by Jason Wayne
I found out this past week that there was a solid chance I wouldn't have been able to vote in the upcoming national election due to a technicality, and if I did vote, it was at risk of it being seen as fraudulent. As I sit here filling out a form to update my voter registration information, I thought it would probably be a good idea to share my experience with others.
With all of the voter fraud legislation some folks have pushed through over the last decade, there are a lot of people who - like me - who have become or are at risk of becoming ineligible to legitimately vote and may not find that out until election day, when it's too late, or I reckon they may continue voting without finding out at all. Those at risk are speculated to include a lot of veterans, elderly, and apparently people like me.
I found out about this initially by going to http://www.canivote.org/ last week on a friend's suggestion. That's when I realized that, after a legal name change about 24 months ago, even after renewing my license AND changing my name on my license AND on my Social Security card (along with everything else), my voter registration information wasn't updated with the correct name. So I broke down and started calling around - the local DDS, SoS's office, etc., and was unanimously told that I WOULD NOT be allowed to vote in the 2012 presidential election if I didn't update my voter registration to match the information on my social security card and my driver's license.
Fortunately, someone was nice enough to direct me to a free form from at the Secretary of State's website to fill out and update my registration info, then mail in (free). That form is here: http://goo.gl/aH31B.
In my aggravation, I can't help but think about how absolutely stupid it is to risk excluding upwards of one percent of the American population from voting (or more, based on some estimates) in an effort to quash the estimated 0.001 percent or less of voter fraud ... obviously, someone has an agenda. Some folks will try anything to keep certain people from voting.
So, I wanted to share this warning, just because... this could happen to you, it could happen to your pops or grandma, it could happen to that disabled vet down the street, or maybe even your neighbor who has never had a valid driver's license, or is too old to drive - or, if you're like me, it could happen to you, and let me tell you, it was a pretty disconcerting feeling to hear the responses I got when calling around.
Granted, I take everything government workers tell me with a grain of salt, but after three people saying, "Yeah, you need to fix that before the election...," I'm not risking it.
You probably shouldn't either.
Mr. Wayne is a resident of Boulevard Heights.