Tuesday, January 12, 2010

American Voting Pride

I just love being American when I get my absentee ballot notice 9 months in advance. Yes, today I received an address form to fill out which will ensure that my US state election office sends me this year's election ballot on time and to the right place. They are not even legally obliged to send out this kind of announcement, yet they do.

They noticed in their records that I voted for the 2008 elections and thought I may still be abroad so they sent me this probe. I will complete the form, send it back in the mail and am assured that I can easily participate in September and November's voting. It exemplifies real satisfaction towards American efficiency.

This would never happen for an Italian abroad. They were only recently lucky to get even the ability to vote while abroad, finally granted in 2001. (Meanwhile Italians still cannot vote with an absentee status when residing anywhere in their country, even if it is at the other end of it, i.e. a Sicilian living in Milan! This means they have to go "home" if they want to vote where they are residents.)


  1. Hi Irene. I just found your blog and really enjoy reading your entries. I spent a day in Padua around the Christmas holiday. It was a side trip from Venice. What a great city! We have fond memories of the Scrovegni chapel, St. Anthony's cathedral and the markets. Ciao!

  2. You hit some of the best spots. If you ever get back, also see the Palazzo della Ragione salone. It often hosts temporary exhibits, too, like the current architect's dedicated to Zaha Hadid.

    Thank you for the compliment!

  3. Mexico is also very much like this. In fact, one can't even vote outside of the town/city where they registered for their 'electoral credential'. My girlfriend and I were in our hometown during an election weekend and she wasn't able to vote because she still had her card from another city where she had gone to college. It's old school and unless one has lived it it definitely doesn't sound to pleasing. Which would make leaving the US that much more difficult.

  4. Javier, definitely the Americans have the advantage of their system in this case. Some other countries are catching up, but it might take another generation for them to be on par with the USA.