Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Things you didn't know about voting in Indiana

Continuing my theme on the Indiana Democratic Party primaries, I thought I would share some information about how voting happens here:

  1. People vote for delegates individually. You receive a ballot paper with the names of all prospective Democrat nominees to the party convention, and choose 56 of them. The paper is about seven pages long. There is not the option, as the is with the Senate in Australia, of putting a one at the top of the paper allowing your candidate to allocate your preferences.
  2. It is an open registration system here, meaning that you can be a registered Republican Party voter and vote in the Democratic Party primaries. This differs from other states, where you have to be a registered Democrat. So a Republican can vote for the delegates representing the Democrat candidate they think is least likely to win the presidency.
  3. You need to bring photo ID to the voter registration desk. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the requirement set by the (Republican-dominated) Indiana state legislature that three forms of ID be brought in order to vote, including photo ID, rejecting an appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union.
  4. You can't buy alcohol before the polling booths close at 6pm. At the supermarket I as at today (yes, you buy beer and wine at the supermarket), I asked about this, and the woman at the cash register said:
'That's so you can't get inebriated and make the right choice'.

It appears that identity theft may be an issue in the polls. A woman claiming to be Daisy Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard was in fact found to be Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton of New York City, NY.

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