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Vote By Mail in 60 Seconds

Voting is your Constitutional right. You should not be overly burdened to exercise that right.

I would like to thank my congressman for sending me a reminder to vote but NOT at the polls.

Tom Price sent me a post card that said, “Submit Absentee Ballots by November 6th!” Yes, he used an exclamation point for emphasis because this is important. The rule changes on photo IDs and the reduction in early voting days have made what was formerly known as “Absentee Balloting” an important way to exercise your constitutional right to vote.

First a little history. Absentee balloting was widely known as a difficult and restrictive way to vote. You needed a reason to use the process, like being sick, out of town, and then you had to do backflips to get the paperwork filled out.

NO MORE. Now, in Georgia, you can request a ballot in 60 seconds, wait about 7-10 days, get the ballot in your mailbox, fill it out, and send it in to the Cobb Election commission.

Since a lot of people know what absentee balloting used to be, that is difficult and restrictive, the election marketing department (or something like it) decided to give the process a new name, “Voting By Mail,” to make it more attractive. Go to CobbElections.org and on the home page, at the bottom left, there are the words “Vote By Mail” which takes you to a page that says “Absentee Voting By Mail,” the next line says, “vote absentee by mail, without giving any reason.” Now, Vote by Mail and Absentee Voting mean exactly the same thing, like house and casa, different words but the same meaning.

How easy is it to request a ballot? Go to http://elections.cobbcountyga.gov/VoteByMailApp.php and print out the form. It is a 2 minute process or we can cut it down to 1 minute with this cheat sheet: Write with a pen

  1. Your driver’s license No.
  2. Date Of Birth
  3. Phone #  (optional but if you mess up something, they can get back with you quickly)
  4. Name As Registered
  5. Current Address
  6. Check box for General (Presidential) Election
  7. SIGNATURE
  8. Then Fax, or Scan & E-Mail, or Mail to the addresses listed at the bottom of the page.

Got a child in college or out of town who is registered to vote in Cobb County? Give them a call and tell them to go to cobbelections.org and walk them thru the process. You miss them and were going to call anyway.

Know someone who is registered to vote but doesn’t have a photo ID like your mom, or grandmother, or some other nice person, no problem. Instead of filling in a Driver’s License No. on the top right part of the form, they can write the last 4 digits of their Social Security No (optional) on the top left part of the form.

Registered outside Cobb County? Go to FultonElections.com or Voter.CherokeeGA.com. Most of these and other elections board, if not all, use the same generic form that is available on the Georgia Secretary of State's web site. 

If you use this generic form, see where your county wants you to send your “Vote By Mail/Absentee Ballot” form. I like the Cobb form. It is easier to use and already has the Fax, Scan, and E-Mail addresses already on the form.

Got a question? Call Cobb Elections at (770) 528-2581.

Voting is your Constitutional right. It should be easy and Tea Party Tom would not recommend anything where the potential of voter fraud exists.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marlene Mitchell October 09, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Constitutional right ???
Mike Holzknecht October 09, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I hope Ms. Mitchell's comment stimulates others to read the Constitution and its Amendments. The public library,Wikipedia, and other online references are good sources of information on this subject. If Ms. Mitchell is African American or a woman or both there are specific Constitutional protections for her voting rights.
T October 09, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I have been voting 'absentee' for national elections for years. Sent off my ballot 8 days ago. It is far easier than driving somewhere and standing in line. My total investment in time was perhaps 12-15 minutes and tht included the 3 minutes to make my selections. Oregon is totally vote by mail. We should do it this way. One other minor comment I would make is that I have very little time for going through this KGB grilling by poll workers who demand to see your 'Government issued ID'. I do not and will not EVER bend to demands to show my 'Government issued ID' in order to vote. This isn't Stalin's Russia. When I registered to vote I satisfied all the States requirements to vote and as far as I am concerned the State has done all it should at that time to verify my status, anything after that is total nonsense and an unwarranted intrusion by the State in my life. I firmly believe in that old Jeffersonian attitude, 'The government that governs least, governs best.'
C.J. October 09, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Yes. Constitutional right. It seems like this should be obvious, but if you're unaware that voting is a Constitutional right, then you might consider reading the applicable sections of the, um, Constitution. You'll find a few places where it says (emphasis mine): " The RIGHT of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State..." Also, think about this logically. If voting were a privilege (it isn't) that could be granted and rescinded like a drivers license, then the United States would not be democracy (or a republic, if you prefer). Rather, we would live in country disguised as democracy, but in reality those in power could potentially rig elections in their favor by granting and rescinding the privilege based on criteria that is more likely to keep them in power. We can even see attempts at this in Texas, for example where a law was passed modifying the requirements such that voters could no longer identify themselves at the polls with student IDs (more likely to vote for Democrats), but they could do so with a concealed weapons license to vote (more likely to vote Republican). Again, voting is a right. No right to vote...no democracy.

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