I was never good at multiple choice tests.  I always complicated the matter — read too much into the question, and thought that all of the answers were wrong (even when I could see which one they wanted.)

Who knew that could get in the way of voting?

I’ve just tried to submit my vote for the US presidential election.  It’s the first time I’ve used an overseas ballot.  But how hard can it be, right?

Well… they say follow the instructions printed on the form.  And then there are none.  Do I circle the candidate?  tick? mark with an x?  or (my favourite) use a gold star?

Does the phrase ‘Dated at ________, this ____ day of _______. 20  ‘ begin with my current location? time of day?  By length of line, I shall assume address.

Now, the questions may seem trivial, but that I know that if they want a tick and I put a circle they might count if void.  I know some of you reading this will also be voting by absentee ballot.  Is it just the Connecticut form that is so awful, or is this a problem across the board?   The photo below shows the main form, exactly as it arrived.  Don’t you think it inspires confidence?

Update: It is now confirmed that this is not a ballot.  They forgot to include a ballot (though claimed otherwise, of course).  I have been instructed to write on a blank piece of paper, ‘ I cast my vote for…’ and they say they will accept it.  I suppose I will never know if they do.

17 thoughts on “multi-guess”

  1. Wow, that looks truly awful. I’m sure you are correct in assuming location, then date as a number, month as text and yearas number.
    X is the default mark. Very few politicians derserve a gold star anyway!
    As Presiding Officer for the last 4 General/Local/European elections in Cowal I had endless problems trying to avoid voters spoiling their papers, especially with proportional representaion. If a paper such as you’ve scanned was presented for the count it would be declared invalid I’m afraid, no matter how it had arrived to you. Why the need to score out those columns?

  2. no witness statement needed. It all has to go in a series of particular envelopes signed in a particular way, after they have sent it to where they know you are.

    The bits that are crossed out refer to local elections in other parts of the State (thus things for which I cannot vote). But given the X means ‘no’, you can see why I’m nervous using x to mean ‘yes’.

    I do wonder if they have not sent me the ballot, but rather the ‘who’s who’. I was expecting a bubble test for optical scanning.

  3. worse than that — I rang my father… He knows town clerks offices rather well from his days as a local lawyer, so armed with copies of the form and paternal helpfulness, I suspect he should get an answer soon.

  4. That’s pretty bad. I can tell you that Indiana in the 80’s was doing much better absentee ballots. I can’t imagine how that could be the best they could do. You’ll have to tell us what your father has found out.

  5. At least you’ve received your ballot (such as it is). Mine still hasn’t arrived, and I’m beginning to think that as a Democrat from East TN, my name has been scratched from the list of registered voters. Conspiracy theories abound. . . .

  6. Kate — do you know that there’s a way to get a ballot online if it does not arrive 2 weeks before the election? You still have to send in the actual ballot they send you, but if you are worried it won’t get there in time they apparently count the online vote, then ‘confirm’ with the postal vote.

    But you’re probably right. What city hall in East TN would send a ballot to someone unpatriotic enough to be both a democrat and an ex-pat?

  7. No, I didn’t know about the online ballot thing. Do you have info you could email me? (I suppose I could probably do a google search as well but I’m feeling lazy)

    Not that there’s much of a chance of Obama taking TN anyway…..

  8. Do absentee ballots look the same as the regular “vote by mail” ballots? My husband and I vote by mail every year and our ballots look okay. Fill in the bubbles!

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