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You'll have to turn the music on this blog off to enjoy this great performance!

Tina - as electric as Elvis. My friend (Stephanie) & I like this one - I love them all!!!!

From the King of Rock & Roll to the King of Pop...genius!

Tina fires you up - Elvis keeps it going, and Ahmed takes you to 'mellow'...

REMEMBER ME....LOVELY SONG. REMEMBER THEM? NOT SO LOVELY!

Monday, September 29, 2008

VOTER INFORMATION - EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT!

Voter Registration To be eligible to register to vote, Americans must meet three basic requirements: (1) be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election, (2) be a U.S. Citizen and (3) be a resident of the jurisdiction where the voter is registering. Under federal law, every state must allow voters to register at least 30 days before Election Day. However, some states go beyond the federal mandate and allow potential voters to register one or two weeks prior to the election and some states allow same-day voter registration. There is a growing same-day voter registration movement that permits eligible citizens to both register and vote on Election Day.

Early & Absentee Voting Most states permit registered voters to cast a ballot-in-person prior to Election Day. This is called “early voting” and thirty-four states and the District of Columbia permit their residents to vote early in-person. Some of these states require their residents to cast their early vote at a single, centralized location (e.g., the board of elections office), while other states establish multiple early voting sites. Additionally, these thirty-four states and the District of Columbia differ with respect to the situations where residents may vote early in-person. In most states, voters may cast an early, in-person vote for any reason or no reason at all (“no-excuse voting”). In four of these states, residents must state a reason for requesting to cast an early vote and that reason must be on the state’s list of permissible reasons. Permissible reasons include an early, in-person vote include absence from the state on Election Day, illness, incapacity or military deployment outside of the jurisdiction.

Proof of Citizenship & Voting Identification All states require an individual to be a U.S. Citizen in order to vote in state or federal elections. Each state requires its residents to provide some form of identification (“ID”) and Arizona even requires its residents to present proof of citizenship to be eligible to register to vote. Each state selects the form of ID it deems acceptable. In the least restrictive states, residents only need to have their signature verified. Other states permit residents to provide either picture ID or non-picture ID, including utility bills. In other states, residents are required to present picture ID. If the resident is unable to provide the required pictured ID, the individual may still vote if they sign an affidavit attesting to their ID. Finally, in the most restrictive states, individuals must present a government-issued photo ID and individuals unable to produce the required ID are not allowed to use an affidavit to attest to their ID and subsequently cannot vote.

Residency In order to be eligible to vote within a particular jurisdiction, an individual must be a resident of that jurisdiction. Each state is empowered to create its own definition of “resident.” Generally, the test of residency is two-fold: (1) presence within the jurisdiction and (2) the intention to be a resident of the jurisdiction. For certain categories of voters, the test for residency is fluid. Such is the case for college students, members of the military stationed both domestically and abroad, individuals assigned to long-term out-of-jurisdiction work projects and retirees who spend significant portions of the year in different jurisdictions.

Voting for People with Felony Convictions Felony disenfranchisement is the practice of denying people with felony convictions the right to vote. No other nation disenfranchises as many of its citizens as the U.S. Over five million Americans are denied the right to vote because of felony convictions. The U.S. Is the only democracy in the world that takes the right to vote away from citizens who have completed their sentences. This causes over two million U.S. Citizens to be “permanently” disenfranchised from the voting process.

Poll Workers Poll workers are the people who organize a polling place, set up voting equipment, greet voters, verify registrations and provide voters with ballots. At the end of the day, poll workers close the polling place and prepare election materials for delivery or actually deliver the material to the elections office. Typically poll workers are required to be a registered voter in the precinct or county where that they are serving. Many states call these people different titles, such as poll judges.

Provisional Balloting A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question about a voter’s eligibility. Provisional ballots may be utilized when the voter’s name is not on the voter list, the voter’s eligibility is challenged pursuant to state law, the voter is in the wrong polling place, or the voter cannot provide the ID required by federal or state law.

Voter Challenges, Deceptive Practices & Voter Intimidation Every state provides some method to challenge the eligibility of a voter. However, bad-faith challenges may cross the line and can constitute voter intimidation, particularly when mass challenges are based only upon a voter’s race or status and the challenger lacks personal knowledge of the voter’s eligibility. For example, in past elections, there have been allegations of challenges based solely on voters’ Latino or Asian sounding surnames. State laws differ regarding who can make challenges, when challenges can be made, what are the proper grounds for a challenge, which party has the burden of proof, what evidence is relevant, and who decides challenges.

Overseas Voters Under the 1986 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (“UOCAVA”), members of the seven uniformed services, members of the U.S. Merchant Marines, eligible family members of the above, U.S. citizens employed by the federal government residing outside the U.S. and all other private U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. all have the right to cast an absentee ballot in federal elections. Overseas civilian and military voters can register and vote absentee using their last legal address in the U.S. While there are state-specific regulations, the general practice is that most states require the ballot to be either signed or postmarked by date of the election and received within ten-to-fourteen days after the election.

Auditing With the shift from punch cards and lever machines to optical scan devices or direct recording-electronic voting machines, there is a need to ensure accuracy through auditing. The most commonly used auditing system is the voter-verifiable paper record (“VPR”) which is designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, to create a paper record in the event of a recount and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

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