disenfranchised.  I am angry!  OMG - It's 2000 all over again. 

What about all these delegate counts?  Let us look at the caucuses for a minute.  I really never quite understood them, so I read how people get together at a planned time and argue about who should be the next presidential candidate.  This is why they are unfair and IMHO also unconstitutional.

They do not represent the majority. Am I the only person who is outraged that the Nevada caucus date completely disregarded Orthodox Jews who explained they cannot vote or even ride in a car on Saturday?  What about the Seventh Day Adventists whose Sabbath is also on Saturday? 

Another reason they're unfair is that most people can't take time off from work to join a caucus. What about all the casino workers in Nevada? Here is one Nevada resident who didn't get a chance to vote. I mean, shouldn't each person get a chance to cast his vote instead of a select few who have an extra 5 or 6 hours to kill?

http://www.kvbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=7759004

In Iowa only a small portion of the state's population was represented. Some people have very busy schedules or have young children, others work evening shifts, and some just don't have several hours to debate with their neighbors about politics.  The voting process is supposed to be private and each citizen's right to decide.  It should be swift too.  When I was working 10 hour days, I had to get up extra early on Tuesday and rush to the polls to vote, but I was able to do it. I never would have been able to participate in a caucus.  Maybe many people aren't physically capable of participating in a caucus.

I remember the first time I voted.  I was very excited to be part of this wonderful Democracy and went behind that secret curtain to cast my vote.  Maybe a lot of people don't want to sit around and talk to strangers or neighbors about their personal political views. 

In Iowa there are no absentee ballots allowed.  A police officer or fire fighter on duty cannot vote.  If you drive an ambulance, can you leave your shift to join a caucus?  Here is what one blogger said:

http://coldfusion-guy.blogspot.com/2008/01/whats-unfair-about-iowa-caucuses.html

So even the brave men & women abroad can't participate in the primary if you live in a state that doesn't allow absentee ballots.  If you are bedridden you can't vote either.  So, in other words, you don't matter in the primary. 

I live in a state where there are no caucuses, and I felt good about that.  We were allowed to vote as early as 2 weeks before the January 2 primary in Florida.  So I drove to the polls and it took less than 2 minutes since I already had my sample ballot completed.  

The Democratic National Committee says no delegates will be seated.  That's what they told the people in Michigan too.  Their votes don't count either.  Are they really saying "We don't care what you think.  We will make that decision for you."  I signed a petition asking for another primary in Florida.  I know it won't happen, but I also wrote a letter to express my frustration.  Maybe it was a waste of time, but I believe in uniformity in voting procedures.  I believe all citizens, regardless of age, race, social or financial status, Democrat or Republican, deserve equal assurance that their votes are cast in the same way and will be tabulated with equal accuracy.  In other words, we want to be counted.

My Dad voted in every election before he died at 93. The Department of Veteran Affairs gave me an American flag at his grave to honor his service to our country in WWII.  I was raised to honor that flag which stood for freedom, liberty and justice for all. It used to bring tears to my eyes.  Now it is a reminder of the freedoms we've lost. 

We need to be heard and shout from the rooftops that people died for our flag and our rights, which have been trampled upon by the war criminals who sit in Washington. Why aren't we marching in the streets?  Why are we letting a select few run our country?   

The media is also making decisions for us more than ever.  It's obvious which candidate CNN wants to win and it doesn't even pretend to hide its bias.  But that will be on another blog, since I'm tired and well...disenchanted and disenfranchised.

 

Sorry for the rambling. I was going to edit, but as Pumpi once wrote "A blog isn't a term paper."

 

Entry #122

Comments

1.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 7, 2008, 4:00 am
I made a typo (obviously) The Florida primary date was Jan 29, not Jan 2.   We were able to vote at select locations as early as Jan 14.
2.
jarasanComment by jarasan - February 7, 2008, 5:11 am
The whole thing this year seems a sham for everybody, for both sides, the media is directing the primaries by the manner in which they cover it. The only way to eliminate that, is to have all the primaries on the same day, lose the polls, and give everybody the opportunity to vote. It seems to me that the media is in direct violation of McCain/Feingold continuously, they have been steering this thing since last year. God bless your Dad.
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 7, 2008, 6:34 am
Jarasan, I didn't want to mention my candidate in my post, because I was trying to keep it general. However, I've lived in FL for a long time and there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton won fairly in Florida. In fact, she received more votes in the Florida primary than any other candidate of either party. Many of the people voted early and there were a lot of absentee ballots cast, so we had already made up our minds long before Jan 29. I think the FL Legislature made a very bad move and should have followed the rules of the DNC. But the DNC is depriving an entire state of voters their voice because of a scheduling dispute. Democrat or Republican or Independent --- does anyone think this is right? Many Democrats will be happy if either candidate gets into office, but the popular vote should decide (although I know it hasn't in the past)
4.
TenajComment by Tenaj - February 7, 2008, 6:34 am
Gee, we just can't shake the heads, can we? They never take their hands off. They are like a creature that when you cut one head off another one grows. Freaking non-human monsters that you can't kill unless you drive a stake through their heart and they still come out at night.

