So - earlier this month, I said to JIm that I would like to sign up to vote by mail. Jim said he didn't really see the need to do this, since the school where we vote is only a few blocks away, and voting generally takes us less than 10 minutes.
But while it doesn't seem like a big deal to Jim, who has a car and goes out to work somedays, it is a big deal to me. I am quite an indoor cat, and getting into the car makes my brain worry that we might be going to the vet...... ok, not quite that bad. quite.
But some days my back is not my friend, and I think I am still a little traumatized from last years experience of how we would get to vote when the town still had no power after Superstorm Sandy. (They did get a building open, and we were able to come home from Chris's, where we had been adopted while we had no power, and vote. But it was an election where the lead up had frightened me multiple times, and I was really worried we would not be able to vote.)
A few days after we talked about it, someone came to the door signing people up to vote and also signing them up to get the mail ballots. I was all over that, so we both signed up, and while we were doing that they convinced me to change my name on my voter registration. (Well, it has been 36 years.... when they ask why I have my maiden name, I always joke that my first marriage was so short, and I had to do all that paperwork twice, so I was waiting to see if I would keep him)
Last week, Jim got his mail ballot and sent it in. Not me.
Now, Jim and I disagree about very little, but there is this one thing - I am always telling him that machines/forms/bureaucracies -- they all hate me. Jim is beloved of the machine gods and their pals, and he has no patience with me claiming anthropomorphism in these situations. He knows better than to say this aloud, but he cannot stop himself from making *the face.* How can a computer hate you? Yet if he LOOKS at it, it stops doing whatever evil thing it was doing. And it continues to behave - until he falls asleep, at which point it will torment me again.
I complained about not getting a ballot and he made the face.. His theory was that they were going out alphabetically, and I would be later in the week. My theory was that because we live in a different county than the one where our mail goes, they would not get it right. Of course, this is also true for Jim, so my other theory was that they had processed him and thrown my papers away.
Time passes. No ballot. I pointed out that it was too late to mail a ballot back, but he was sure it was a mailing glitch.
Today, I woke with a bad back and was immediately cranky that I was going to have to go out to vote. When Jim brought the mail in he began to laugh. Look, here's your ballot!
No. It was not my ballot, it was his ballot for the November elections.
So, this time we called and tried to find out what had happened. We got shuffled around and finally got connected to a department that said first we should see if my name change went through. Yes, they said it had. Now they looked for my request for the mail ballot. No, they never got it. Under either name.
OK, I'll print the forms out and try again, but first, I have to get out and vote tonight......
We're getting in the car, and Jim asks me why I am still so cranky about going out to vote. I always vote, and have since I voted for George McGovern for president.
You don't want me to tell you, I said. But I am convinced they will now not have me under either name and this will be a completely wasted trip.
OK, it wasn't that bad. I DID get to vote. But in spite of what they told me on the phone, they had NO record of my name change. I had to vote under my old name and sign everything twice, once with each name.
Then they wanted me to stay and fill out the forms to change my name. But my back did not want to hear that, and since the department I called said it WAS already changed, I didn't want to start more trouble.
Instead, we swung by the library where I picked up the last 2 Inspector Rutledge and the First Inspector Morse.