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Thanks, But No Thanks to Absentee Voting

I’ve always been slow to embrace new fads. I didn’t go for brown as the “new black,” and since purple is now the “new black,” I’m certainly glad I stuck with the old. The same for following my parents’ example of never buying on credit. Boy, did that one work out.

As Election Day approaches, I revel in my fuddy-duddy habits. I live in the battleground state of Virginia, where voter registration has increased 10 percent in advance of November’s presidential election, where Democrat Barack Obama has invested huge sums in a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation and where Republicans are pushing their precinct captains to hang onto a state that hasn’t gone Democratic since 1964. Election officials are so fearful of a chaotic crush at the polls that they’re urging people to vote early with absentee ballots. Though absentee voting in the commonwealth requires voters to meet one of several conditions, officials have nonetheless made it clear that -- ahem -- it’s easy to qualify. (And voters requesting presidential-race-only ballots don't even need an excuse.)

Sorry, I just can’t. I know that if I do vote early, I’ll miss out on long lines, sore feet and the possibility of confronting an over-taxed electronic machine that might malfunction.

But here’s what else I’ll miss -- and what can’t be replaced by a quick-and-convenient early vote: Being pressed to take that one last flier from a volunteer as I walk toward the elementary school; purchasing a treat from the PTA mothers who will set up a bake-sale table outside the polls; enjoying the children’s artwork in the hallway as the line to vote snakes through the school corridors; chatting with neighbors I haven’t seen in months.

There is something magical that happens at the polls on Election Day. It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign.

By Marie Cocco  | October 22, 2008; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Cocco  | Tags:  Marie Cocco  
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Comments

Maybe after voting you can have a cool glass of lemonade in your sitting room and listen to the radio to find out who won the election. Wheee

Posted by: orangefh | October 22, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I, too, very much enjoy the act of voting, especially since I have so far been lucky to live in districts affluent enough to have enough voting machines and therefore reasonable lines. However, when I lived in Colorado - which has no excuse absentee voting - I regularly voted absentee when I wasn't out of town on election day. It was not an aesthetic preference but a practical decision. Sometimes I was working a job in retail and would have had to drive to the polling place (which is near one's home not one's work,) vote, and drive back in a 30 minute lunch break. Sometimes I was in classes so would have to ride my bike the two miles home, vote, and ride back two miles in the hour between my classes or wake up before 7 to vote before classes. Sometimes it's just got to work on such a tight schedule that it isn't feasible, and I challenge you to find a supervisor at a place like McDonald's or Walmart who is OK with someone coming back from lunch even 30 minutes late because he or she had to wait in a long line to vote. It is not always that voting is impossible but voting has a higher cost for some people than others.

Posted by: littlered2 | October 22, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

LOL at orangefh!

Okay, I live in a town of 15,000 an hour's drive from any city that would be called "metropolitan," so my experience on Nov. 4 will be similar to what you describe. However, I've lived in places like Minneapolis, Chicago and Washington DC during the course of my education and early career. Those voting experiences often involved long lines, (including one time where I found I was in the wrong line after an hour) and sore feet, without the "PTA mom" cookies and children's signs to make it all worthwhile. Thankfully the one time I was late for work my "I voted" sticker was sufficient excuse.

Posted by: pdech | October 22, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, someone that has never worked the polls. Thank you for that charming advice. You spend from 5:00 am until 10:30 pm making sure everyone gets a chance to vote - dealing with justifiably frustrated and angry voters - and you might know what you're talking about. This is ignorance of a Sarah Palin scale.

Posted by: bonnietoo | October 22, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

You will also miss the exclusion of voters because of the inadequate system. They may or may not help your cause.

Posted by: jrubin1 | October 22, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and thanks for the fashion tip. I *always* like my political news with little bits from people who worry about what the current colors are.

Posted by: bonnietoo | October 22, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"There is something magical that happens at the polls on Election Day. It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign." The majority of whites will vote for McCain. They have voted for the Republican presidential candidate consistently since 1968. If Obama wins, it's because he overwhelmingly gets the ethnic vote for government handouts and the ignorant, non-stakeholder vote (the young and the clueless) for hip and cool. Ivy League graduates make a big noise for Obama but they are a tiny fraction of the country -- from whence they derive their prestige and influence as insiders, no matter who runs the show. The incivility will grow as the white middle class feels a new onslaught of PC oppression from a single party government. I hope Obama knows his limits. Could he trigger a violent reaction? One might wonder.

Posted by: greg3 | October 22, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

we don't want "magical" on election day.

we want scientific.


as an oregonian, i completed my ballot on monday and walked it to the county registrar.


i don't need the "magic" of a stamp, either. i'd prefer real democracy:

popular vote nationwide wins, multiple candidates to chose from...or not.

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 22, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you completely, Marie. I've tried to talk myself into voting absentee, and probably have good reason to do so, but the fact is, I enjoy going to the polls and casting my ballot for the next president of the United States. Yes, and the long lines, too. I just can't miss out on that experience. Thanks for saying this.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 22, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh well the author is the proverbial
"Dollar Short & Day Too Late" here as this
disabled senior citizen Independent Voter
has already voted by Early Ballot here in
Arizona as have every member of my family
as well. And I didn't and they didnot Vote
For, as Gov Sarah Palin calls him nowdays,
"Spread The Wealth Barack Obama" either!
You Betcha John McCain and Sarah Palin got
all my families votes and mine as well!
We love voting by Early Ballot in Arizona!

So just say NO to NOBAMA/NOBIDEN And To Hell With Socialism/Marxism/Communism!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | October 23, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

For someone who has the time, sure, why not go stand in line. How about the rest of us who work for a living?

Standing in line for hours after work is just another form of poll tax to disenfranchise working Americans!

Posted by: quatzecoutl | October 23, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

thank you. I have been debating with myself on whether to vote early or wait til november 4. now that i ve read your op-ed piece, i will wait til nov 4. my wife and i will take our 3 year old son and wait in line, take pictures and enjoy this historic moment.

Posted by: Amabo | October 23, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I live in Oregon (which utilizes ALL mail-in voting) so I also miss the "magic" of Voting Day. It's true that going to a public polling place definitely gives one the feeling of being in a "public square." Even so, I think the number one priority has to be making sure that inconvenience is never a justification for anyone to not vote.

In Oregon we have the highest "turnout," or percent voting, than any other state. Why? -- because it's easier. Nobody has to worry about getting time off from work, usually during rush hour, to make it to the polls. Before we receive our ballots in the mail we get voter pamphlets which contain statements from all the candidates as well multiple arguments for and against various initiatives and tax proposals. I think this way a person can take their time to vote intelligently instead of feeling the pressure of the 100 people waiting in line outside in the freezing drizzle.

Who came up with the idea, anyway, of having us vote only on Tuesdays? If we're going to have polling places, why can't election day be on a Sunday, as it is in many other countries? Would this require a constitutional amendment?

I will have to disagree with Marie Cocco, though, on this one issue. I think the need to bring about a truer and more complete democracy should trump the value of any nostalgia and joy one may feel upon encountering neighbor Mary Jones sitting at a card table selling cookies and hot chocolate next door to the polling place.

The "public square" of yesteryear is gone, replaced, largely, by the Internet. This brave new world may not provide us with the sensual pleasure of smelling hot brownies on election day, but on the other hand -- it does have the potential to bring about a much greater level of democratic enfranchisement -- which is, after all, what we all want -- right?

Posted by: tjsalm | October 23, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Make Election Day a national holiday where the only ones working are police and the people counting the votes.

Posted by: kreator6996 | October 23, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

You are giving people bad advice.

The most important reason to vote early is to have the opportunity to discover that you are not properly registered to vote. You might have been purged or the form you sent in might have been malprocessed, but if you learn before November 4, you can often get the problem dealt with. If you learn there is a problem ON November 4, you will vote (if you vote at all) on a provisional ballot, which probably won't be counted.

In addition, of course, early voting reduces the burden on election day. The more new voters come into the system, the more overloaded the precincts will be -- unless more people vote early or by absentee ballot.

Posted by: cemkaner | October 23, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, like I need to be given a flyer when I go to the polls - as if I hadn't made up my mind by then! I go in the side door just to avoid them!
And I'll also miss being told my name had been purged by the Republicans and not have time to do anything about it!
At least with early voting, any problems will show up in time to be fixed; just look at Florida and Colorado!
To heck with magic; I want scientific accuracy!

Posted by: jnik | October 23, 2008 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, sure... that's all charming... for someone with the time, a reliable car and good health. You make it all sound like a Fall harvest ritual complete with hot apple cider and pumpkin mousse. I can just envision the deep red Autumn leaves falling... But the fact is, many Americans live in areas where they don't feel comfortable using public transportation (I'd like to see you board an RTD bus in South Central L.A.), or they don't have the physical mobility, or they're the sole caretaker of small children, or they're working two shifts, or any number of reasons that you shouldn't pooh-pooh mail-in/absentee ballots. I know you're just waxing nostalgic about your own polling place voting memories... but it's (kinda sorta) with a holier-than-than thou attitude toward those voters that rely on the alternative.

