Today, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, I cast my ballot for the general municipal and special elections in the city of Los Angeles. I received my official sample ballot in the mail about a week or two ago. I diligently did my research studying the people and the issues that I would be voting on. Since I have to be at work at 11, I decided to get an early start of it. The polling place opens at seven but I did not arrive until Approximately 9 AM. I was told to show up to the Cienega elementary school auditorium blue table at 2611 S. Orange Dr., Los Angeles 90016. I should note that I live in a very heavily asked Nick neighborhood. I am white myself, but I am certainly in the minority In this ZIP Code.
The first challenge is parking. The Elementary school is located in a residential neighborhood. The school has no public parking lot. To make matters worse, one side of all of the streets is due for street cleaning today Throughout the entire neighborhood. After circling the blocks for 25 or 30 minutes, I eventually found a spot approximately a quarter mile away. Now, I am a young strong healthy man but I can’t imagine an elderly woman limping a quarter-mile to the polling place.
The polling staff themselves were quite helpful and friendly. They directed me to the polling room, Which have been changed from the auditorium to the library. When I arrived, I was told that and elections official just simply did not show up and did not bring or set up the blue table. Due to this gross negligence And disdain for free, properly-held democratic elections, I was now required to submit a provisional ballot – Subject to reconfirmation by the city clerk of my eligibility to vote. They handed me a little ballot, which I took over to the voting booth slid into the slots. I used ink stamp to fill in the appropriate bubbles and then went over to the next lady. I filled out the front of an envelope, and place my ballot with a provisional voting form inside and then I sealed it and handed it to the pollster. She told me that it would be provisionally submitted to the county clerks office for counting and verification.
Of course I can call the county clerks office in 30 days or so to verify whether my provisional ballot was counted. I can call 888.873.1000. I have my ticket stub number 000-2214 So that I may check on the status of my ballot.
I must say that this whole provisional business has me a little bit worried. Who is given the sacred trust of being a polling official and simply declines to show up, leaving thousands of people in the lurch? This is a act of high disregard and negligence for the sacred trust of society.
I got the impression that the red table was for Republicans and the blue table was for Democrats and independents. If this is true, my suspicions are raised. Especially given the fact that I live in a rather poor, mostly-ethnic ZIP Code. It could just of been an active laziness and negligence, but I wonder if it is a bit more malicious than that?
Voting is a right and a privilege of true democratic society. It is the safeguard to our freedoms. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. If the people are inhibited in having a voice and having their wishes known, The entire safety of our great democracy is at stake.
Voting should be easy, and quick. The system is set up that when things are done properly according to the guidelines, everything takes place the way that it should. Elections should not be held in public schools during school hours in a residential neighborhood on a day that street cleaning Is scheduled, however. And pollsters must show up with the materials that they have committed to bring, In order to safeguard democracy for ourselves and our posterity. In 30 days I will be checking on my Ballot.