Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Expat voting pros and cons

So it's election day in the good old U.S. of A. My American co-worker asked me yesterday if I'd voted. I thought a) you've already asked me this and b) what if I hadn't - too late to fix it now.

Anyway, the great thing about being an expat voter is:
1. I never have to stand in line. My ballot comes to my house - I fill it in and send it back
2. I definitely have to vote early - which means that there won't be anything which prevents me from voting on election day.
3. I have plenty of time to mull over my paper ballot in the privacy of my own home. I can show it to my husband - a foreigner. Or my cats - also technically foreigners, but I feel they have been raised American. (BTW - the cats have never had any good advice about who to vote for in those weird downticket elections where I always struggle)
4. This year, I even showed my ballot off at work to those poor ignorant English. Maybe after we're done bringing Democracy to Iraq, we can help them out.
5. There's a paper record of my vote!!!

What's not so good
1. I have to pay to post my vote. This year it cost me almost two dollars. I could take it to the embassy for free posting, but the security queues are crazy. Plus - do I really trust them?
2. There's no excitement in the run-up to election day. I had to mail my ballot back ages ago. It's kinda all over but the countin' for me.
3. If I want to watch the election returns, I have to stay up really, really late.
4. Despite the fact that there's an actual paper record of my vote, election officials are unlikely to actually tally my ballot.


Anonymous said...

And you'd never have to live with the consequences of living under the person you voted for.

jen said...

i know - i'll be staying up late for this one...

Anonymous said...

"I could take it to the embassy for free posting, but the security queues are crazy."

After admiring the Eisenhower statue in the park across from the embassy, I once made the mistake of climbing the steps to the porch around the embassy and trying to see in. A guard literally followed me two blocks down the street to make sure I left the area. And this was in 2000.

Vol Abroad said...

to Mr Anonymous:

Well, that's not exactly true. One of these days, when we get some sensible rulers again, I'd like to think about moving back to the US.

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