Posted by: DogBitez | October 23, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Marie, this is the twenty-first century. Warm and fuzzy precinct voting is a nostalgia we can no longer afford except on the covers of old Saturday Evening Posts.

Experts smarter than I can calculate the carbon emissions difference between mail-in and precinct voting. In rural Colorado some ranchers and farmers would have to drive a pickup a hundred miles to vote for alternative fuels funding were in not for mail-in voting.

Ask any county clerk or election commissioner which she prefers and the answer is usually mail-in.

I have been voting mail-in for at least ten years in Colorado and enjoy the added convenience of voting naked, Just Vote!

Posted by: 2sense | October 23, 2008 4:14 AM | Report abuse

If you want to make your vote count in all the ways that matter, you can do a lot worse than absentee voting:
I sat down at my leisure in front of my computer with my ballot and a pen. [I'll have a paper trail -- no voting machine for me. I like that.]

There were some bills on the ballot I hadn't seen anything about on the news. I didn't know they were going to be there. so, I googled em -- and was able to cast an educated vote rather than try to figure out from the limited data on the ballot just what those issues were all about.

I moved to Florida only recently. I didn't know the judges [of whom 6 or 8 were up for renewal]. I googled them, too.
I discovered that one judge [on Fla's Supreme Court] had voted to appoint G.W. Bush to the office of President in 2000. He didn't bother to write an opinion. He just voted 'Yea'.
If I'd voted at the polls I wouldn't have known he was on the ballot and certainly would not have known his voting record. So, I wouldn't have been able to make an educated decision on whether I wanted to retain him in office or not.
And I wouldn't have experienced the deep sense of satisfaction I got when I blackened the 'NO' oval next to his name.

I took two days to cast my ballot. I educated myself on the issues presented.
If I still want the warm-fuzzy, I imagine I can go to the polls on November 4 and stand around. I can have a cupcake if I want one. I can feel the electricity in the air.

And, I can feel good knowing I cast the most educated vote of my life a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: twocrows | October 23, 2008 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Here in Texas, we no longer call it "absentee balloting."
We call it "Early Voting" and in my county, we can walk into any one of about a dozen places -- in convenient locations around the county.
Locations such as the county courthouse, a public library, a hall at a local city park, or a large retail business, such as a department store or a grocery store or a bank lobby, and vote.
Our election runs for 2-1/2 weeks.
It makes it so easy to vote.
At any location in the county, you check in, they note your precinct and the proper ballot is provided for the particular precinct in which you live.
You can vote electronically or, if you don't trust the machine, you can vote by paper ballot -- either way.
We also have mail-in ballots for people who are in the hospital or out of the county.
I remember the old daze, when voting was only possible on Election Day and meant standing in line, in the presidential election, for upwards of 4 hours.
Despite the many efforts Texas has set up to make voting easy and convenient, sadly, in most elections, only 20 to 30 percent of registered voters actually vote.
It's a bit higher in presidential years.
This year, we think, will be a whopper.
And yet, it was reported in the local newspaper that less people in our country are registered to vote now, than were registered to vote in 2004.
Hurricane Rita which hit 3 years ago had a real impact in a reduction in area population.
Ike has displaced a lot of people in several adjacent counties, as well.
Galveston, Texas, was hard hit this time.
It's estimated that Galveston won't return to normal for about 6 months.
Those people had to reregister before October 4 wherever they landed up, if their residence was destroyed.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | October 23, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

"It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign."
-------------------------
I really do hope you are right, Marie, but I have my doubts. Incivility, political or otherwise, has become a part of life.

Posted by: rmpatera | October 23, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, that's easy enough to say if you are fortunate enough to live someplace that has enough voting machines to ensure that you actually *can* vote on election day (unlike many minority precincts in Ohio during the 2004 election.)

Oregon, where I live, switched to vote by mail a few years back. Initially, I didn't care for the idea; I too liked the spirit of participation that comes from walking into the polling place.

But I soon got over it. Vote by mail has huge advantages. My husband and I voted this past Monday. We both sat down at the kitchen table with our ballots, two thick official voter's pamphlets from the State of Oregon, and lists of endorsements from three newspapers we respect; then we went down through the ballot and discussed each race. We were being asked to vote on several ballot measures that we weren't familiar with, and let me tell you, I'm sure glad that I had the chance to discuss them before we voted. We made up our own minds, but we also helped ensure that we made informed choices.

Maybe that's why Oregon routinely has one of the higher voter participation rates in the country -- and is one of the quickest states to report after the polls close. And if you miss the feeling of participation, you can still walk around the block to the ballot box at the neighborhood library on election day and drop your ballot in, like lots of other folks. (There are plenty of drop-off sites, you don't have to actually mail your ballot.)

Posted by: zenobia1 | October 23, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

I love the idea of voting on election day. I too, don't mind the lines. However, since I moved to Florida there are a few things that preclude me from voting on election day. First, my polling place is a fundamentalist church. Not an outer building, not a hall, the church. Since I'm sure the fundamentalists who go to that church would object to going into a mosque or Hindu temple to vote, I object to going there (even though I was raised Catholic). Second, the lines vs. work. I have an hour drive to work. If I go before work and get stuck in a line, I'm late to work (would be late anyway given the time the polls open); if I go after work -if I can make it there before the polls close, I could do it, but at what cost?

I will be voting early. It is not exactly convenient, but since they have a location open on Saturday, that is not in a religious house of worship, I'm voting early.

Posted by: puppiesandkitties | October 23, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I voted early yesterday--the third day of early voting. It took just under an hour and a half. I'm one of the lucky ones--some people have stood in line for 3 hours or more.

Judging by these lines at the dozen or so early voting sites, it would be disastrous to have all these people voting on election day as well as the voters who actually wait until election day. Forget the brownies and lemonade--there are only a finite number of voting machines, poll workers and parking spaces in large urban areas.

Absentee ballots are a totally different ball game than early voting, at least here. Absentee ballots have to be mailed ($1.00 postage) or brought in. My mom voted absentee, but I have concerns about entrusting the mail and the vote counters.

Early voting ballots are optically scanned in and (hopefully) counted. But the process is long and tedious--under our new system, early voters must have a ballot custom printed out for them, based upon their precinct and the candidates running in their district.

The ballot yesterday was 5 pages long, due to several state constitutional and county charter amendments, printed out in English (or supposedly so--the legalese as usual was convoluted and some amendments required a vote of "yes" to reject, "no" to accept, with some double negatives thrown in for good measure) as well as Spanish and Creole.

I'd gladly vote by internet, as they do in Oregon, if I could.

Posted by: profco | October 23, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

"No thanks to enfranchisement. I prefer my traditional values of minority voters being intimidated at the polls, as well as the tradition of inventing arbitrary reasons to disqualify and exclude minorities' votes. If these people vote early, that will give them way too much time to appeal to the board of elections if something goes wrong. No thanks. I want minorities voting at the last minute, waiting in long lines so that they have plenty of time to reconsider whether or not to even vote."

(Statement overheard at a McCain/Palin rally)

Posted by: Reader1000 | October 23, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign."

Yeah, maybe you can meet people like Greg3 there and find out they're real, not just internet trolls paid to spread lies by some desperate losin' campaign. And if you do, be sure to wear something bulletproof if you are to be mistaken for an Obama supporter.

Posted by: om4n | October 23, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I voted Saturday. There were no lines--apparently, there were long lines during the week. The only problem I had was with the machine--I didn't read the directions--who needs directions! I kept moving the dial in the wrong direction. Eventually, I got the hang of it and even saw a paper print-out of my ballot before submitting it. I don't care for absentee ballots either. But if you still want lines, vote early.

Posted by: Hannahjones | October 23, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh, all is not lost. No need to harken back to yesteryear. It's all still here. There's still people lurking around the early voting locations. The flyer people are still there. You even have these slices of Americana:

Jockeying for parking with elderly voters, all at 1 mph. (How long does it take to back out already?)
Confusion. (Whaddya mean I gotta fill out an absentee form! Gimme my goddamn ballot.)
The dude that menaces brown voters. (Hey buddy, you gotta be a CITIZEN to vote, y'know.)
The super-long lines.
The pissed-off conservative voters
The lefties with 800 stickers on their 1985 Volvo.

It's all still here! It's just early. But my question is, why can't we just vote early WITHOUT all the absentee nonsense? Let the polls open early and stay open. Give families and working people a weekend or more options. What's wrong with that?


Posted by: jaho | October 23, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Um, Cocco- you want to see your neighbors and buy a treat from the PTA bakesale- how about doing something in your neighborhood some time besides twice a year elections? Go to a school play, a school fair, a neighborhood meeting. You can see and talk to your neighbors there, actually see the children and be really involved.

Posted by: silverspring25 | October 23, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I live in Florida now, but I've voted in Virginia both ways. Something I won't miss is being accosted outside of the polls by the local candidates or their relatives. I suppose it happens everywhere, except at my current polling place.

