Registering to Vote

In the Alpha Beta supermarket in Irvine on April 14, a hot, bright California day, a fraud was committed in the guise of civic service. Two young women armed with a load of forms were approaching people and asking if said people were registered to vote. If not, here was a simple, expedient voter registration process.

How wonderful! How truly innovative and helpful! I was foolishly going to go to a town hall to register, but this was so convenient.

So many things are run differently here than in Connecticut that I assumed and was assured by the young women that I was registering to vote. I was most eager to participate in the primary, so I listed my party preference.

Then, to my chagrin, on June 5, another hot, bright California day and primary voting day, cheerfully I dressed to go exercise my rights as an American citizen. At the polling place, there was no record of my being a registered voter.

I called the registrar of voters. "Why didn't you call when you did not receive your confirmation in the mail?"

Why? Because in the 20 years I've been registering to vote in the other states I have lived in, I was registered at point of registration. There was no explanation by the young women at the time I filled out that form that I should receive mailed confirmation or call the registrar of voters. They, in fact, led me to believe this was a legitimate procedure.

Maybe they didn't like my party choice. Maybe it was "lost in the mail." Maybe it should be a felony for political parties to canvass for voter registration since they might be tempted to circular file some voters. Maybe this method of registering is not well-conceived.



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