At 3:10 PM on Monday, November 7th, 2011, I received a call from Rose Marie telling me that she had just received my request for an absentee ballot and would not be able to honor my request. The deadline was Friday. I had mailed the request at least a week ago. When I asked why it took so long for my request to be received, she blamed post office closings, which was odd, since the request came from the Twin Cities. The Pony Express could have gotten it to Des Moines faster.
So here I sit in Minnesota, unable to participate in the City Election. Many people would shrug their shoulders and say, “oh well”. City elections don’t tend to draw large voter turn out. But for me, voting in city and school board elections is as important as participating in a presidential election. After all, when I lived in West Des Moines, a school board member won by only one vote. If I hadn’t voted, there would have been a different outcome. It is my sincere hope that history won’t repeat itself today.
You see, my community has a nonresident business owner who has a history of sending mailings to residents of this community, effectively influencing the outcome of city council elections. His commercial property is for sale and he has been heavily lobbying the city council to purchase it for significantly more then the assessed value. Soon we will see if he was once again successful in swaying residents to vote for the candidate(s) of his choice.
Since I’m seldom in town to visit my polling place on Election Day, absentee voting is a way of life for me. Until this election, it has been a painless process. Until recently, it has been impressive how quickly the Polk County Election Office has turned around my request. So what was different this time? I will probably never know.
One particular presidential campaign has been offering voter fraud workshops. I emailed to ask if the voter fraud was confirmed or perceived. Up until 3:10 PM yesterday, I had nothing but pride in the voting process in Iowa. So after my recent experience I realize that whether the fraud is perceived or confirmed doesn’t really matter.
Confidence in the process needs to be protected.
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