Justx, you are right on when you asked:

Why are we letting a select few run our country?

"I guess we are weird"!LOL As the blogger said.

NC won't be voting until March and I feel very much disenfranchised too. That is my tirade. I think we all should vote on the same day.

But the reason we'll not marching in the streets is because they have us "dumber-fied" and do our thinking for us, for the most part. And the dumber we get the more "desensitized" they get. They laugh at us you know.
5.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 7, 2008, 8:59 am
Good blog and good responses. I agree with you, the primaries are an exercise in futility and frustration for the voters.

I'd like to see...

...a national primary where all states voted on the same day. There would be one ballot listing all candidates from ALL parties. The top six vote-getters (regardless of Party) would then move on to a second primary held in August. In that primary, the top three vote getters (again, regardless of Party) move on to the general election and only their names appear on the November general election ballot (with a write-in option of course).   From then on, let the established voting system take over. Yes, including the electoral college which guarantees all states representation. We may not like the electoral college system, but the state of Wyoming has as much right to be represented as the state of California.

I'd also like to abolish electronic voting machines in ALL elections. Electronic voting is as questionable as computer-drawn lottery games.



6.
emilygComment by emilyg - February 7, 2008, 1:42 pm
Nanc - good blog.
7.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 7, 2008, 2:39 pm
Thanks, everyone. Good comments from all. I'd also like to see one primary date too. What about the states that vote in May and June? I mean, let's say 1,000 people go to a movie and the reviews say it stinks. This might influence its popularity. Maybe a restaurant is a better example because they fail all the time. One bad review from a respected critic can make or break a business that serves the public. So why wouldn't it influence people who vote or contribute money? Of all places, the first caucus represented the smallest amount of people. I don't live in Iowa, but the reason I posted a link to a blog is because I had no idea how limited the caucus meetings are regarding time and location. I'm admitting that it's a learning experience for me to read all the comments by people in Iowa, Nevada and Maine. I didn't even know Maine had a caucus! I also believe there should be a make-up day. I don't mean an "excuse" day, but a woman was on the way to the polls in Arkansas with her daughter and was killed. 23 people died on Tuesday from storms. If there is inclement weather, flights are delayed right? So why can't people in areas where there is dangerous weather and who have already registered should be able to vote? I read that thousands were unable to vote Tuesday and many polls closed early.

I'm not so sure there shouldn't be some kind of electronic voting, Rick. Our population is too large, but I do agree the results can be manipulated. Even the results of paper ballots can be altered. What about those hanging chads in the punch cards? Keep in mind that George W's brother ran the state then and now his former Attorney General, Charlie Crist, is Governor.

I don't know how anyone living in FL could think that the voting was on Feb 5, but hundreds of people called on Tues because they showed up to vote. I seriously find this hard to believe. They always blame Palm Beach County where the residents are elderly. Anyway, I am not defending those who didn't follow the news or realize the date had been changed, but I am beginning to wonder if all of this is grossly exaggerated. Then we had the thousands of absentee ballots in FL that were mailed to the wrong residences. I don't remember this little fact hitting the national news. FYI if you are interested this is from my local paper. I don't think this was an isolated incident either. 3,000 ballots in Lee county alone.

http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080109/NEWS0107/80109033/1075/ACC
8.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 7, 2008, 4:25 pm
Nancy, I like the system we have in IL. We fill out a paper ballot with a felt tip pen and it is deposited in a counting machine / receptacle. The counting process appears to be accurate. There is a paper trail in case of problems.

In my previous comment I was referring to the touch screen jobs...the Diebolds.

The "early bird voting" option is a good idea for conflicts of schedule...it also alleviates the lines at the polling place on Election Day.
9.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 7, 2008, 6:01 pm
True, Rick. Early voting also allows any problems with votes to be counted & checked since they're coming in a little at a time. We had 2 weeks before the primary to vote. I can't remember if we had that option during the General Election in 2004. I know I went to the polls on Election Day. Although well over a million people voted here, there were no lines at all and also no confusion as to where I had to go to vote. (It's been changed 3 times already with a letter of apology..good thing I check my mail!)
10.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 7, 2008, 6:13 pm
I was just referring to the primary in Jan of course. Not sure what's happening in Nov. I think maybe by that time they'll come up with some new legislation anyway. As you know from history, Spain surrendered possession to the United States in 1821. I think by the election Howard Dean might find a problem with the Adams-Onis treaty and declare that Florida is not a United States possession after all.

Also they might discover that Ponce de Leon really did locate the fountain of youth and that many registered voters here are actually not old enough to vote.

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