I'm not voting tomorrow

Tomorrow are the primaries for a number of government spots on both the local and state levels. Not that anyone would know that looking at Newsweek and Time’s cover of M. Night Shyamalan and Bruce Springsteen respectively. But I suppose if that’s the most important thing going on in the world…

Way to sidetrack right from the get go.

So yesterday I went to register in Lawrence. As it was a Sunday, I didn’t think I’d have much luck. But I knew the libraries were open and that’s where I registered for Prairie Village, also in Kansas, so it was worth it to try.
No dice. I can’t register there. But I could at either the courthouse or the post office across the street, neither of which were open today.

Today I got up and went to the Post Office. After waiting in line while the entire city of Lawrence tried to mail something to their great aunt Edna (twice removed), I finally got up to the counter.
“Hi, I’d like to register to vote.”
“You can’t do that here. Try the courthouse.”
“The librarian informed me that it was possible to register here.”
“Yes, well the librarian lied.”

That kind of talk is at least refreshing. So off I went to register. Along the way, I stopped by City Hall to learn more about the candidates I would be voting on. I didn’t want to go to the booths ignorant on the issues and marking an “X” merely because of name recognition from the various signs alongside the street.
So where else would I go but the information desk at City Hall. I am seeking information, am I not? They don’t have anything to offer me but a suggestion: try the Lawrence Journal World.

Now, I have nothing against the LJW. Journalistically, they’re not terrible and they serve the community well enough. But for the government to tell me that the best, and possibly only, way to find reliable information about the very people who will be running said government is through a private company, well I find that a bit surreal.

So I walk across the street and pick up a copy of the Sunday LJW for $1.25 which, I was to find out in less than 10 minutes, was money well wasted.

I drive half a mile down the street and stop in front of the courthouse. I get out, walk up to the entrance. Or, rather, I get close to the entrance as it’s closed for construction use the one on the other side thankyouverymuch. I walk around the building the long way, get inside, and see no place to register to vote.

I ask a guard where I go. He says “Oh, you want to courthouse.”
“This isn’t the courthouse?” obviously being fooled by the four courtrooms I passed on my way in.
“No, this is the municipal court. The courthouse is across the street.”

What a lovely semantic trick! Apparently in this double non-plus world, the courthouse tends to no court. Onward I march, this time the rest of the way around the building so that I end up almost right where I started off had I known where to go in the first place.
I walk in and find the place where I can actually register to vote. Truly a miraculous feat.

I ring the bell. Softly because the woman is at a desk not 10 feet away. I ask to register to vote. Her words were disappointing but not at all surprising: Ok, but you won’t be able to vote for the primaries tomorrow.

“I am registered in Kansas, you know.” Didn’t matter.
“Did you know that in Wisconsin, you can register to vote right there at the polls?” Well that’s not how we do it here.
“No possible way I can vote tomorrow?” Nope, but you’ll be all set for November.

Sigh. Thank you.

If you need me, I’ll be at home continuing to not contribute to society.

IIRC, state primaries are anywhere between May and October (mine aren’t for another 6 weeks) which might be why Newsweek & Time aren’t doing cover stories on them.

Ender? Do a Westlaw search on registration requirements. You might be surprised at the case law.

Dude, that sucks. For what it’s worth, voting percentages aren’t that better in Wisc than elsewhere, just a few percentage points. But it is a whole hell of a lot easier. Just bring in your utility bill, phone bill or a lease or anything with your address and you’re good to go.

Just hope there is someone worth voting for for all you went thru! :wink:

Well, we don’t have a Tammy Baldwin or Russ Feingold here if that’s what you’re asking. The closest we’ve got is Dennis Moore but even he doesn’t take the time to woo the student vote all that much.

Polycarp, I’ll be sure to check that out. Thanks.

amarinth. you’re absolutely right. The primaries aren’t all at the same time. I was commenting on not just that, though, but on everything that’s going on in the world, in the middle east, everywhere, and they choose pop culture icons to list on their cover.

California was the first this year (March 5) and, ignoring Louisiana, which I’ll get into later, the last is Hawaii on September 21. Some states have runoffs in October as well. Louisiana still has the corrupt system it used to deny blacks a chance at office. The Congressional primary is November 5, the same date as the general election. The top two candidates in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party, if nobody receives 50% plus one. This has led to an interesting strategy by Republicans to get Mary Landrieu’s seat. They’re trying to run as many candidates as possible to cut into her base as much as possible, in the hopes of forcing a December runoff.

Here’s a list of primary dates

Enderw24: D or R? I ask because on the D side there aren’t any contests on the statewide or congressional levels. Of course, there could be a rough state senate primary where you are, I don’t know. Of course, due to Connecticut’s ballot process (In turmoil now but I presume that it will at least hold for the general election) I don’t have a single contested primary from governor down to state rep this year, the first time I ever vote. Still, it’s the principle of the thing, and it’s a shame you were disenfranchised.

If you’re an R then you have every reason to be pissed because I’m presuming you live in the section of Lawrence Moore represents, and you have the heated primary between Colyer and Taff, as well as Thornburgh, Kerr and Knight. Plus there’s the AG race between Kline and Atkins. As a native to the state, who’s favored in each of those? I haven’t seen formal polling in Colyer-Taff or Kline-Atkins, and the Kerr-Shallenburger-Knight polls disagree. What’s the word on the street?

The motor voter law means that the equivilent of the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state should have the form. Mississippi was the last state to comply with this law. Additionally, all state agencies that dispense federal government benefits (food stamps, loans, etc) are required to have the information necessary to register to vote.


Ender, I sympathize completely. I became a naturalized citizen in mid-October, too late to register for that year’s general election (in Pennsyvlania, you must register at least 30 days in advance). Oh well, at least I’ve made up for it since.

By the way, I’m sorry I missed you when you were in or near this neck of the woods.


geez, here in Miami you don’t even NEED to register to vote. And you get PAID by those guys in the white van.

Oh great, the guy is training to be a lawyer and he CANT EVEN FIND THE FREAKING COURTHOUSE.

Well, there are some that would prefer it if most lawyers had the same difficulty…

Big Kahuna Burger, that was another part of the discussion I had with the lady at the courthouse. What party should I choose? I allign myself with no real party but if I didn’t choose one, I’d never be allowed to vote in the primaries. So I picked D.
They say many of these elections will be close. Knight and Shallenburger are in a dead heat for Gov.
Atkins is ahead of Kline and my money’s on him to pull it off because the people I’ve talked to do not like Kline at all.
I don’t know who will win between Colyer and Taff. Probably Taff, if only because he seems to have twice the advertising budget that Colyer did and got his name out there.

cjhoworth, sorry we couldn’t meet, but it’s all good.

CrankyAsAnOldMan, We learned a Latin phrase that was specifically coined for taunts like the one you just made: pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbttttttius.