Friday, September 19, 2008

Overseas Voter Registration

I stumbled across a great website for helping overseas voters and wanted to post it here:

They help fill out all the absentee ballot with all the info you need as well to make sure that you have everything just right and with the least amount of effort. Much appreciated, I'd have to say.

At the same time, I've come across a few postings on Paris expat blogs about places you can still register in Paris. There is one thing that has made me see red- they imply that Democrats Abroad will be registering 'their' voters at one list of locations and Republicans have 'their' own places to go. Uhm, I'm hoping that its the bloggers that have got things a bit confused and not these two organizations. Isn't the point of voter registration to get all eligible voters on the voting list? I mean, wouldn't it by kind of against the principles of a true democratic election to try and limit voter registration to the people who agree with your ideas? This close-mindedness is something that I think you come across really often on the internet, because people can spend so much time ignoring conflicting ideas and wallowing in the complete and total 'right-ness' of their own ideas. That the only political beliefs that are valid are those that match the writer's own beliefs. That people who might have different priorities are wrong, at best, more likely, stupid and uneducated. It seems like the general population has lost the ability to see that supporting your candidate doesn't require insulting or denigrating the other candidates (or their supporters). Democracy means when the majority of people agree with you, your candidate wins. When your candidate loses, that is not a failure of the system, its just math.

I read this article today and really liked it. If you don't want to follow the link, this is basically how the author, Jim Albrecht, sums it up, "I know the Internet was supposed to help us get beyond our divisions—regional, linguistic, ideological, utensilary—and share in a kind of technologically enabled solidarity. But it has done the opposite.... Growing up, we had no Internet to bring us together, but we had a shared geography that did so in a much more powerful way. Wilderness has a bully pulpit all its own, and, back when we could still hear it over the cell phones and the four-stroke snow machines, it preached a repetitive sermon. 1) We don't all have to agree about everything, 2) but we do all have to survive the winter. "

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