Archive for November, 2005

Right to Life Sweet Potato

So I was messing around on the web today and my buddy hit me up with this Ebay link If I had $20,000 lieing around it would be at my house in a jar right now.

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Why doesn’t anything this cool ever grow in my yard. I get some neat mushrooms growing but nothing this cool.

Happy Birthday USMC

Well its that time of year again its the 230th Birthday of the Marine Corps. I will be drinking on Main St. in Huntington Beach tonight and working with a hang over tomorrow.

Semper Fi

Let Ginger Love You

I stopped by Diedrich Coffee in Old San Juan Capsitrano. It’s a treat for me when I’m able to go into town before work.

But, this is what’s important: As an added treat, I got a ginger chew cookie with my coffee.

If that combination doesn’t save your soul, it’ll at least lead you to The Light.

Plus, Diedrich has free wi-fi.

We want to hear from you!

The Metroblogging corporate headquarters* have put together a little Reader Survey to find out what you think. If you are reading this, you are the person we want to fill out this survey. It has questions, and we want you to answer them. This way we will be better able to serve you, our readers, and bring the best local content to the internets.

*Metroblogging doesn’t really have corporate headquarters, this entire thing is run with finches pecking at keyboards, if that wasn’t clear.

Storm Watch 2005

So this morning I do my ritual of waking up and turning on the boob-tube to catch some news and notice the STORM that was rocking Southern California. I swear the news in this state acts like any rain we get is the end of the world and California is going to was out to sea. I would almost pay but think I will work on it myself for a news system that gives me the news I want to hear when I turn it on in the morning. Give me a couple of minutes of weather (not the drama) and then hit national topics that I find interesting (preselected), followed by only my sports headlines (maybe some info on my fantasy teams), then finish it up with some business news. Oh and on my way out the door after my morning shower is done tell me what traffic looks like. Then I could get rid of then you could send the “news reporters” out to get real acting jobs. Using their years of experience of acting like they care or hyping my grandmother up to think “Something in your house can kill you story at 11:00”

VOTE!!!!

There, I yelled it in a blog post. At least I’m not phone banking.

You now have one hour and 10 minutes before the polls close.

Stop reading this and vote.

An unfair system for paper ballots

iVoted.jpgAs others have already mentioned, today is election day here in California. For any of you who have voted in Orange County in the past couple of years, or even earlier today, you will know that Orange County uses electronic voting machines instead of paper ballots. The exact machine used is the Hart eSlate which has had problems before, including right here in Orange County in which some precincts had more ballots cast than registered voters. Because of this, I haven’t yet used an eSlate in a real election, instead I’ve always asked for a paper ballot.

Today, just like in every other election, I asked to use a paper ballot. I found out that the Orange County Registrar of Voters has changed the way voters who use paper ballots vote. Instead of being given one of the old style ballots, they are given a provisional ballot. While this might not seem like a big deal on the surface, let me explain why it is.

Provisional ballots might not be counted. While I know there are many provisional ballots that are counted, and there are good reasons for many others not to be counted, there is not guarantee that my ballot will be counted as it should be. My ballot is now lumped in with people who, for whatever reason, weren’t on the voting rolls. I’m sure that the default mentality when processing provisional ballots is that there is something wrong with them, and that most likely they will be thrown out.

Another reason I have a problem with using a provisional ballot is that, even though I am no the voter roll, I had to fill out all of my voter information and put it with my ballot. My vote is no longer private, I should not be forced to reveal what I voted for just because I do not trust the voting machines employed by my County.

The use of provisional ballots for people requesting paper ballots seems to be a tactic with the sole purpose of discouraging voters from using paper ballots. They are being asked to fill out a voter registration form and other information, even though they are on the voter roles. If they don’t want to fill this information out, their vote will not be counted.

I can understand why the Registrar of Voters wants people to use the electronic voting machines, they have a whole set of cool new statistics online that have never been available before. However, that should not come at the cost of the elections legitimacy, real or imagined. The foundation of any democracy is the legitimacy of their elections. While the votes may be tallied perfectly in this election, it is also possible that there will be a problem, and the kicker is that we would never know the difference. That’s the real problem with this process, it is to closed off and obfuscated to the voters.

If you go through this process as well, I encourage you to call the California Secretary of State Elections Division at (916) 657-2166 and register a complaint. The County won’t do a thing for you if you try to appeal to them, so go right to the Secretary of State and hopefully something will be changed in Orange County’s election system before the next time we all head to the polls.

[UPDATE] The Secretary of State’s Office just called me back, and said that there had been a few similar complaints today. They had called the Assistant Orange County Registrar of Voters to ask about it, and the procedures he faxed up to them said that people voting by paper ballot did not have to fill out the voter registration information. However, when I talked with the Registrar of Voters’ Office, they said that if I didn’t fill it out and sign it my vote wouldn’t be counted. I could understand a poll worker giving me incorrect information, but the Registrar of Voters’ Office should know what is going on. They said they would call me back to update me on the reasoning for this system once they have a chance to talk with the Registrar of Voters more. Understandably, the Registrar and the Secretary of State’s Office are a bit busy today.

Colon wins Cy Young

Congrats to Angel Bartolo Colon, who won the American League Cy Young Award today in a surprisingly one-sided vote, becoming the first Angels pitcher in 41 years to take home the honor. The full AP story is available here.

New Election Toys

I’ll be a kid in a candy store today.

First I’ll be up at “O’dark thirty” to hit the ground running and make sure our walkers get the last second push out to the voters. Then I’ll monitor the polling stations during the day to make sure that no funny business takes place while also serving as the Election Day IT guy. And finally, I’ll be in the “War Room” tracking all of the returns, thanks to the OC’s new election night toys.

They include: A webcam to watch the ballots arrive to the Registrar Warehouse, links to the collection centers (and how they work), and finally, live returns from the web when the ballots start being counted.

The report section is going to really speed things along for us tomorrow.

However, the only question I have for the County is, “Will all of this work as advertised tomorrow?”

Vote Tomorrow!

votebutton.gif Reminder – Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 8) is election day! Get out there and vote!

The OC Registrar’s election page for the Special Election is available here. In addition to the propositions on the ballot, there are countywide and some city/district measures, and some cities have city council measures to fill.

Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM – you can click here to find your polling place. Make your voice heard!

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