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Angry Letter O'Clock [20120318|10:36]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |displeased]

Dear Mr. Logan*,

I am a non-partisan voter living overseas in England who is registered to vote by mail permanently. I received the enclosed letter, which is intended to allow me to opt to fill out a partisan primary ballot if I wish, on Friday 16 March. Unfortunately, that is also the date by which the form must be returned. The letter is dated 8 March.

Please note that because you only post these letters one week before the deadline, it is impossible for overseas voters to return them before the deadline, as it takes 5-7 working days for such a form to be delivered to those voters in the first place. I realise that the percentage of non-partisan voters who are registered to vote by mail is rather small. I also suspect that the majority of those voters live in the United States, where they are likely to receive the forms within 1-2 working days and can easily send them back before the deadline. But part of the point of a democracy is to permit all constituents an equal opportunity to cast their votes, and this process clearly denies overseas non-partisan voters the chance to vote for certain candidates in the primary elections.

I hope that this disenfranchisement of overseas non-partisan voters is not intentional. I am enclosing the signed form even though the deadline has passed. I hope this will encourage rectification of the practice of sending out these letters only one week in advance of the deadline.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

[real name & address supplied]

* Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk of Los Angeles County, California

From: tyrell
2012-03-18 11:22 (UTC)
*Headdesk* Morons!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:48 (UTC)
I suspect it never occurred to them that some of the letters they were posting wouldn't arrive within 1-2 days. I also suspect a lot of people overseas will get the letters, shrug over the missed deadline and toss them away. :/
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2012-03-18 11:32 (UTC)
Ugh ... Friends of mine - American citizens who live in Amsterdam - complained about something very alike a few years ago :(
(And I know of a few German citizens living in the USA who regularly don't get their voting paperwork on time. ARGH!)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:50 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain it's not malicious or deliberate intent to disenfranchise. It's most likely just incompetence and a failure to consider minority needs.
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2012-03-18 13:20 (UTC)
New Zealand lets us get our voting papers online. We do have to either post or fax (fax!) them back though.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:51 (UTC)
At least you have the option to fax them back. Californians don't!
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[User Picture]From: bryangb
2012-03-18 13:21 (UTC)
It's definitely not ideal, and you shouldn't have to - but could you have faxed the form back?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:52 (UTC)
Nope. That isn't an option. Even if it was, I didn't get home from work until after 11 PM that night, so I didn't look through my post until Saturday morning, by which point it was too late.
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From: anokapolis
2012-03-18 13:42 (UTC)
Disenfranchisement of voters has been going higher and higher as the two parties are know using data to analyse who they "think" will vote in a certain way.

I really hope this doesn't happen during the presidential election. My state, Minnesota, i'm considered "A voter indefinitely overseas" which means, i can only vote for presidential/senate/house elections as i'm away from my home state most of the year and not in primaries.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:53 (UTC)
I hope it doesn't happen in November, too. I will be livid if I don't receive my ballot in time for the presidential election.
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[User Picture]From: soliano
2012-03-18 14:44 (UTC)
Well, it could be intentional, but (working for local govt) it is more likely a sign of poor planning in fiscally stressed operation that works poorly at the best of times. Not an excuse, just a potential explanation.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:54 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain it's not malicious. It's far more likely that it's incompetence mixed with a failure to consider minority needs.
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[User Picture]From: dizzykj
2012-03-18 15:20 (UTC)
I understand that you are non-partisan, but it may be worth contacting Dems Abroad - for GE's they are pretty good at helping anyone (regardless of party) to vote - I can't remember if their primary has happened (vote, in person, in London) but that may be an option?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-03-19 15:55 (UTC)
The California primary isn't until June. I'll still be able to vote in it, I just doubt I'll be given a partisan ballot.

I'll try & contact Dems Abroad later this week to see if they can help.
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