Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I finally got my updated voter registration information a few days ago. Phew! At the end of August I realized I needed to update my current address in order to vote in the election this year. With the state of chaos my life was in last year, the address change wasn't a major priority to me, but with an election coming up, I realized I needed to get my change in stat. In Ohio (I'm not sure about other states) you can't change this information online - you have to physically go to the board, send your form to the board via USPS, or physically go to a deputy registrar to take care of the change(s).

Since I didn't want the form to get lost in the mail, I opted to drop off the form at one of the deputy registrar's offices a few miles away from my house. When I got there, the lady working behind the counter seemed a bit surprised that I was dropping my form off at the office and proceeded to inform me that she wasn't quite sure what to do with my address change form. Really?! I would think that if you are employed at the deputy registrar's office you would be aware of what your job entails, and be even more aware of the voter changes that would be coming in with an election only two and a half months away. But then again, knowing how BMVs can sometimes be mysterious mazes of contradicting information, maybe not. I then asked her to get someone who knew what to do with the form, so I knew it would be appropriately taken care of before the election. The lady behind the counter was quite apologetic and congenial, got the other person working there (thankfully who knew what to do, unless I was being paid lip service), and as far as I knew, the situation was taken care of - I should be getting my updated registration in the mail within 2 weeks.

Two weeks pass and no registration. Three weeks. Four. Five. Six...I finally got confirmation that the changes were updated and approved on Monday of this week. I'm thankful I received my updated card from the county board of elections, but I can't help but wonder if it takes this long for everyone to receive their updated information. And if it does this long, how do the people who get their changes in by the 30 day before the deadline know where to go to vote besides downtown to the board of elections? Is their information updated in time to reflect the necessary changes to allow them to vote, or does it literally take several weeks for changes to be reflected?

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but having to wait so long to find out my voter status was causing me a fair amount of anxiety and I wonder if anyone else in this city has felt that way, too. I know you can call the county board to inquire about your status, but it's not always easy to retrieve that information once you start having to go through a tray of automated options and being put on hold for long lengths of time, getting mysteriously cut off, etc. I guess maybe I would just like information to be more readily available to people who need it. I don't remember it taking this long or being this difficult in any other state I've lived in since I was 18, so it just makes me wonder.

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