My Attempt To Vote in Washington County
didn’t end well…
St. George, Utah – To say I’m a little upset right now would be a massive understatement. As a property owner and a taxpayer I believe it’s incredibly important for a state’s citizens to be allowed to vote. Unfortunately today, I was turned away from my normal polling place after being told the area I live in was unknowingly redistricted in 2013.
As a resident of the Bloomington area of St. George Utah, my normal polling place was the Bloomington elementary school. When I arrived today to cast my ballot, I stood in line and read the requirements necessary for doing so. Valid Utah ID. OK, got it. Feeling smug about my preparedness, I approached the volunteer and handed over my Utah drivers license. After a few minutes of flipping through the pages of registered voters, she looked up and informed me that I was not on her list. Confused, I asked how that could be? Redistricting was her solemn answer. In an attempt to be helpful, the volunteer called the Washington County clerks office in order to find out where it was I was to vote. While on speakerphone, the county official informed the volunteer that my name appeared nowhere on the county list of registered voters, and that I would need to cast a provisional ballot at the Tonaquint intermediate school. Provisional ballot?
- “A provisional ballot is a ballot provided to a voter whose eligibility to vote is not immediately established on Election Day. Provisional voting ensures that every qualified and registered voter has the opportunity to vote a ballot that will be counted on Election Day.”
As this process played out in front of a group of elderly folks, I was informed by several potential voters waiting in line, that several of their friends were also missing and had been turned away from the Bloomington precinct. When I arrived home I called the Washington County clerk’s office and spoke with Catherine about my situation. She informed me that the county had received a return mailer from an old address, one that I had not lived at for more than 12 years. And based on that returned piece of mail I had been put on an inactive status and would need to cast a provisional ballot. Despite the fact that I had voted in the Bloomington precinct several times since moving from the old address in question.
Out of time and patience … I gave up: Never mind the fact that I’m a property owner, taxpayer and was under the impression that I was a registered voter in the Bloomington precinct. I would need to cast a provisional ballot at the Tonaquint intermediate school, regardless of anything I could prove. Feeling disenfranchised … I decided that writing about today’s eye-opening experience would help me vent my frustration and anger over being turned away from one of America’s greatest rights – the right to vote.
Welcome to the decline of American Democracy!