Posted by: horace_simon1 | October 23, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't have an philosophical disagreements with early voting, but I like the communal feel of election day. Everyone there is exercising their constitutional rights and are active participants in the nation's business. I look forward to election day so I can finally have my say. Early voting? Nah......

Posted by: waynewitherell | October 23, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

While I enjoy the nostalgia of voting on Election Day, I prefer making sure everyone has the chance to vote as disenfranchisement and the "Help America Vote Act" which serves to do just the opposite are pretty recent developments, so I'm voting early to get the Landslide started which will trun the Reptilicans into the New Whigs!

Posted by: braultrl | October 23, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha.

I'll be voting early in Virginia this weekend. During the 2004 election, I waited in line for THREE HOURS to cast my vote. If you want to get up at the crack of dawn just to stand in an absurdly long line so you can see your neighbors, be my guest. But I think you're being ridiculous.

Posted by: _virginian_ | October 23, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I live in Wisconsin, and only moved here a few years ago, so I'll be swinging by my registrar (my small city's City Hall) to make sure I'm properly registered.

But since my polling place only votes about 6,000 people, I'll go ahead and vote on Election Day. Because with the voter registration list irregularities right now, lots of people are voting early around here. I doubt my lines will be long. If the weather's nice, I can even walk there, so hey, I get my exercise in.

What I find amazing is that there is no Federal level employment law that protects your right to vote without penalty. But here's a nice breakdown of voting employment laws by state:

http://www.wildman.com/index.cfm?fa=publications.libArticle&artid=563A5129-BDB9-4A10-54949F14613FBC9B

Only one time did I have an issue with an employer. I had told them quite clearly the Monday before I might be late as my polling place was not on my way to work, but I would be sure to make it any time lost at the end of the day. Despite going early to the polling place, there was a significant line. Combined with erratic traffic, I was late to work by about 90 minutes.

My manager started huffing and puffing about my lateness. I stopped her, looked her straight in the eye and said - "I'm late - which I told you I would be - because I voted. Shall we go to HR and discuss that?" She backed down and didn't bother anyone else about late arrivals or early departures for the rest of the day.

As for those pamphlets and things? I find them frustrating. Mostly because I find it insulting that campaigns feel I can be so easily swayed by a last minute pamphlet. Do they think every person lives in a vacuum and swing by the polls as a diversion for the day?

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 23, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Early voting is great. It minimizes the possibility of late manipulation (usually by the perceived looser).

After all, democracy is about the freedom to choose; not the freedom to manipulate.

Early voting it is not only great...it is necessary to bring some normality into the equation.

Posted by: PCM01 | October 23, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

When I still had a job and was commuting, I started voting absentee. Been doing it ever since. Now, I have no job, but still vote absentee. I do miss the social aspects of the polling place, but I see those people at the store and other places. I don't miss the line. I can sit, enjoy an adult beverage and make my decisions, then drop them in the mail.

Posted by: mischanova | October 23, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Marie,
While you're waiting in line enjoying the PTA bake sale, remember that the long lines are exactly what turn people away from the polls because they can't be late from work.

VOTE EARLY so those who must vote on the 4th have a stress-free experience.

Posted by: mbk4380 | October 23, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I definitely don’t agree with your subjective arguments for not voting early. Most people who favor in-person early voting understand the great need for this option because several voters are sick and bed ridden, expecting to give birth soon, have a planned unavoidable trip on election day, or can not afford to take off from work (even if it is only 3 hrs). Many people are strapped for time these days, and my experience voting is nothing like you’ve described. As a child, I waited with my mother endlessly for 4+ hrs just to be told that her voting place had been changed. This happened every time, and our address was permanent, and she would always check and double check before election day!
Did you know . . .
31 states allow no-excuse pre-Election Day in-person voting - either early voting on a voting machine or in-person absentee voting.
4 states and the District of Columbia require an excuse for in-person absentee voting
1 state is all vote-by mail
16 states do not allow early or in-person absentee voting
28 states allow no-excuse absentee voting by mail
22 states and the District of Columbia require an excuse to vote absentee by mail
Detailed Breakdown

http://earlyvoting.net/states/abslaws.php

Please vote for the Maryland Early Voting Measure which will appear on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Maryland. This proposed amendment to Article I of the Maryland Constitution will appear on the ballot and if we vote "YES", then next election Maryland voters may be permitted to vote early in-person.

Posted by: HalimaBlue | October 23, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me?? Really, there are more intelligent reasons for not voting early than missing out on bake sales and kids' artwork. Perhaps you are still not quite decided, or maybe want to make sure that no radically new information is provided about either candidate within the next week or two. But it's absurd to put the decision to vote early in the same category as what color is "in" right now. Please don't publish this fluff. I actually read it, thinking a useful opinion might be offered at some point. Sorely disappointed.

Posted by: Do_the_math | October 23, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Dear Miss Cocco,
Ahh, how nice for you. Sorry to disturb your June Cleaver rose-tinted world, but while you're dressing up in pearls and in your nicest new frock to socialize with the PTA moms and check out the kids paintings, other people who don't get leave or paid time off, are wasting hours to stand in line to cast their ballot to vote. Safe and secure early voting enhances the democratic process, and allows all citizens the opportunity to vote. Sorry if it doesn't meet your 1950s view of the way the world should be.
This piece should have been written for a free weekly shopper tabloid, not a presitgious paper like the Washington Post. P.S. You like the communal aspect so much, how about volunteering as a precinct worker?

Posted by: rpike | October 23, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

And I thought Sarah Palin was dumb.

Posted by: Tom-Fairfax | October 23, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Boo!!!

Every early vote cast makes it easier for another person to vote on election day, and not everyone has the time to wait in the long lines.

The decision to vote early should not be entirely about you.

Posted by: jamesdg | October 23, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh well my whole family loves the easy and
time saving factor of being able to use our
Arizona Early Ballot and oh by the way we
also all aready voted by it and I assure
you that our votes didnot go to "Barack
Obama the Wealth Spreader" and Know It All
Old Mr Big Mouth Joe Biden as we are not
going to let Obama,Biden and their ACORN
pals steal the Election in 2008!..Nor do
we want to see Obama and Nutty Nancy Pelosi
turn the USA into a Socialist and then
Communist Country as well! NOBAMA-NOBIDEN!
NO MORE Nutty NANCY PELOSI! NO DAMN DEMOCRAT SOCIALISM/COMMUNISM WITH OBAMA!

Posted by: SherryKay2004 | October 23, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I've been registered for a long time, so I am not concerned about my vote counting. Howver, in this new age of fraud / disenfranchisement, I think it is in the best interest of a new voter (and subsequently our conuntry) to vote as soon as possible after registration to ensure that his / her vote is accepted. Although votes may eventually be challenged in a close election, they can't be challeneged if they aren't accepted in the firs place. Vote early to avoid delays due to typographical erros or miscommunication or even nefarious actions out of your control.

Posted by: Rudesan | October 23, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse


Marie, you're so quaint.

Let's have some milk and cookies sometime, ok?

Meanwhile, I think you should reconsider voting early. In my case I've found it's easier to find parking.

Others have pointed out that early voting helps a citizen keep their franchise in case there's a question of identity or residence. If there is a problem, the voter has time to correct the issue. Giving up lemonade and "one last flier" is a small price to pay for this.

Oh, and one more thing. In the town I live in, we had this huge ruckus one year, the year that Harvey Gantt ran against Jesse Helms. Helms beat Gantt handily, but the funny thing is, where I live, a decidedly non-Helms kind of place, the polls were overwhelmed by the turnout and the machines broke. Some people were confused and never voted. So it matters.

So there you go. I think early voting is overall a good thing for everybody. Busy voters and stressed out election boards.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | October 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"There is something magical that happens at the polls on Election Day. It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign."

Actually, Ms. Cocco, I voted yesterday in Southeastern Colorado at City Hall and I experienced everything you mention. For the first time in my 40+ years of voting, I saw an enthusiastic electorate--not a bunch of people shuffling along in line, faces pointed toward the ground, doing what they perceive as something they have to do, not wanting to do.
I would encourage everyone to vote early to avoid the crowds and and a rushed vote that may not be easily corrected.

Posted by: hyjanks | October 23, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The majority of people I talk to still do not have confidence
in our current voting system.

In the past two elections we've seen rampant voter suppression, broken machines, HACKED machines, missing machines and missing tally cards and records.

This is a high stakes election threatening the power and wealth of a political mafia and those who benefit from
their influence.

Lobbyists will lose grip of their "inside guy" in Congress
when the elections unseat some of the old guard.

I agree, voting early can help to ease the crush, hassle and confusion on election day, but there is still great risk
of electioneering fraud with the early ballots.

We've seen how Diebold " Delivered" the results in Ohio
and probably Florida.

When vast fortunes are at stake, we must keep in mind
that a professional hacker could write his own ticket
if he were able to "Deliver" favorable results.

It's a shame we even have to think twice about it, but the 2000 and 2004 elections have shown us to NEVER drop our guard.

The government allows us to pay our taxes online with
a secure server.

We have the technology to make online voting safe and secure, but this ease of voting could too easily shift the balance of power and allow 3rd parties to gain strength.

