Pub Rants

Early Voting—Finally!

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STATUS: So very happy because finally, I’ve got a ballot.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? BEAUTIFUL DAY by U2

This is unabashed non-publishing-related blog entry. For the past month, I’ve been in mail-in ballot hell—as in I never received my ballot and since I’m on the permanent mail-in ballot list, I was starting to worry as the election loomed ever closer.

Five calls (yep, count ‘em) five calls to the Denver Elections Commission yielded very little helpful information as they had in their records that the ballot had been mailed.

I didn’t believe it could take 12 days to come when it was being mailed in the same city. In fact, I was getting ready to call up a news channel myself when this story hit the wires. I wasn’t alone in my mail-in ballot frustration. There were 18,000 missing ballots because of a glitch in the mailing and the company responsible, Sequoia, didn’t bother telling anyone.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

And today of glorious days, after much hassle, numerous calls and a contingency plan to get my replacement ballot, I opened my mailbox and there it was.

I can’t wait to rush home from work tomorrow and vote!

19 Responses

  1. nomadshan said:

    Nice! I’m glad Sequoia got its act together for CO voters. In ’04, my husband and I requested absentee ballots from New Zealand; we were sweating until they got to us!

  2. Katharina Gerlach said:

    How wonderful that you are a voter. I think many more people need to vote so that the resulting politics will be a mirror of “what most people want” and not of “what most people don’t want”


  3. Susan said:

    So glad you have a happy ending!

    I’m dreading watching as the news turns from cut-throat campaigning to voting trials and frauds and problems. UGH! Thank heavens it’s only once every four years!

  4. Lisa Shearin said:

    Derek and I voted on Monday night at our local mall. Only 45 minutes from the beginning of the line until that glorious moment when I put my ballot in the box to be counted. I even got to chat with my local Barnes & Noble event coordinator while standing in line (she and her husband were there to vote, too.) So I got the thrill of voting plus did a little book business at the same time. It was multi-tasking at its finest. ; )

  5. L.C.McCabe said:


    If you have the time, I recommend that you hand deliver your completed ballot to the local elections office so you do not have to worry about it getting lost in the mail on its return.

    I hand delivered my own absentee ballot two weeks ago and felt a nice warm glow for having voted and knowing that it is in queue to be counted.

    If you wait and deliver it to a precinct on election day then it most likely won’t be opened or counted until a few days or weeks later.

    It is important this year for people to vote early and not wait until election day. Not only to avoid long lines, but to allow themselves the time necessary to clear up any discrepancies that might otherwise prevent them from voting. For example, with the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 it created new federal standards for maintaining voter rolls. Unfortunately it has meant that any discrepancy between the Social Security Administration and a state’s list can cause a voter’s file to be flagged for removal. The difference could be as minor as one entry using a middle name and the other a middle initial. Or there could be a typographical error which is obviously not a voter’s fault, but it is still considered enough to remove a voter from the rolls.

    To me that logic is insane, but it is what it is right now and will not change simply because I want it to be different.

    Therefore, people should do exactly what you did and attempt to vote early whenever and wherever possible. If your name does not appear on the voter registration rolls and it should be, then if you discover this *before* election day you have the chance to argue your point and bring as much identification as required to prove you are who you claim to be and get a real ballot and not a provisional ballot. (Provisional ballots are disqualified at a much higher rate than absentee ballots and should only be used as a last resort.)

    BTW, in case any of your readers are from North Carolina or have friends and relatives there – here is a little PSA about a strange rule in their ballots that could deny people their vote in the presidential race. If you decide to vote “straight ticket” and choose to vote for all the candidates in a political party – it does not include the presidential race. You must vote for that race separately.


  6. Kristina said:

    We don’t have early voting here in Michigan, and election day happens to be my birthday. I fear I will spend most of the day in line (though it will be worth it).

  7. WendyCinNYC said:

    I can’t wait to take my daughters with me to vote on Tuesday. We still have the old-school booths with the levers and my kids like to pull it for me. Ka-chunk! It’s very satisfying.

    That possibly qualifies as voter fraud, but there you have it.

  8. Madison said:

    This is not good for me. This is my first election and I’m outta town in FL and had to mail the NC State Board of Elections for an Absentee ballot and it has yet to come in. I doubt I’m going to be able to vote in this all important election, as I won’t be able to go back home till the 8th. WHAAA!!!:-(

  9. Anonymous said:

    I got my mail-in here in South Eastern PA weeks ago and I’m glad because we have an early return deadline.

    And thank you for not getting into anything political during this entire campaign season. I’ve been reading this blog since you began because I am constantly learning valuable information about publishing. If there were an award for the most professional publishing blog, you clearly deserve it.

  10. Courtney Milan said:

    Mr. Milan just got his Colorado ballot in the mail today, too! He’s very excited.

    I am registered in Illinois, so my vote, at least for the top of the ticket, is basically meaningless. I still cast it, though. 🙂

  11. Kelsey said:

    For only 500K I’ll stuff envelopes and mail them to Colorado voters and they would get there on time.

    I just voted early and I’m feeling all warm, fuzzy and democratic.

  12. Just_Me said:

    DH and I voted absentee about a month ago. But we’re absentee from Florida so I always worry (just a little) about whether our votes will actually get counted.

    I’ve seen the pictures of the lines though, and I’m really glad I can mail in my ballot!

  13. DebraLSchubert said:

    Kristin, I live in the great battleground state of PA, but my immediate family lives in CO (Boulder, Denver, Centennial and Lone Tree). I was there recently and helped my dad go over the long and complicated ballot you Coloradans have this year. You practically need a Ph.D to fill it out!

    Here in PA, I have been taking breaks from writing by volunteering at my local Obama office. I can’t wait for Tuesday!

  14. jill said:

    I’m so glad Oregon has mail-in ballots! Husband, eldest daughter, and I voted at the dining room table last week and dropped them off at the collection site (library, yay!).

  15. Celesi said:

    Congrats on getting your ballot! Last election, I was eighteen and eager to vote. Registered, and waited. And waited. My ballot arrived the week after voting day.

    This year, they sent it to the wrong address, but at least I got it!