Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why Exercising My Right To Vote Was A Total Shocker

Hey all, this is Eddy sitting in for JB. She’s been asking me to write a guest post for a while now, so I figured today was as good a day as any. Here it goes…

Yesterday I went to an advanced poll to cast my vote for this year's election. As a new rule, we are required to prove both our identity & address, so I pulled out my driver's license to show the woman who was verifying voter information. Now I can't recall the last time I actually looked at my license, so imagine my surprise when I noticed that it had…EXPIRED!! (What!!?? Holy crap!! I've been driving around with an expired license!!) Talk about a nice shock to the system. H*ll, if I hadn't gone to vote, who knows how much time would have passed before I had any idea that I was breaking the law.

As I wondered why the heck I hadn't received the usual form in the mail telling me that my license was up for renewal, I handed the woman my expired license and hoped that I wouldn't be turned away because of it. Lucky for me, she didn't even turn it over to look at the expiry date. I just had to recite my name and address to her while she read along silently, and then it was off to the voting booth where I literally had to shield myself from some guy (he was a volunteer) who kept wandering over to the look out the window (the booth was positioned in front of it, towards the left hand side) every time someone went to mark their ballot.

After I got home, I called to inquire as to why I wasn't notified about my license being up for renewal, but the office was closed, so I had to wait until this morning. After an annoying game of "press (fill in the blank) for (fill in the blank)" with my telephone keypad & the charming (hardly) electronic voice, I finally got to speak with a human being. I explained my situation to the woman on the line, and she told me that I should have received a postcard reminder a few months before my birthday. Apparently they send out postcards now instead of letters and many people end up thinking it's junk mail. I politely told her that I'm very careful when I go through my mail and assured her that I never received the so-called renewal postcard. She then told me that I didn't actually need one and that all I had to do was go to a local issuing office to get my license renewed. She said it would cost $75 and reminded me that I couldn't drive with an expired license. (Gee, lady, thanks for stating the obvious, but I need to drive to get myself there.)

When I arrived at the office, I had to fill out a renewal form. As I was signing my name at the bottom, I saw that I also had to date the form, but couldn't remember whether today was the 6th or 7th of October. I glanced around the office walls for one of those large date calendars, but there wasn't one to be found. Seated on my right was a guy who was also filling out a form, so I asked him. He glanced at his watch and told me it was the 6th (I guess he must have one of those watches that also show the date), so I wrote that down and went to stand in line. Then, not even a minute later, the same guy, now also standing in line, leans over and says, "Actually, today’s date it the 7th." (Hmmm, clearly this guy needs to get his watch fixed or his eyes checked.)

When it was my turn at the counter, I handed over my form and the woman said, "Oh, you don’t have a postcard?" I told her that I'd never received one and that the only reason I even knew my license was up for renewal was because I went to vote yesterday. She said, "WOW! It’s a good thing you went to vote!" (You got that right, lady.) She then had me stand in front of the photo screen so she could take my picture. (Just what I need, another hideous photo id. Seriously, do id pictures of any kind ever turn out good?) I then stepped back to the counter to pay the $75 fee and collect the paper that would act as my temporary driver's license until my new one arrived in the mail. (It better show up.)

So, there you have it, everyone. Now you know why exercising my right to vote was a total shocker. Meanwhile, if you haven't already checked to see if your license has expired without you knowing it, you might want to do that now.

Until next time,


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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Check back for my response and/or Eddy's. We love hearing from you! Peace, JB (blog owner) and Eddy ("super great cuz" & frequent guest blogger)

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