We're up against an electioneering system meant to limit
our choices.

This election will certainly go down in history as one of the most important in a generation.

Let's hope we can get through this peacefully.

TRILLIONS of dollars are at stake, so if you're looking for motive, that's easy.

Posted by: Ogredaddy | October 23, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

This morning on MSNBC, Peggy Noonan gave the same civic group hug reason for voting the old-fashioned way. It must be nice to have a secure job and easy commute that allows plenty of time to vote. In 2004 I waited in line for 45 minutes at my precinct in Fairfax County. Four years later, I can't possibly take even that much time out of the office without risking my employer's wrath, and I expect lines to be twice as long. Get real. I'm voting early on my day off.

Posted by: greyparrot | October 23, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I always loved getting that "I Voted" sticker. Now we use all absentee in my district. I agree, there's something about voting day, something about the experience and the hassle that adds to the feeling of carrying out one's patriotic duty. I do think, though, that anything that gives more voters a chance to cast their ballot is good. I don't think Ms. Cocco was referring to early voting as a bad thing, she was just pointing out that going to the elementary school, standing in line to vote in the booth is a cherished part of the experience for her. I can understand that.

Posted by: RY59 | October 23, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Ah, yes the joy of being in line for 4 hours with stupid people who haven't read a newspaper in weeks whining on cell phones about how they are missing American Idol. Oh, the tragedy of it all!

Posted by: majorteddy | October 23, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This is something to be missed? I have found a new standard for true optimism.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 23, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I voted absentee many years ago when I was in the Navy. Generally I like the feeling of going to the polls and making my vote. I take the time to find out who the candidates are, their positions, and what ballot initiatives will be presented. Only once in more than 30 years has there been an issue (other than a line).

That said, it is unfortunate that the act of voting can be either complex or mucked up. This is our birthright as citizens and we should accord it the highest priority. However the polling is conducted in a given state, the idea that every eligible voter will be allowed to vote free of pressure or influence ought to be paramount. That it is not always so is our fault. Anyone living in a place where smooth execution of voting is not the norm should protest, take action, and ensure that all citizens will be properly accommodated in casting their ballots. Say what you will, but in a democracy like ours we hold the ultimate responsibility.

I hope you all enjoy your November 4th experience.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | October 23, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Your picture of election day sounds wonderful! I've never had the opportunity to actually vote at a poll on election day. My first four years as a voter I was in college and now I'm working far from my designated booth and I don't get election day off. Hopefully by the next election I'll have established residency where I actually live. But thank you for a brief glimpse into what it could be like!

Posted by: jennerbbenner | October 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Ummmm....I have a job. I'm striving to make a living so that I can one day spend $150,000 on clothes like that "hockey mom" "jane sixpack" "Jane the Governor" "anti-elitist" Sarah Palin.

So I have to mail my ballot and keep on punching the clock so I can one day become "average" like that Palin woman.

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | October 23, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Early voting is problematic, not so much for the lack of civic interaction that Ms. Cocco describes (though this is a valid point), but because an election campaign is about candidates having a certain amount of days to make their case, and then everyone voting under the same economic and political conditions on the same day. Imagine if many people vote early, and then something very important about a candidate is suddenly made known before election day. Many people might have voted differently, and will rightly feel that the democratic process was subverted.

It seems to me that early voting is symptomatic of a society that places such low value on voting that inadequate investment is made in voting facilities and employers are not mandated to give their employees time to vote. In many countries, voting is a day off or held on a weekend day in order to ensure that everyone has time to go and vote. This is much better than the harried voting in the U.S.

Of course, some people simply cannot be in their area to vote on election day, no matter what day it is. But, this should be a very small number of people with a significant need to be away. For those living abroad, which is 6 million to 7 million Americans, they should be able to vote on election day at their nearest embassy or consulate, so that they too vote on election day.

If this "early voting" gets carried to its logical conclusion, we will just vote anytime of the year, politicians will be on constant campaign mode, and democracy will have suffered. Indeed, it already has.

Posted by: AnonymousBE | October 23, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

So Cocco does not own a house? Or was she wealthy enough to outright purchase a house? If not, she is a hypocrite; when you get a mortgage you are buying the house on credit (or debit). She also appears to like wasting time; get your cookies elsewhere. Most of us hardworking >40-hr per week people cannot spend much time voting (I go when they open in the morning). I guess Cocco also does not have to be somewhere else other than at home on weekdays. I thing the absentee ballot is a great idea, then we don't have the rush and the screwups with the polling places; my only concern is having USPS or the government lose my absentee ballot.

Posted by: philsusan | October 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think most people vote absentee to avoid the lines - I think they do it to have some sense of control over whether their vote will be counted. The computers we're using to vote with have been proven fallible so many times now, it's a joke that we're letting that slide. I wonder if ATM machines were so unreliable, how long our society would let it slide. I'm all for the sense of community, but the sense of possible error or even fraud is not worth it.

Posted by: USA117 | October 23, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Marie,

Thank you for posting this. I'm one of the "newfangled technology" generation and I fully agree with you. I don't have a problem with all of the people who want to vote ahead of time and avoid the lines, but I appreciate the concept of civic duty and the whole American event that is getting in line to cast a secret ballot. A Presidential election is a once every four years event that I'm looking forward to. I've been eligible to vote in two past Presidential elections and was away at college for one and out of town for the other, so I'm going for my first Presidential trip to the polls and I'm expecting something much larger than its Primary or Senatorial counterparts.

Posted by: andygoldman | October 23, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I will probably find one of those reasons to vote absentee this year. In at least 2 presidential elections, I was called out of town for business and personal reasons and unable to vote. I don't even want to take the chance that if I am unable to reach a location for 10 set hours on 1 day that I will be unable to have my voice heard.

Posted by: loved1 | October 23, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The early voting in NC is just like regular voting. Sometimes we even have lines. The nice part is that you can pick the DAY to vote. You have limited sites but my day off is Friday and last week my vote for Obama was a relaxing trip to town on a beautiful fall day. I got to visit with one of the young Obama volunteers positioned with a smile and a sign, 50 feet away from the door(as prescribed by law). I had a nice stroll to Obama headquarters 100 yards past the courthouse to greet the friendly field staff and then a block further on to replenish my yard-sign stash and get a cofee/cookies fix at Democratic party HQ. That morning became a relaxing lesson in civics rather than a mad dash. No one questioned my patriotism or called me a socialist. I was greeted with smiles and words of encouragement.

Richard Hussein Anderson

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | October 23, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

even though i live in california now, i'll never forget having to walk the gauntlet down by my polling place in adams morgan. there was nothing endearing about it. we used to have "happy hour" and joke about voting while intoxicated (VWI) just to put up with the brutish boors that positioned themselves on the street in front of the polling place.
none of that crap for me anymore. i voted two weeks ago, the day after my ballot came in the mail. now, if they could just announce the results at a reasonable hour so we could get on with our lives, I'd be most appreciative. something along the lines of "survey says..." from the game show would be most excellent.

Posted by: dougbob | October 23, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I was told yesterday that in VA absentee ballots are only counted if the race is close and the number of ballots could make a difference.

Posted by: eiregoddess | October 23, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I also happen to think its magical to have your vote counted. Voting early ensures you will be able to vote and won't have to wait in long lines (Ohio 2004 ring any bells?).

Posted by: AppeaseThis | October 23, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Funny article by Cocco but dismaying number of people who whine about standing in line. If you haven't voted absentee and your job is so important you can't take time to vote, get another job or take yourself less serious: You’re just not that important. If you're just stressed about the time lost and the "inconvenience" of voting, get a life.

My election stresses evaporated in 2000-2001 when I saw Bosnians WALKING up to 10 miles to vote and again in 2004 during the elections in Iraq. If you still feel the need to whine, take a sip on your chai latte and keep your vapid self-centered Ugly-American idiosincasies to yourself.

Posted by: feholder | October 23, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Voting early these days insures that your vote will be counted.

After months and months of information, good or bad being reported, debates and conventions. It's time to vote.

No chances of some glitch at the voting site. No problems with your name suddenly not on the list or some other twist. Our under funded election system has done the one thing it could do, allow mail in votes and early voting. Cost savings is something and conservative should be able to understand.

Does Denver or Ohio and standing in line for 8 hours to vote ring a bell?

Posted by: nstein1 | October 23, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 23, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

If I might propose a simple solution, which would solve not only the time/line problem, but the problem of having a national election called before the polls close in the west:

Open all of the polls in the country at 7AM EST on Saturday. Close them at 4 PM Hawaii time on Sunday. Allow each state to provide for an 8 hour closing time of their choosing over night.

This would spread out the voting time in such a way that not only would there be more time to vote, but there would not be the current pre-work, lunchtime, post work rushes. Also, this might provide a reasonable time to work out any glitches.

Just a humble thought.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 23, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL orangefh !! You said exactly what I was thinking.

Posted by: h0ldem | October 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I know it's different here, but there is no difference between early voting and election day voting in Florida other than early voting sites are not precinct specific. The ballots are generated on the fly based upon your address. You cast the same ballot, they just aren't pre-printed.

