Friday, October 15, 2004
One Vote Down -- And Many More, Too
Just got off the phone for the second time today with Karen Chavers, Director of Community Outreach for Cook County (Illinois) Commissioner Larry Suffredin to clarify what happened when I voted my absentee ballot on Wednesday and the sinking feeling I had that things didn't go right.
I was correct, something I'm not sure I wanted to be, but my ballot (and another that had been mislabelled) are now in the correct envelope. Pure human error, no misprinted lists, no conspiracies, no tin-foil hats required.
Our votes would have been counted eventually in any case. No fear of that.
And Karen had just that day been at a training session where a new tool called the "Regional Street Locator" has just been unveiled and will be distributed to each of the polling places to avoid the run-around that usually happens on the day of the election when people show up at the wrong place in person.
The good news is that the Evanston City Clerk (and the Cook County Clerk's Office under David Orr, which has been working literally 24/7 to process new registrations) has been getting a steady, deep stream of in-person absentee voting. So much so that she has been unable to do anything else a City Clerk is supposed to do, and has pulled 2 staffers from other tasks just to deal with it. No additional help will be forthcoming from the County, since they too are underfunded and understaffed. This is going on all over.
So. It all works. And when it doesn't, calling your elected officials will make it all right again. That's what they're for.
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