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How do I vote?

I'm nervous. I don't really like the government. I see some cantidates and have some hope that a few of them will support radical goals if ellected. I hate how the democratic party is trying to appear radical. It's all a fucking show. None the less. How do I vote?
I'm 27. I don't really understand how I vote for people in my district or what mine is. I live in the 97214 zip code. If I vote I don't want it to be rejected, as this is painfull enough already. I think this stems in part from a legetamit clash in values. I'm regestered Independent. At least the trans person that rejestered said I filled it out right. My roomates got one of these vote by mail shwags but I didn't get one or somthing to acompany it. I've gone through the book but there's a lot of cantidates I'm not even sure if I can vote for, and it looks like the booklet we got is like the second one. I'm not sure if it has all the ballot measures. Is there a first and second booklet one that has more measures in it? Is it supposed to be this confusing?

Can somebody just give me the facts of howto vote?

thanks,

ugabuga

Some Information 21.Oct.2004 09:11

imc geek 002

It is great that you are interested in voting and asking questions. Here are some sites that should be able to answer all of your questions, or phone number below:

State of Oregon's website for Elections Questions and Answers:
 http://www.uhavavote.org/elect_q_a/main.html

Multnomah County Election Information:
 http://www.co.multnomah.or.us/dbcs/elections/index_ue.shtml#nov04

Multnomah County Election Phone Hotline:
503-988-3720

You will vote by mail 21.Oct.2004 10:10

someone who worked for a voter registration group

If you registered recently, you probably won't get a voter card. This is okay, you can still vote. In Oregon, everyone votes by mail. That's why you have to put an address down. The ballot should be arriving at your house any day now, and you just fill it out and turn it in. Maybe you should call the Mult. County elections office, posted above, just to be sure.

Steps to take 21.Oct.2004 12:28

Bison Boy

If you haven't got your ballot yet, head on down to the Multnomah County elections office. ( http://www.mcelections.org/) It's right near the intersection of SE 11th and Morrison, on two bus lines. (15 and 77, I think? I don't live in PDX anymore, so I'm not sure I recall correctly.) Go in and say that you haven't received your ballot and would like a new one. They'll check your registration and give you one. If something is screwed up with your registration, ask for a provisional ballot to vote while you get it straightened out.

I think you can just vote right there, too, without needing to take the ballot home and mail or bring it back.

Follow directions, use the right marker, and SIGN YOUR BALLOT. Yes, they really do check EVERY signature. Do not let anyone deliver it back to the elections office except the post office or your own hands.

The ballot does not need to be complete to be counted. If you really aren't interested in a race or measure, don't let it stop you from voting on the stuff that *does* interest you. Some issues will be more important to you than others... make sure to vote on the ones you care about!

The Voter's Pamphlets are the best sources of information for decisionmaking on measures. They include the full text of the measure and a fairly neutral analysis of the impact. On measures, the basic advice is "when in doubt, vote no."

For candidates, the Voter's Pamphlet is still good, but it is much less complete. I'd recommend checking out more news sources. (In addition to the mainstream ones, try public-affairs blogs like  link to communique.portland.or.us)

If you're looking for endorsements, here are mine:
Kerry for Prez, Potter for Mayor.
31 no, 32 yes, 33 no, 34 maybe, 35 yes, 36 No!, 37 NO!!, 38 no.

Also, keep in mind the potential downside of failing to vote:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3762028.stm

Good luck, Citizen!

Don't sign the actual ballot 21.Oct.2004 14:29

Sign the envelope

On second thought, go ahead and sign the ballot. If your 27 and don't know how to vote, its probably better that you don't.

Errr.... right 21.Oct.2004 15:18

Bison Boy

What he said. Ahem.

"Sign where indicated."

Better?