Other than that, everything is exactly the same. The ballots are scanned into the same machines and tallied (by precinct) but results not reported until Election Day. They aren't withheld like absentee ballots for close election tally only.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of early voting because modern society doesn't allow for everyone to participate during an 8-12 hour window. I'm fortunate enough that my job has the flexibility to allow me to vote on Election Day itself (even if I had to use some leave) but 20 years ago, when I was a young voter, my work schedule was much less forgiving. As a result, I worked through a couple elections.

In addition, with an expected turnout of 150% of 2004's previous record turnout, this allows the waits to be more reasonable: 1-2 hours. I don't know that a one day vote could even handle the expected volume of voters during normal poll hours this time around.

Posted by: rmiller19 | October 23, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The last time I went to voting place was 1986.

I value my time and have no interest in the circus that surrounds getting from my door into a booth to vote.

For me absentee is the only way to vote.

Posted by: redleaf2k | October 23, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, I can't understand the reaction to this one. All she's saying is that going up to the polls on election day has something special about it. I'm dirt poor with a full-time job and shaky transportation too, so I'll be walking there and plan to arrive as soon as the place is open. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to walk, procure transportation, get through their neighborhood to the polling place, and so on--I know that, I'm sure Ms. Cocco knows that. I don't want to ever ban absentee voting, but it is such a crime to say I like voting on election day? People have gone nuts.

Posted by: schala1 | October 23, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Voting early is a "new fad?" Really? Well Miss Fuddy-Duddy, may you buy lots of PTA cookies and enjoy the "civil discourse" of voters complaining about waiting in line for possibly hours since nostalgia kept you from helping out the commonwealth and voting early. It's not intended to be the "new black." Va is trying to prevent what happened in Ohio last presidential election.

But, go ahead and giggle and kerfaw at the latest neighborhood gossip as you clutch your pearls.

Also, you might want to bring a folding chair.

Posted by: orson72 | October 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"There is something magical that happens at the polls on Election Day. It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign."

No, what it means is A) being subjected to crazies yelling at you at the outer perimeter of where campaigning is not allowed and b) being an easier target in case extremists on either side lose their minds and start mowing down voters. I'm not trying to be paranoid but passions are so high -- worse than 2000 or 2004 -- that this could happen.

Besides, I voted absentee in September, and it felt good to get my vote in then, and there.

Posted by: jscraig81 | October 23, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I agree with Ms. Cocco. What's the point of having an "Election Day" if a good percentage of people have voted already? What happens if something changes your mind between the time you vote and that Election Day? And last but not least, it's truly exciting to vote in a presidential election, and this year that's even more true than ever.

Posted by: AZANNE | October 23, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I have not missed an election since moving to Oregon 8 years ago. The state mailed the ballot to my house. Just finished it last night and I am going to drop it off today at the library today.

For those states which don't have mail in voting, you just don't get it.

Posted by: YUTZ | October 23, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I voted early last week in Ohio. Since I live in a college town, it was fun to stand in line with so many students who also wanted to vote early, and talk about the election. If I waited till election day, I'd see no students at all beause of where I vote. The young people are energizing this whole election, and you can't help but feel their hope.

Posted by: fink | October 23, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Cocco,

All the things you say you'll miss on election day don't have to be missed! Even if you vote early, you could still go to your polling place and chat with neighbors and peruse the children's handiwork. Maybe you could help out at the bake sale table.

Which election days in the past 8 years do you think were "the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign"? What leads you to believe this one will be different?

How is 1 day every 2 (or 4) years a "renewal of civic culture"? It might be a reminder of a lost time, and a good fun time (if you're fortunate enough to be able get enough time off from work to do it), but it doesn't seem much of a renewal.

I suppose anything seems possible for a person who describes children's art, bake sales, catching up with neighbors you've been avoiding for years and voting itself as "something magical".

Posted by: Zarathustra1 | October 23, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed a trend in the past few elections. Many people in the precinct requested absentee ballots, but almost everyone on the roster who did so showed up to hand in the ballot personally. I think maybe three people mumbled something about missing the mail-in deadline, but like the others, they soon were chatting with the neighbors and enjoying the craziness.

I think there is a social necessity to elections. It is truly inclusive (no allegations of fraud, please!); young, old, rich, poor, all colors, all backgrounds -- everyone stands in line, signs in, and casts his or her vote.

It brings out the best and worst of people. During the primary in February, at the height of the insanity, a young voter jammed one of the recorders, pulling one of the Democratic booths out of service. She was embarrassed and started to cry, but the next person in line -- an older woman -- just smiled, told her it was okay, and motioned her to the next available booth.

I'll admit the worst is something people seldom see -- people who have been on the hop since 6:00 a.m. attempting to break down a polling place and count and sort ballots at 9:30 at night. Nor do they see the Inspector and a hapless clerk, sitting in the car with a trunkload of election supplies and the precious red box and green stripe envelope clutched tightly until handed off to the official -- usually about 11:45 p.m.

I love election days, even if it takes me a week to recover. I love the process, I love the people, and I especially love that magic moment when I open the door and state that, "The polls are now OPEN."

Everyone vote!

Posted by: brideyfearn | October 23, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Cocco! I'm lucky enough to live in a community and state where I know my vote will be counted if I vote on election day and the sense of being part of a communal event can't be beat.

This election has been a marathon of epic proportions and to me, it'd feel like cheating to take an early exit.

I know all the arguments being made for voting early and support all of them. If you can, please do so...we need every vote counted.

But I can't wait to get up early on 11/4 go stand in line, and add one more vote for change in 2008.

12 days and counting...

Go Obama, go Biden!

Posted by: ethanquern | October 23, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Easy solution: vote early, then volunteer on election day, either as a poll worker, one of those who hands out the flyers, or even to drive the elderly and less fortunate to their polling places. That way you can get that special feeling all day long, and not have to worry about poor planning screwing you out of your chance to vote.

The more people vote early, the less likely we are to see problems at the polls. Working the election is a valid excuse for early voting, as well as a civic one.

Posted by: dj333 | October 23, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, all your romantic feelings about "Election Day" are noted. But I live in Ohio, and I went to vote early yesterday in Akron. I have to say that the system they have in place in my county was well administered, orderly and the verification process for voters was simple and yet still gave me the feeling that fraud at the polls here would be difficult to perpetrate.

Our Secretary of State, now a Democrat, has been challenged by the GOP in the courts. But thus far all legal objections have been overcome and I believe she will be vindicated. The outrageousness of the GOP's attempts to stifle early voting here in NE Ohio is comical and so ironic. We made national news in 2004 with that scoundrel of a Sec of State, Ken Blackwell. If anyone has any doubts about how true fraud was committed then, there are many sources that can verify this such as Robt. F Kennedy Jr.'s research on that election.

Posted by: gwymer | October 23, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The bottleneck caused by one day voting is an invitation for voter intimidation and, historically, has been used that way. Just as the secret ballot was an improvement over a show of hands, vote by mail improves turnout and participation. Oregon has had all mail-in ballots and has one of the highest levels of voter participation in the country.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 23, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Cocco is a raving, reverse-sexist fanatical freak. She's waiting in vain for something to happen so that Hillary ends up as the nominee. I'm sure she regards everyone who early-votes as SEXIST, since she's slapped that label on everything else on the planet.

Posted by: uh_huhh | October 23, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it's more fun to vote on election day. But I decided yesterday to cast my ballot early, since it seems important to try to lessen the chaos and chances for foul ups that a big crush on Nov. 4 could bring. If Cocco has to hold out until the Big Day, I'm glad at least that it's on account of atmospherics--and not because she's one of these morons who say that they simply can't decide yet for whom to vote.

Posted by: greener_pastures | October 23, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

There is 'magic' about going to the polls to vote and its why I now have 2 adult children who vote. When they were old enough, I took them to the polls and we discussed the process. Its important to teach the next generation.
California is a progressive state and employers are obligated by state law to allow time for employees to vote, either arriving late or leaving early. Now that we're retired, we work the polls and vote by mail as it is too busy at the poll to leave for any length of time.
Whatever your politics (even if they are not mine), VOTE!

Posted by: Pennies | October 23, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

My son is working at the polls (too young to vote) as a paid poll judge, but I dropped my absentee ballot off last week.

It's too important to let the Socialist Republicans steal it on election day. Step AWAY from my ballot, Comrades!

Posted by: WillSeattle | October 23, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Back in the 1930's, the "liberal" media outlets supported the socialist Hitler and trashed the conservatives.

Today, the "liberal" media outlets support the socialist Obama and trash the conservatives.

But, here is the difference. Hitler came to power and Obama will not.

Anyway, the most disturbing thing is that the "liberal" (in fact, they are godless socialists) media outlets are in the tank of the party of hate, racism, slavery, intimidation, and violence -- the Democrats.

