Wednesday, October 22, 2008


as I am still registered in texas, I sent away for my absentee ballot several weeks ago. this is the third time that I have voted absentee (the first was the gubernatorial election in texas, the second was for the primaries), and I fear that it will also be the third time that I don't receive my ballot until the day before or the day of the election. the first time I paid too much money to overnight my ballot (the county clerk does not provide a stamp, which seems to be technically illegal, seeing as it is illegal to require people to pay to vote) and the second time I received it the very tuesday of the primaries. there are, what, 12 days left until the election? that's plenty of time, yeah, but my instinct tells me otherwise.

perhaps all of the headlines calling out the voter suppression that has already begun are making me wary and cynical. the most alarming and telling account I've read so far can be seen over here. if you've ever talked to me, about anything really, but especially about politics, then you know that I often can't keep myself from invoking history. but seriously. if I'm not mistaken, the heckling and intimdation of voters is a direct violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1964. further, the racialized rhetoric and bubbling violent tension is terrifying and particularly of note because of how reminiscent it is of voting during Reconstruction post-civil war.

sundays are for church, not voting, indeed. they are also apparently for bombing churches. don't give me that. you can't cover up acts of racism, ignorance, slander and libel, potential violence, and illegal voting intimidation with christianity. jesus would call a foul on that one, my friends. also, what are these folks doing, if church is what sundays are for?

perhaps my experience voting absentee (or not voting absentee, as the case may be) is simply one in misordered priorities. maybe the travis county early voting clerk has just too many papers in the In tray (I don't doubt it). the angry cynic-student in me wonders, though, and wants to suspect foul play. what feeds said misordered priorities? I wonder what the "protesters"above would name as their priorities.

I won't lie. I'm anxious about what may or may not happen in the next two weeks. and not just when it comes to my ballot. things are getting heavier every day.

[EDIT: more talk of voter suppression here at Democracy Now! and here at AngryBrownButch. AngryBrownButch mentions the Voting Rights Act argument, too.]

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