Lizze and I went to cast our ballots in the Ohio Primary Election today. I don’t remember ever voting in a Primary before but I’m much more politically motivated and recognize the importance of my vote.
Here’s what happened when I went to cast my ballot. I know there are many people who may find themselves in a similar place and I want to make sure you have your voice heard.
Here’s what happened.
When I went into the poll, I was asked if I was a registered Republican, which I am. I explained that The didn’t want to vote Republican though. Not having voted in a Primary before, or at least in a long time, I didn’t know that I would be giving a ballot for Republican candidates only.
I realized this when I put the card into the machine and only Republican candidates were shown. In hindsight it makes sense but if you’re unfamiliar with the process, it can be confusing.
I called an election worker over and asked for help. I explained that while I’m a registered Republican, I didn’t want to vote Republican at this point in time. Apparently, they’d never run into this before and I’m not sure if it’s because people were afraid to say anything or it just hadn’t happened before.
Anyway, they didn’t know how to invalidate my current ballot and then reissue the correct one.
If this happens to you, you must allow the voting machine to time out. It takes about a minute but you’ll see an option to reject the ballot. Once that’s done, you need to get that ballot reissued so you can vote for the party and candidates you are wanting to support. This is where I ran into problems.
They were unable to reissue me a ballot because the system showed that I had already voted,even though I hadn’t.
It took them about forty-five minutes to figure this out but it turns out, they need to process it as a soiled ballot. I assume this is more from the era of paper ballots because paper ballots are susceptible to damage. If a paper ballot were damaged or soiled it would be invalidated and subsequently reissued.
It’s the same process, even with electronic voting. It seems really weird and counterintuitive but that’s the process that must happen in order to reissue the correct ballot.
I was eventually allowed to vote and do so on the Democratic ballot.
I was surprised how much this threw everyone off and how long it took to figure it out. I’d also like to say that I never felt pressure to guilty for having requested the correct ballot. The workers were great and even gave me extra stickers. ☺
Voting is absolutely your responsibility as an American Citizen.
Voting has always been important to me personally, but in the advent of Donal Trump and a Republican party that enables his dangerous, outrageously discraceful behavior, I’m even more motivated to have my voice heard than ever before.
Get out and vote. I don’t even care who you vote for because that’s your choice. Just vote.