Setting the Record Straight (part 1)
http://www.freedomsjournalmagazine.com/blog/?p=207

The President Who Stole Christmas! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doChINcDTJU

The Antichrist Has Come! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7vh5LJjJhc

Posted by: loan4ever | October 23, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

What an inane piece. Form follows function, and the form of voting early greatly enhances the function voter turnout. That's the point, not cupcakes.

Posted by: eaconnor1 | October 23, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

You know, I wish the rest of us got to live in your world.

People aren't voting absentee or early by the thousands because they're too lazy to line up on election day, or because they don't like having cookies with their neighbors. They're doing it because they literally DON'T BELIEVE THEIR VOTES WILL BE COUNTED.

That's an astonishingly toxic thing for a democracy - far beyond what will be fixed by all showing up at the same elementary school on Nov. 4. It's the act of people who don't believe in that community ritual anymore. The proper response is not to go on about how nice it used to be back in the good old days when they actually counted the votes.

Posted by: trennel | October 23, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see any "renewal of civic culture" at that polling place in North Carolina where the (mostly white) McCain supporters were harrassing the (mostly African-American) early voters.

All the movies that Hollywood makes about friendly aliens able to communicate with and understand humans make me laugh -- especially in light of the fact that I can't even understand the human who wrote this article. Why on EARTH would you not want to vote absentee if you could? I can get my "renewal of civic culture" just fine by mail, thank you -- and possibly avoid a bunch of nutjob protesters in the process.

Posted by: dmajunk | October 23, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I like the Election Day ambience myself, but then I live in an area where the polls are adequately staffed, and since I've been self-employed I don't have to worry about when to take off work. So I've glad that others who aren't so lucky have other options. And from the looks of the reported early voting, it appears that this will likely result in a record turnout of first time voters. What's not to like about this?

Posted by: andym108 | October 23, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

This article is 400 kinds of silly. When on average less than 50% of eligible US voters bother to cast a ballot anything that increases a voter's options is welcome. I am on permanent absentee and when I receive my ballot I spend plenty of time reviewing my choices and researching any candidates or ballot measures I am undecided on. If I was forced to go to a polling place I would almost certainly be less informed than I am under the current system.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | October 23, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

for a country that has been force feeding others to become US stykle democracies we have always found the actual way you vote and the diofferences everywhere very funny....and here we go again...down in Oz it is compulsory - so firstly we find the fact less then half the people vote for yoyur leader a bit of worry... I mean you just have to convince 50-51% or more of the people that vote you are right and you in - minority government - also the introduction of computer votes only and no paper checks is scary...could go on with little points...but the thing I am finding really funny (apart from Mc cains campaign)is the republicans who have trumpted on about them only dealing with deomcratic leaders (yeh yeh hypocracy everywhere on that one ) and are looking to spread democracy to the middle east etc - send election scutineers to make sure other copuntries are not rigging ballots - are now the ones running about worrying about the new increase in voter registartion after years of little voter interest and turnout - and I break up huge when idiots like SherryKay2004 say that the dems and ACORN are stealing the election - are you upset as this may be Karma for the masters of rigged elections - the Republicans - Rememebr 2000....but I thinkwe will see the masters at faking democracy and stealing elections do it again...careful - the republicans had a taste of totalitarianism through Bush - War fear and paranoia...they want to stay in power and continue to erode a great country freedom and democracy....they only like denmocracy if you vote the way you are told....now Sherry also brings out the old Mc Carthyism tactic Mc cain is desperastely trying no - getting very ignorant people to fear and be paranoid about communists and socialists...any under your bed Sherry????? or to crammed with all your other fears to fit that old comeback in.

Lets flash back to cold war rhetoric with John and Sarah... now I remember Chairman Mao using patriotism and small rural folk and towns to HATE and attack the intellectuals the elistists and the urbanites and hyped up people in to create the CULTURAL REVOLUTION - with the Gang of four....the republicans are the new totalitarian socialists in disguise and have started a cultural revolution with their own gang of four - BUSH/CHENEY/MC CAIN/ROVE and imperial lap dog Palin....
Get the neo cons out of the GOP and get the good ol party and democracy back - make sure you vote - or watch the geriatric totalitarion bigots continue to destroy a great country

Posted by: colinemery | October 23, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

What "last flier"? I'm sorry, but if your vote for a candidate is contingent on a flier someone hands you near a polling place (isn't that illegal?), you need to stay the fudge away from the election altogether. Democracy WILL go on without you, the ill-informed and easily swayed citizenry.

Feel free to browse the bake sale, however.

Posted by: fake1 | October 23, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Cocco--I too shared many of your sentiments. I did not want to miss the excitement of election day, but then I read the comments of a woman much younger but far wiser than myself. She noted that, like myself, she was fortunate enough to have lots of time to vote on election day. However, her concern was for those less fortunate in terms of time and downstream of her in line. While she had time to burn, those behind her might not. By not voting early and freeing up the lines for those with less free time, she feared she might inadvertently cause someone not to vote. No level of voting day excitement can justify the risk of another's uncast vote. Early voting started last Thursday in my state and I voted Friday--thanks to a much wiser woman who was young enough to be one of my college students.

Posted by: fandeck | October 23, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Yep, voting on election day is nice. You see your neighbors again. But this year I am glad I could vote early. I did, before I had to quickly leave Arizona for cancer operations and treatment in Houston. I don't think I'll be back before election day, so I am glad I could vote early.

Posted by: BisbeeAZ | October 23, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Voting is a civic rite, and going to the polls on election day is ritural behavior on the part of American citizens. Gathering at the local polling place reinforces the notion that we vote for what we believe to be the "common good." Ritual behavior reinforces the notion of community and sociatal responsibility. Mail-in voting exacerbates the isolation of individuals in a society where such isolation is prevalent.

Just as we have religious ritual behavior (in Christianity, the sacraments represent ritural behavior, and in Judaism, one find at Bar Mitzvah as a rituatl behvior. I'm sure that other religions also have such rituals too),we also have social rituals (teens getting their driver's licenses, birthday parties, etc). These rituals are an important part of the lives of groups of people. Civic rituals are no less important and should be undertaken with a sense of celebration. As American citizens, we have both the right and the responsibility to vote. I think that we should do that together, on election day, at the polls. In fact, I heard an interesting the other day from someone who also believed in the importance of voting at the polling place. This person suggested that Election Day be a national (and paid) holiday so that everyone would be able to go to the polls together. I think that this idea is a grand one!

Posted by: marmac5 | October 23, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to see that last flier. That's why I voted early so I would not be affected by some last minute whim or more likely some last minute propaganda from the Republicans. I fully expect them to generate some instability or crisis (large or not so large or fabricated).

Posted by: repudar711 | October 24, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

So what has this coo-coo WAPO writer got
against many disabled and elderly folks,
who could not even vote,with out early
ballots or absentee ballots? She sounds
like another WAPO OBAMA Shil trying to
depress the real legit vote so ACORN &
Messiah Barack Hussein Obama can steal
the election and is totally out of touch
with reality so WAPO put this coo-coo
cocco back in her coo-coo clock!

Posted by: sandylong5274 | October 24, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Obama ‘Morally Justified’ for Votes Against Helping Aborted Babies Born Alive, Say Dems

Posted on Friday, October 24, 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was morally justified to oppose legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would have ensured that a child who survives a failed abortion received medical attention, according to Democratic leaders.
While in the Illinois Senate, Obama opposed three bills that proposed protection in three different legislative votes, a decision that Republican presidential candidate John McCain said was wrong in the last presidential debate.
After the debate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that Obama did the right thing and defended his position.
Watch the Video.
“If you looked at those little meters, McCain lost that debate,” Schumer told CNSNews.com. “Most Americans are pro-choice. Most Americans don’t want to repeal Roe v. Wade, and I thought Obama was great there. He had his views but he was very respectful of the other side. Sometimes the left is a little too condescending to the other side.”
Earlier this month, CNSNews.com Editor-in-Chief Terry Jeffrey reported that, in 2001, Illinois State Senator Patrick O’Malley introduced three bills to the legislature. One said that if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present “to assess the child’s viability and provide medical care.”
Another bill gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child’s rights. A third bill said that a baby alive after “complete expulsion or extraction from its mother” would be considered a “person, ‘human being,’ ‘child’ and ‘individual.’”
Obama voted against all three.
During the last presidential debate, Obama responded to McCain’s allegation that his votes aligned him with the most “extreme aspect of the pro-abortion movement in America.”
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born”. Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: 4elise | October 24, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama ‘Morally Justified’ for Votes Against Helping Aborted Babies Born Alive, Say Dems

Posted on Friday, October 24, 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was morally justified to oppose legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would have ensured that a child who survives a failed abortion received medical attention, according to Democratic leaders.
While in the Illinois Senate, Obama opposed three bills that proposed protection in three different legislative votes, a decision that Republican presidential candidate John McCain said was wrong in the last presidential debate.
After the debate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that Obama did the right thing and defended his position.
Watch the Video.
“If you looked at those little meters, McCain lost that debate,” Schumer told CNSNews.com. “Most Americans are pro-choice. Most Americans don’t want to repeal Roe v. Wade, and I thought Obama was great there. He had his views but he was very respectful of the other side. Sometimes the left is a little too condescending to the other side.”
Earlier this month, CNSNews.com Editor-in-Chief Terry Jeffrey reported that, in 2001, Illinois State Senator Patrick O’Malley introduced three bills to the legislature. One said that if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present “to assess the child’s viability and provide medical care.”
Another bill gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child’s rights. A third bill said that a baby alive after “complete expulsion or extraction from its mother” would be considered a “person, ‘human being,’ ‘child’ and ‘individual.’”
Obama voted against all three.
During the last presidential debate, Obama responded to McCain’s allegation that his votes aligned him with the most “extreme aspect of the pro-abortion movement in America.”
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born”. Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: 4elise | October 24, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS A MONSTER FOR VOTING TO MANDATE THE MURDER OF LITTLE INFANTS, BORN ALIVE, HAVING SURVIVED AN ABORTION ATTEMPT!
NO ONE WHO VOTES LIKE THIS CAN POSSIBLY RESPECT THE LIFE OF OTHERS. EVER.
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born”. Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: 4elise | October 24, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Wow this was suppose to be a happy - non party article! Why the heck can people not see that!?