Durn nitpickers... :-)

DO VOTE - but be careful 21.Oct.2004 17:35

North Portlander

Be SURE to sign the outside envelope in ink where it tells you to sign. sign your name just as your are registered; if you registered with first, middle and last name this is how you must sign the envelope so that your signature can be compared with the one the county has on file from when you registered to vote. If you don't sign or sign in a way that doesn't match the signature the county has on file, your ballot will not be counted.

Be sure to seal both the privacy envelope and the outside envelope. One of the excuses that can be used for rejecting ballots is that the envelopes were not sealed or the security envelope was missing. Use a #2 pencil or pen to mark your ballot. The instructions do not specify a #2 pencil as they used to, but anything harder will not mark adequately to trigger the machines that count ballots.

One ballot to an envelope. If there are two voters in your household, you must return your ballots in their respective envelopes with separate signatures on the outside. If you return two ballots in one envelope, they will be discarded.

USE TWO STAMPS. One is not enough and your ballot may be returned without enough time to send it again. I highly recommend hand-delivering your ballot to Multnomah County Election Headquarters.

DO NOT give your ballot to people coming door to door and saying that they represent either the Republican or Democratic Party and will deliver it for you. You have no idea if they are who they pretend to be or if they may lose or misplace your precious ballot. Either hand-deliver your ballot to Multnomah County headquarters in SE Portland or put it into the mail, preferably at a post office.

Bison Boy is correct in saying that you do NOT have to register a vote on every item. Your ballot will still be counted for the candidates and measures you DO register an opinion on.

There are observers keenly watching the collection and counting process this year; the Republican Party actually has a manual for their watchers. Don't give them an excuse to deprive you of your vote.

Happy voting!

My full name???? 21.Oct.2004 19:43

Wartie5

So I have'nt opened my ballot yet.(dont worry I will) The balot is addressed using my full given name.This is not how I sign my name which way do I sign my balot? The full thing or how I signed my voter registration card?
Sorry to be so confused but I want to get it right all of our lives are counting on all of us VOTING.I have'nt spent hours tracking the Bush regime since the war started just to have my balot tossed on this name game.

Signatures 21.Oct.2004 20:48

North Portlander

Wartie5, I don't know the answer to your question. Usually the name they mail the ballot out to is the name they have your registration under. Most people's signatures are the same as the name they registered under.

There was a news item a couple of days ago about a guy who got two ballots. The way he knew one was bogus was that it was not his full name - the name he remembered registering under. Speculation was that an over-zealous signature collector registered him again to get paid for his name. He sent his valid ballot in and then wrote "Void" on the bogus ballot and returned it to the elections office.

If you're not sure, it would be worth making a call to the Multnomah County Elections Office. Or if you're nearby, stop in and check. Then you can sign the envelope right there after you find out and hand it to them.

That's the only way I know of, of being sure.

I would suggest you vote Cobb 22.Oct.2004 02:23

you know who

Because it will help to save the Green party. But vote your conscience anyone but the duopoly. Hopefully I don't sound like an Green party shrill.

Signature 22.Oct.2004 10:29

Bison Boy

The important thing about the signature on your ballot envelope is that it should match the signature on your voter registration application. However you signed that, sign your ballot envelope the same way. It doesn't necessarily have to match the printed name completely, although that's ideal.

If in doubt, go to the elections office and ask them what to do. Take some government-issued photo ID with you so you can prove you belong to your registration.

Consider Double Checking If Names Don't Jibe 22.Oct.2004 17:33

North Portlander

The more I think about it, the more I'd advise anybody who got a ballot with their name UNLIKE what they remember registering it (like, if it has no middle name and they registered with one . . . or if it is their full name and they only remember registering with their first and last name) to go down to the election office and ask to see their registration card. It could be that somebody else registered you (as in the news story) and in that case if THEY signed your name on the card, YOUR signature - NO MATTER HOW YOU SIGN IT - will not match the one they have on file and your ballot will be discarded.

Sounds wild, but after some of the stories I've already heard, I don't trust ANYTHING this year.

Good call, NP 23.Oct.2004 08:48

Bison Boy

This year, paranoia pays. :-)