Don’t Tell Me What I Can and Can’t Do

November 1, 2010

There are lots of things I want to tell you about, but right now, I have to tell you this: this is the second election I have not been able to vote in because of the Egyptian government.

The first time in 2008, I was studying abroad in Cairo. I asked my mom to forward me my absentee ballot, rather than change my address. I figured that, if I changed my address to Egypt, I’d have to change it back to California, and so I might as well keep my address in California. Well, because the Egyptian postal service is so retarded, I never received my ballot.

Fast forward to October 2010, as I wait to receive my ballot back in California. I never changed my address, and I received a jury summons last winter. I assumed everything was OK, but I was wrong. I called the registrar to ask why I hadn’t received my ballot. Turns out I was designated an “inactive voter.” Inactive? Inactive?! I’m a pretty active person, if I do say so myself. I asked them why on earth they thought I was “inactive.” For some reason the post office returned something to the registrar to say it was undeliverable.

To make a long rant shorter, I’ve concluded that the Egyptian post office opened my mom’s package to make sure there was no porn, saw my ballot, and sent it back to my county’s voting registrar to say it was undeliverable. Instead of contacting me via all the contact information they have on me (phone number, alternative phone number, email), they choose to save money and just assume I’m an inactive voter. There’s no other explanation. I’ve never changed my permanent address in California. I’ve never contacted the registrar for any reason, and they’ve never contacted me (clearly).

Moral of the story: if you want to vote, be more active than you think you should be. The government and the registrar don’t have the energy or the time to make sure you care to vote. Also, FUCK YOU MUBARAK.

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