Posted by: repub4life | October 24, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Catholic Bishop Rene H. Gracida Releases Radio Ad Stating no Catholic can Vote for Barack Obama in Good Conscience
Contact: Randall Terry, 904-687-9804
MEDIA ADVISORY, October 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today - perhaps in an eleventh hour answer to prayer for the unborn - Bishop Rene H. Gracida has released a stunning radio ad concerning Catholics voting for Barack Obama. His ad is recorded in English and Spanish.
Bishop Gracida boldly states:
"This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate."
The commercial can be heard in English and Spanish at www.randallterry.com.
Bishop Gracida has offered this radio spot without charge for all who want to use it. All faithful Catholics are invited to download the mp3 file, and place this ad on their local radio station(s).
They must simply contact their local radio station(s), and pay for the ad as an "independent expenditure." The station can download the audio file to play on the radio. The mp3 file is also available at www.randallterry.com.
Moreover, permission is granted for the ad to be downloaded, sent as a file, or posted on any web site in America.
If this ad receives the airplay it deserves, it could sink Obama's campaign by jolting Catholic voters back to their senses and moorings. Over 50% of Catholic voters have been seduced into ethical quicksand by errant Catholics who are partisan supporters of Obama and have betrayed the lives of innocent unborn children.

Posted by: 4elise | October 24, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

So,does anyone else think this Ms Cocco is
just another WAPO Coo-Coo like I do? As
I already sent my own early ballot back in
and add my vote to those that did not vote
for Senator "Spread The Weslth" Barack
Hussein Obama and the other third rated
most out of touch with reality Democrat
in the US Senate Mouthy Joe Biden either.

Since Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden
along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Harry
Reid will destroy our democracy and replace
it with their Liberal Socialist Democrat
Version of Communism,if they win in 2008.

Posted by: claudinelong | October 25, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I live in the United Kingdom. I - along with millions of other Americans living overseas from active duty military, state dept employees and civilians abroad - would have no other means of voting if not for absentee ballots.

Abandoning it so you can feel more in touch with small town values is ridiculous.

Posted by: BlixaBling | October 25, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

While in the military, I voted absentee twice (2000 and 2004) in the state of Georgia, for President Bush. This year, I am a civilian, living in the swing state of Colorado, and I was pleased to see the early voting. For a Conservative (and I don't know your ideology, as I'm a fairly new Post reader) we prefer the quiet, humble experience of simply casting our vote. Liberals like to yell, scream, protest, and interrupt speeches (when's the last time you ever heard a Conservative get up and scream during a Liberal's speech?), but Conservatives just vote.

www.offeringcommonsense.blogspot.com

Posted by: Baldeagle79 | October 25, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I just can not bring myself to vote for a man who has only 147 days under his belt as a Senator. Talk is cheap, my vote isn't.

Posted by: Georgiapeac21556 | October 25, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I for one vote absentee, I have the right to vote but as we have a semi for a living and my dad dying 150 miles away, I cannot know for a fact that I will be here that 1 day and I want my VOTE to count, this is a right I was born with and intend to keep it a right.

Posted by: djmiller1 | October 25, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

A poster asked: "Who came up with the idea, anyway, of having us vote only on Tuesdays?"

From http://www.massvote.org/docs/Policy_TOV_Why_Vote_on_Tuesday-what_are_other_options.pdf?docID=1308

"The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was picked to accommodate male farmers in the largely farming society of the early 1800s.

It was a good day after the harvest when farmers would have plenty of time to go to the polls. After observing Sunday as a day of rest, farmers used Monday to travel to often far away voting sites for the Tuesday vote."

So why are we still applying early 19th century paramaters to a 21st century reality?

Posted by: TrentinaNE | October 25, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually, in Northern Virginia at least, there are lines up to 2 hours at some of the absentee voting locations. So you could still experience some of that same feeling of getting to see your neighbors, talk to friends, etc. (This is not the case in every instance, but it has been known to happen recently.)

For those readers who are unable to stand in line for 2, 3 or 4 hours on election day because of work, volunteer or other obligations, I found the process pretty quick and satisfying and it still fulfilled the need I had to feel that my voice was heard and I was truly participating in Democracy.

Beautiful.

Posted by: pittgirly | October 25, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I just voted early (under Virginia's walk-in absentee voting provisions), and I think you are quite wrong. I don't feel I missed out on civic culture one bit. Granted, it wasn't at the elementary school, and there was no bake sale, but there was also no shortage of pride in what we were there for. The line was about an hour wait, and so that gave us plenty of time to chat with neighbors, and even some sore feet. One man had back trouble, and was clearly having difficulty standing that long, and I was very pleased to see how helpful and considerate my fellow citizens were in trying to help him through. Everyone was polite, and most people thanked the volunteers working there as they picked up their "I voted" stickers.

A number of my friends now have also voted early, for various reasons, and we are all enjoying our ability to participate in the civic culture of a country that actually lets everyone express their honest opinion on who should run this country. What should matter is not *how*, or even *when*, but rather the fact that we did.

Posted by: musafira | October 25, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

With millions of new voters the early voting allowed by some states eases the burden on the poll station staff. The blocks long waits of up to two hours in Florida shows the extent of the vote. The more people that vote the worse it is for the Republican party as most of the new voters registered Democrat. WI, OH, PA, VA,and FL may have more prejudice than an OR, WA, or CA, but the pocketbook issues and new jobs in auto and alternative energy will bump up the rust belt. VA Republicans selecting the lowest possible denominator have turned the state blue. A certain pride in their people is to be admired. Wrong and right is a moral question, not a legal one. Which holds true for McCain's campaign and troopergate. Obama held a summit of financial experts, McCain called for firing Cox. The polls are too high I believe in PA and WI for Obama as the rural areas don't get polled like the rest. His lead is significant and beyond the margin of error in PA. Having Senator Casey speak his pro life views at the Democratic convention spoke of inclusion in Obama's government. PA has noticed.

Posted by: jameschirico | October 25, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I was approached the other day by some volunteers try to convince me to vote early and my reply was, I will take pleasure waiting in-line to vote. Of course my vote will not change unless it comes out my candidate is into trafficking babies and kicks puppies for fun.

Posted by: Swing-Voter | October 26, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually I love voting early. Much more convenient. I never went to vote for the "social" experience or cookies. For many years it was because I had a job so early voting was the best solution. I voted early this year again. Stood in line and even then had some idiot man holding a Republican voting guide yell at me:"I hope you voted the right way!" Sheesh, not what I expected to hear and certainly wouldn't want to hear some of the garbage that gets tossed around on Nov. 4th. Funny, the nostalgia for hanging around in outrageous lines seems to come from my more Republican friends. Well, that's their problem---living in the June Cleaver past and completely misunderstanding the future. Things do change.

Posted by: itsanyoneguess | October 26, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ralphsphnx of AZ. I too live in AZ, Veteran and Sr. Citizen. My family and I have already voted and I guess we cancelled your vote out. You see I am the same age as John McCain, I don't have the energy it will take to be the next President and John dosen't either. Palin needs to get some real education, not Alaska lite. Sure don't want her for President. Talk about being tested, we sure would with Palin as President.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: PSDutch | October 26, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama ‘Morally Justified’ for Votes Against Helping Aborted Babies Born Alive, Say Dems
CNS News ^ | 10/24/08 | Nicholas Ballasy


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was morally justified to oppose legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would have ensured that a child who survives a failed abortion received medical attention, according to Democratic leaders.

While in the Illinois Senate, Obama opposed three bills that proposed protection in three different legislative votes, a decision that Republican presidential candidate John McCain said was wrong in the last presidential debate.

After the debate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that Obama did the right thing and defended his position.

Watch the Video.

“If you looked at those little meters, McCain lost that debate,” Schumer told CNSNews.com. “Most Americans are pro-choice. Most Americans don’t want to repeal Roe v. Wade, and I thought Obama was great there. He had his views but he was very respectful of the other side. Sometimes the left is a little too condescending to the other side.”

