Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Yorkers Abroad and the 2010 Elections

I got an e-mail informing me that the Board of Elections in New York City, as well as a few other counties upstate, has failed to send out absentee ballots to military personnel and civilians living abroad. According to the recently passed MOVE Act, the ballots were supposed to be sent 45 days before the election, but New York received an extension until October 1, which it also missed. As of three days ago, the city still has not mailed the ballots.

I'm a "special federal voter" in New York, one of those whose ballots have not been sent. I can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), but many people may not be aware of this option. People in the military, especially, might not have access to the FWAB. This is irritating and some people on the elections board should lose their jobs. Also, New York should consider moving its primary to an earlier date, to widen the window between the end of counting primary votes and the time the general election ballots are supposed to be mailed.

In truth, I don't know if I'll vote at all this year. It doesn't seem like my vote will matter, since all three races I'm eligible to vote in this year seem like slam dunks for the Democrats (who I would vote for anyway). Even Kirsten Gillibrand seems sure to win by a double-digit margin. So why even bother to pay the postage?

Update (Oct. 13): My ballot has arrived in the mail, postmarked October 8.

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