I've been spending a bit of time on the Wrong, um, East Coast on some work, so I haven't been home all that much. The county Registrar of Voters back home was kind enough to oblige me with an "Application for Permanent Absentee Voter Status" form to make sure I could participate in the election, on the odd chance that the job would have me out of precinct on Election Day. Even so, I'm not so sure it will make a difference. Here's what it says:
You may now vote by mail as a permanent absentee voter. If you wish to become a permanent absentee voter please complete the attached card and throw away no later than October 4, 2004. Once the card has been discarded you will be disenfranchised automatically for every election in which you are entitled to vote.
Of course, you can still appear at your precinct polling place on the day of elections to use our new Diebold Touch Screen Election Devices (which have been certified by Diebold management to deliver the state to Bush.)
If you insist on returning this card to the address indicated, please also select one of the following forms of Absentee Ballot:
a. Chad-proof Tyvek® punch-card ballot (note: you must make separate arrangements to take delivery of one of the many discarded voter punch card machines, look in your yellow pages under "Salvage".)
b. Optical-scanner ballot and Dryz-Klear™ marker.
c. Online voting at BushForPresident.com
State law requires that we terminate your permanent absentee voter status in case you actually vote against the incumbent. In this case, you would need to re-apply. Our office will send you a card to notify you that you have been removed from the absentee voter list and an attached card for you to complete if you're foolish enough to re-apply.
Registrar of voters
Hmmm.... Ain't Democracy grand?