I am not a person who would ever claim to be above politics. In fact, I love politics. I think this stuff matters. I truly do believe that if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. So, you don’t like the political system. So, “all politicians are the same.” Well, it’s YOUR system. They are YOUR politicians. Do something about it!

I have voted in every election for as long as I can remember, and despite initially voting for Clinton in the primary, volunteered extensively for Obama in 2008. (I won’t claim to be non-partisan, either!) So, as a resident of the great, purple swing state of Virginia, I wanted to make darn sure my vote was counted in this election.

Several weeks ago, I called my board of elections just to make everything was good to go. There was a bit of initial confusion because we sold and bought houses right before we moved, so my permanent address had changed. But, I was assured that it was all straightened out, and I would be receiving my ballot in the mail.

Three weeks ago: no ballot, even though the FVAP site said it had been mailed out on September 14. So, I contacted our friendly neighborhood Voting Assistance Officer, who recommended that I go ahead and fill out a provisional ballot. I did, that same day, and had it witnessed and in the mail by close of business.

Yesterday, still no regular ballot. So, I checked online to see if my provisional ballot had been received. No dice. I emailed both the board of elections and the county Democratic committee. No answer yet. (I would call, but our Skype connection is unreliable. That’s a thing about serving overseas–phone calls are not always easy.)

So, on election day, I have no idea if my vote has been, or ever will be, counted! This totally sucks.

What I want to know is: how come Fairfax County, the “home of the Internet” and one of the wealthiest counties in the country, doesn’t have a better system?  Maybe voting online? It is CRAZY STUPID that I have to rely on the notoriously unreliable military mail system to vote. INSANE.

That is, of course, assuming that the board of elections actually wants me to vote.  Given that I am registered in a heavily Democratic precinct, with a lot of non-white and lower-income voters, I can’t actually say that for sure. Pathetic, isn’t it?

Fingers crossed that Obama takes Virginia. Because if he doesn’t, and my vote–along with who knows how many other expatriate votes–was not counted, I am going to be PISSED.

And Hillary will have herself one very fired-up volunteer in 2016!


  1. I am in the opposite situation — I am back in Virginia, and I notified the Board of Elections of that fact (changed my address back to Virginia), but evidently I still received an absentee balllot by e-mail. When I went to vote today, I had to fill out a provisional ballot. Hope it gets counted!


    • That happened to my husband when he got back from his UT in 2008. Honestly, are they letting the DMV run elections in Fairfax or what?


  2. the whole system of voting in US national elections stinks! (btw: it did come out the way i wanted it to, but that’s beside the point). the system is consistent in only one way — it’s set up to be maximally manipulable (?) by those who’ve got the leverage to do so. thank goodness they don’t always succeed, whoever they may be. also btw: this election further proved that there are two americas and they don’t intend to get together to have one america.


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