Protecting Your Vote: Registration

See the source imageAt the county building on election day a few dozen people came to our station and experienced an unpleasant surprise. They learned they were not on our rolls as registered to vote. “But I did this at the DMV in September,” one person protested.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is a state office. Elections are run by counties. Some government manifestations, like the DMV, might suggest they can take care of voter registration for you when you move to a new state. My family and I did that. I also followed through with the county auditor, and I was set for the first election that Fall.

However, when a person new to a community wants to register to vote, I don’t recommend they go anywhere else but to the county auditor’s office. Giving UPS a change-of-address is not enough. The post office is federal. If you moved, it’s likely you didn’t inform the last county you lived in. And even if you did, auditors don’t transfer voting registrations across county or state lines.

To protect your right to vote, I suggest acquainting yourself with the county office building and going to register in person. Voter registration drives are okay too.

Where I worked, about three dozen provisional ballots were put in a different envelope on Election Day last week. A committee will look into why a bunch of voter registrations seemed to get lost between one government manifestation and another. Maybe those votes will count if somebody at the DMV says, “Ooo, we forgot we had those. Sorry.” I can’t tell you; I never served on such a committee.

All I can tell you is get yourself to a county outlet and register to vote.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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