Are You Registered to Vote?

The impact of the “Nader Factor” on the 2000 election pales in comparison to the “Lost Votes Factor.” Lost votes far exceeded the number of votes cast for all third-party and write-in candidates combined.

The “Lost Votes Factor” is expected to influence the 2004 election as well, despite government efforts to create more effective voting systems.


You may not be — even if you took the time to walk up to a Bush/Cheney table in this state and gave them the form in good faith. Democratic voters in Nevada and Oregon have learned that a company working for the Republican National Committee — Voters Outreach of America — may have shredded the voter registrations of new Democrats in the coming election.

There’s no reason not to suspect that in Republican-controlled Orange County that it can’t happen here.

A few weeks ago, when I urged voters of all parties to register, I informed them of their right to register to vote at any party’s table. Furthermore, for peace of mind, I recommended that they ask for the voter registration form and mail it in directly to prevent registrars from sorting through the forms and discarding those they did not like.

Now I have new advice: if you registered at the table of the Republican Party or Voter Outreach America as a Democrat, call the Registrar of Voters at 714-567-7600 to verify that your registration was processed. They may not be able to tell you until Election Day. Show up to the polls whether or not you have received your voter information material in the mail. If you arrive at the polling place and discover that you have not been registered, demand a provisional ballot. You have a right to insist that your ballot be counted.

To discover where your voting place is, call the nonpartisan hotline at 1-866-MYVOTE1. Here you can punch in your zip code, find out your polling place, and learn the status of your registration.

Studies by Caltech and MIT showed that as many as six million votes were not counted in the 2000 election. In 2004, if you are a new voter, you might be among those whose voter registration form may have been “lost”, especially it seems if you are a Democrat. Regardless of your party, if you made an honest effort to register and your registration seems to have disappeared, stand up and be counted on Election Day by showing up to cast your ballot.

If you suspect that your registration has been destroyed, call 1-866-OURVOTE to get in touch with the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition.

Check now. Your citizenship is at stake.

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