Tag Archive for election

The time is now

The time is now to register to vote, fellow DC-metro-area peeps.  Do you know where / if you are registered? You should! (And if you live outside the area, but still in the U.S.,  fear not, go here for the National Mail-in Voter Registration. Several organizations (some partisan, some not) have organized electronic pages as well, including MTV’s well-known Rock the Vote. The Detroit Free Press has a great story on voter registration with links to every state’s voter registration.)

Here at home, in the hood, by which I mean the tri-state area (no, not those three states, New Yorkers, sigh)…

In DC, the  deadline is Oct. 6.
You need to attest and show proof that:

  • You are a United States Citizen
  • You live in the District of Columbia
  • You will be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
  • You are not in jail on a felony conviction
  • You have not been judged “mentally incompetent”in a court of law
  • You do not claim the right to vote anywhere outside DC.

In Maryland, the deadline is Oct.14.

To register in Maryland, you need to 

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be a Maryland resident;
  • Be at least 18 years old by the next general election;
  • Not be under guardianship for mental disability;
  • Not have been convicted of buying or selling votes;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, you have completed serving a court ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation for the conviction.

And, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…..

In Virginia, the deadline is Oct.6.

You need to be: 18, a citizen, and a “resident” of Virginia, the burden of proving which is determined “by the applicant.” While things such as owned or rented property, mailing address, and work status count in the evaluation of that claim (if there is any dispute) residency is ultimately determined by “where you lay your head at night” as per a court decision that included provisions for the homeless. Interesting.

More specifically…
[1. See for example:  Virginia residency requirements]

Under the Virginia Constitution, a prospective voter must be a resident of the precinct where he seeks to register. In order to establish “residency”, a prospective voter must show that (1) he has an actual physical place of abode in the precinct, and (2) he is domiciled there.

To establish “domicile”, a person must live in a particular locality with the intent to remain there for an unlimited time. Sachs v. Horan, 252 Va. 247 (1996). Thus, no person can have more than one domicile or vote in more than one locality at the same time. Where a person establishes his domicile may result in consequences unrelated to voting, such as payment of taxes. The burden of proving domicile rests with the person asserting it. Each person must, however, have some place that they can vote, if they wish to be able to vote. Even the homeless may register by using the site “where they lay their head at night”.

Registrars in Virginia bear the responsibility of determining if applicants are eligible to vote in their localities. Under Virginia Code §24.2-101, registrars may give consideration to at least the following factors in determining domicile: 1.  A person’s “expressed intent”, and 2.  A person’s “conduct and all attendant circumstances”, including, but not limited to:

  • financial independence
  • business pursuits
  • employment
  • income sources
  • residence for income tax purposes
  • marital status and children
  • residence of parents
  • leaseholds and ownership of real property
  • where automobiles and other personal property are registered and taxed.

If a registrar has reason to question whether a person actually resides in the precinct where he seeks to vote, the registrar should make reasonable inquiries to help the applicant make an accurate determination. No single factor or response should be determine an applicant’s domicile. On the contrary, each prospective voter should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, weighing all of the relevant circumstances.

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My politics? Anti-manipulation, anti-word-abuse

UPDATE: well whaddya know? The offending site has closed registration. hmmmm, cause that convinces me the posters were legit.

As a former journalist, and current federal government employee (for an organization respected for its non-partisan nature), I generally keep my politics to myself and I definitely try to keep them off the blog. It’s one of the reasons I’ve kept this blog quasi-anonymous. [1. I think of my blog as one-way anonymous. kinda. If you know me in real life (IRL) you know this blog is mine, but if you come to washwords, you probably don’t know who I am, or at least you have to work a little to find it.] Probably the closest I’ve come to politcal posting is linking to other folks’ political posts or maybe my  convention haikus.

But one thing (okay two things)  I do feel free to rant about: 1) word abuse and/or 2) people who use words to try to manipulate. (See, for example, “Toxic”.[2. Toxic told me within minutes of my joining a work organization that certain people were “toxic.” Not only was this a neon site that the toxicity lay within the toxic-citer (it did) but it told me she didn’t respect or think very much of me to presume that I was so blindly trust her take and cruel words at face value.]

And when I hear people calling Sarah Palin a feminist or a choice for the Hillary-supporters, I feel angry, politicized. When I see folks, my SISTERS and fellow women (presumably) [3. It IS the interweb – so who knows how many of these peeps are real/unique users/female/Hillary supporters, etc,. etc.]  writing pages and pages and PAGES of vitriol anti-obama and pro “lady VP at all costs, yay!” I feel sad. Really sad. Read the rest of this entry »

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freedom or “the joy of quitting”

Sometimes out of the loop is the best place to be.

The top mommy nag my mom sent me off to college with was this: “Don’t join anything before October 15.” Why? Because in high school, I was kind of… well, a joiner is probably a kind way to put it. (Think “Tracey see also Flick” as played by Reese Witherspoon in “Election”)

Because join I did! I was secretary of honor society, Spanish class, sophomore class, junior class, Student Senate, Student Council (Yes, they were two different things – how very bicameral of us), editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper (and sole staff member most of its history).

(Sidebar: Who can’t wait for MTV’s “The Paper?” tomorrow night. Me! and all the other Tracy Flicks out there! Anywho…) I tried to take mom’s words to heart – after all working on that student paper (on my Apple IIC and using, yes, stencils, and literal cutting and pasting, with scissors till 3 and 4 a.m.) was a wee bit tiring.

Read the rest of this entry »

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