Earlier this month, CNSNews.com Editor-in-Chief Terry Jeffrey reported that, in 2001, Illinois State Senator Patrick O’Malley introduced three bills to the legislature. One said that if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present “to assess the child’s viability and provide medical care.”

Another bill gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child’s rights. A third bill said that a baby alive after “complete expulsion or extraction from its mother” would be considered a “person, ‘human being,’ ‘child’ and ‘individual.’”

Obama voted against all three.

During the last presidential debate, Obama responded to McCain’s allegation that his votes aligned him with the most “extreme aspect of the pro-abortion movement in America.”

Posted by: 4elise | October 26, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This was a message from a highly decorated and one of the most respected intelligence agents in the world. His last warning words to his beloved country before he died last month.
Remember what I said. It is true and part of a misinformation plan is to make the truth look paranoid. Just look around and see the media and DNC parroting the party line. The Christian Religion is evil. Homosexual is normal. Patriotism evil. Rebellion and changing the Constitution normal. Disarm the citizens normal. NRA and hunters evil. The Military and heroes evil. Anti military and ridicule heroes normal. Success and hard work evil. The government owes me normal. Shocking this is right out of the handbook of communist and Islamic terrorism guides to revolution and over throwing a country. Schools teach the government is evil and socialism utopia normal. Divide the races through agitators and media. Destroy marriage and the families. The state is the parent. Call evil good and smear and destroy good. Look at the Hollywood crowd. McCarthy was right and history has proven it. They flock around dictators and tyrants Chavez, Castro, Iranian, and Syrians. Wake up and vote for McCain if you want freedom. After 40 years of Intelligence service I can just say look and watch. Look at Obama’s friend’s Islamic Marxists terror operatives. Rev. Wright Marxist preacher of Racist Hate and division. William Ayers Marxist radical terrorist. Farrakhan Muslim Marxist. Research the hidden years at Columbia University. Also the overseas trips. Victor Marchenco, Mohamud Kioj, Sayad Kael, Fhaad Hussan these are a few of the Islamic and KGB friends who financed and open doors here through contacts. I am not long for this earth. A Terminal Sickness has attached to me. I want to warn my beloved country.

Colonel on your above post that was prophetic from the intelligence agent. My son was the Lt.in charge of his funeral honors at Arlington in Sept. What a hero and great man he was. My son said their were leaders from all over the world to pay him honors. The most touching he said were the members of government from the former USSR countries that were liberated. They kissed and wept over his coffin, The insults on this blog over this great hero are a disgrace. You would not last more than 10 seconds spitting out your poisoned hate before thoese who honored him

Posted by: 4elise | October 26, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS A MONSTER FOR VOTING TO MANDATE THE MURDER OF LITTLE INFANTS, BORN ALIVE, HAVING SURVIVED AN ABORTION ATTEMPT!
NO ONE WHO VOTES LIKE THIS CAN POSSIBLY RESPECT THE LIFE OF OTHERS. EVER.
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born”. Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: 4elise | October 26, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

“I think Senator Obama made it very clear where he stands on the issue of abortion,” said Dean. “This is a personal decision that the government does not have the right to make but,
If an alive baby outside the womb is still a "personal decision", then that should give me the right to eliminate anyone I so personally chose at any stage of life, since they have become an inconvenience?
Congressmen like these are an inconvenience.

Posted by: 4elise | October 26, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Why the heck do we even have an "election day" anymore?

What's happening to our country?

There is a reason for having one definite day for voting. What if there is some major revelation discovered about one of the candidates? Those who voted already can't change their votes now, can they?

With one definite day for voting, the campaigning continues up till that day, with the possibility of voters changing their minds.

And with registering and voting on the same day, boy is that ripe for fraud!

Posted by: SeekTruth | October 26, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

We have had mail in ballots in Oregon for several years now. When we first started, I missed going to the neighborhood school to vote, but now I am perfectly content to mail it in or take it to the library where they mail it is picked up so you don't have to stamp it. I can do it at my leisure and I don't have to worry about some machine buggering up my vote and I'm proud my state didn't spend the money on those unreliable machines. I already voted, so now all I have to do is wait for the results.

Posted by: gordon7 | October 27, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

4elise: You are obviously for McCain, but that doesn't mean you have to try to demonize his opponent. There is no point refuting your allegations because they are not logical.

Posted by: gordon7 | October 27, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

So, is this WAPO Obama Shill Coo-Coo the
empty coconut deliberately trying to con
voters into not using early ballot or
absentee ballot just to make sure Messiah
Barack Hussein Obama and his obnoxious
sidekick motor mouth old loser Joe Biden
steal the election by depressed vote totals
or what? Just Remeber what Chicago Mayor
Richard Daley once said "Vote Early and
Vote Often" and make sure your vote goes
to John McCain and Sarah Palin!

This is breaking news on Arizona tv news,
"Early Ballot Results Are Showing A Very
Tight Race With Obama Only Leading McCain
By Less Then One Percent Of The 37% Percent
Of Arizona Voters Early Ballot Counted So
Far!" So oh my where did WAPO/ABC The
Disneyland Poll 11% Obama Lead Go Now!
So just get used to it as it will be
President John McCain and Vice Preseident
Sarah Palin in 2008! And Barack Hussein
Obama and Joe Biden and ACORN will end up
in jail for trying to Illegal Steal The
2008 Election After Obama couldn't buy it!
NOBAMA/NOBIDEN! NO STOLEN ELECTIONS!

Posted by: sandylong5274 | October 27, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Good work, orangefh! (October 22, 2008 8:35 PM)

If Marie Cocco wants to catch up with her neighbors, a nice telephone call would be a better way to do it, rather than clogging up a polling place with an extended gab fest.

Having worked as a poll monitor in the 2004 election, I've seen multiple cases of people who show up at the polls and are not able to vote because there has been some clerical error regarding their registration.

Had they applied for an absentee ballot, they could have resolved whatever the error was in time to vote.

One lady showed up a few minutes before the polls closed, only to find that her polling place was waaay on the other side of town. We figured out - too late! - that there were two streets with identical names on opposite sides of town!

And these are just everyday innocent errors that have nothing to do with efforts to suppress the vote!

So if you care about your vote, please ignore Marie Cocco's advice!

(I seem to recall that Marie Cocco was not only a fervent supporter of Senator Clinton in the primaries, she was also a fervent detractor of Senator Obama. Is it possible that Cocco is now trying to throw her own miniscule monkey wrench into the Obama campaign's efforts in Virginia?)

Posted by: HughBriss | October 27, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

we are not absentee.

we are omnipresent, and voting with mouseclicks. with ballots walked to the big black boxes. with dollars spent and withheld.


we're present and being the change.

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 27, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

i recall cocco calling texas for hillary the day the caucuses were added to the primaries....

pre maries, hail marie.


obama won the delagate count of texas.

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 27, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Colours? Whining? Lists of all the wrong reasons to vote on election day? So what's the point of this op-ed? The "absentee" ballot process involves paper that is verifiable and relatively easy to tabulate. I live in COlorado where we are encouraged to ask for a mail-in ballot. We don't even call them"absentee" anymore. And the electronic machines! Don't get me started on the bugs, the possibility of hacking, the unreliability, the lack of a paper trail for recounts, etc. Come on. Stick with purple. That's the most important point of this posting. You betcha.

Posted by: raiffer | October 27, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

So what is this coo-coo clock Cocco real
motives to write an idiotic piece of total
crap like this one? Or is this OBAMA Shill
trying a weird way to Suppress the Early
Ballot and Absentee Voting Since It Has
Always Gone REPUBLICAN now then? Just Say
NO to this WAPO Empty Cocoanut Cocco and
as Mayor Daley Said "Vote Early And Vote
Often"for John McCain and Sarah Palin,
I would add.This Country Cannot Afford To
Elect A Socialist/Marxist/Communist Liberal
Democrat Looney Toons Like Secret Muslim
Manchurian Candidate Fake Messiah Loser
Barack Hussein Obama and that old jerk
Joe Big Mouth Biden! McCain/Palin 2008!

Posted by: sandylong5274 | October 27, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Colinemery, too bad you did not learn how to WRITE in schoo. Guess they were too busy teaching you to PASS THE TESTS. SHAME. Do you think anyone would take you seriously as you try to re-write history?
You may just get what you deserve!!

Posted by: annnort | October 27, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Seektruth, the Mighty One wants his followers to vote early? Scare you? Scares me.

Posted by: annnort | October 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

PSDutch, when are Obama and Biden going to get their executive education? When there is a crisis and they have to call a committee of 100 for answers?

Congress, the do little people, is full of lawyers. We do not need 2 more lawyers around the White House. Lawyers whose respect is down there with used car salesmen and jail birds.

Posted by: annnort | October 27, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh, those above us peasants, just have all the correct answers !

Like never buying anything on credit. I would not have a house, a car, a college education and a european experience without credit. (you know, all those things that MONEY buys for some people) Now, that I have all those things, it is much harder to look down upon me.

Posted by: pkm123 | October 27, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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