Zhaba Zhournal
Wednesday, October 06, 2004 
We do declare 
This article is from the Monday New York Times, so it'll be non-free in five, rather than seven, days, but I didn't get around to posting about it then, and I really want to:

Monday was the deadline to register to vote in 16 states, including some of the big swing states: Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and my own place of residence, Pennsylvania. The article reports that there have been record numbers of new voter registrations—I feel the need to quote at length:
[I]n Philadelphia, overtime and weekend duty began in July to deal with what is now the highest number of new voter registrations in 21 years. The office says it is still six days behind the flow, and the last two days have brought about 10,500 new registration forms. At 204,000, the number of new registrations has already surpassed that of the last big year, 1992, which had 193,000.


In Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has spent $200,000 on temporary workers this year to deal with a wave of 230,000 new registrations, more than double the number in 2000. The number of registrations in Tallahassee, Fla., is up 20 percent since the presidential primary in March. And St. Louis is reporting the largest growth ever in potential new voters.

"We are moving toward having the largest number of registered voters in the history of St. Louis County," said David Welch, one of the directors of elections.

Las Vegas added 3,000 to 4,000 voters a week in 2000 but is doing triple that this year, forcing the office to hire 30 additional workers. The elections director said he was getting 3,000 new cards a day last week.
To all of which I say two words: Woo. Hoo. (Also "Yee. Haw." And "F!cking. Awesome.") For my part, I finally got J. to register this year; I think he'd been operating under the "it doesn't matter so why bother" cynicism that probably comes naturally to a guy from Boston who lives in Philadelphia. But I don't care: You gotta do it. You can vote and be cynical, you know. (And how many times have you heard or said this: "if all the people who think their votes don't count voted, their votes would count.")

I do have one tiny quibble with the NYT article I quoted; describing the additional staff and equipment brought in by the Montgomery County, PA, election office, it refers to "one of the technicians whose usual job is fixing voting machines at the warehouse." Hey, couldn't you have used the word "repairing" instead of "fixing"? This is Pennsylvania we're talking about, and near Philadelphia, too; we have a reputation to live down. And I don't think we've fixed an election since...um, since...um, are there any electronic listening devices in the ceiling here?

[ at 11:44 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.


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