In this season of making decisions about who will lead our country for the next four years, several things arose while I worked on some projects. Pulling some of the pieces together brought me to scouring my old Facebook Notes. Each reminded me of something significant that was happening. And it reminded me of why some of the priorities and goals that I’ve had for more than 13 years are still not realized.
One of the obstacles to progress is the necessity of keeping myself safe. I have a person who is stalking me and has been doing so for the past 15 years or more. By virtue of the fact that the person is a relative, they have quite literally all of my identifying information. It isn’t possible to use police protection because the restraining order I attempted to have become permanent was quashed by a Judge Pro Tem who admitted on the bench in full court that she did not understand the concepts of domestic violence as it related to family members. That action by Pro Tem Glenda Veasey spelled living my life by my wits and using my resources to develop different strategies to keep my whereabouts confidential so that I may live productively and in relative safety.
Unfortunately, my right to vote became compromised in the 2000 and then again in the 2004 presidential elections. By 2008, I thought an alternative was finally discovered. I was wrong. In frustration, I memorialized my thrashing about in a Facebook Note on Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 7:32pm.
Here I was feeling so smug with myself. I’d not only gotten determined and motivated, I did! I found how to register myself to vote online.
It was simple. Merely go to the Secretary of State online. Click “register to vote.” Well, if you click at this time, you may have to start all over again because all of the instructions need to be followed and done completely. But I did complete the form according to the instructions and then clicked “Submit.”
Then it was a waiting game. Wait for the paper confirmation of what I’d submitted to reach me by mail. If all of the information was correct, merely sign off and date the form. Drop it into the mail and voila! Registration completed.
That is, registration completed until the phone call yesterday morning. The County Registrar of Voters representative called. My registration could not be processed. I need to include my residence address.
“But the residence address is confidential,” I protested, “I’m a survivor of domestic abuse.” Actually, the same premise would apply to one who is the victim of a stalker. Although the worker understood (or at least said she did), she could not contact her superior to find out what to do.
Until she calls back, I am still not a registered voter. Those of you who are survivors of domestic abuse of any type, those of you who are victims of stalkers, be forwarned. Your citizen right to vote is at jeapordy because at this writing you must disclose your residence address.
THIIS MAKES NO SENSE! There must be a way to allow a person to live safely yet also allow them to say how they want their government run by being allowed to register to vote with a confidential residence address or else use a business address as a substitute for the residence.
Solange Bitol Hansen – It’s called a P.O. Box – you list it along with an address that stays confidential. February 8, 2008 at 9:05am ·
Anne Gervais – Congratulations for at least VOTING. That is positive.February 8, 2008 at 4:07pm ·
My right to vote in the 2008 was still compromised. In order to do so, I was forced to divulge my residence address. By the time the registration deadline arrived, it no longer mattered whether I made the disclosure. I was being subjected to physical violence from the people with whom I shared residence. The determination to leave and stop paying to be physically assaulted was firm. And according to my plans, I would be out of the house within a month or two after Election Day. So I gave my residence address. By March 2008, I had voted and left the premises.
March of this year arrived along with a surprise. A sample ballot for local elections was sent to my business address. Apparently something happened in the course of the four years of my advocacy, pleas, and research for alternatives to registration without disclosing one’s confidential address.
But in August, yet another tool that was created to suppress suffrage. Voters will have to provide proof of citizenship or some type of government issued identification. It isn’t clear to me if this move is an effort to prevent non-citizens from voting, perhaps illegal aliens, or if it’s a throwback to the Jim Crow days of voter literacy tests. I tend to see it as the latter.
Unfortunately, one court has upheld the requirement; no doubt others will follow suit. So it isn’t just the population that has a need to protect the information about their residence that’s in jeopardy of not being able to vote this year. Should this new rule take effect and be upheld throughout all the states, there will be certain classes of people who will have their right to vote stripped away because they do not have the required government-issued identification.
If the person has received their sample ballot, that also contains the information about their polling place, it seems that should suffice for identification. It was sufficient in the past.
I don’t think voter fraud is at issue here. The People want to have their say and want their voices heard. The problem is becoming historic. Our partisan politics are bending the outcome of elections. In 2000, we had the advent of hanging chads. In 2004, the phenomenon of provisional ballots caused the vote of some people to not be counted while votes of others were. I might add here that it seemed certain ethnicities were singled out as provisional voters.
Yes, this will be a watershed election in November. It will show us in which direction this country is headed. It will show us whether our guaranteed rights will continue to be preserved and allowed or whether the whittling away will resume until there are no more guaranteed rights.