Voting in California - what you need to know.

I just got back from training to be an Inspector, and I figured this would be an appropriate forum to share some common concerns people have had about voting:

1. Can I wear an Obama t-shirt/button/hat to the polls?
Yes/no.  California elections code considers that to be electioneering, which can be considered intimidating to other voters at the polls.  If you wear it, you'll be asked to cover it up or take it off, if it's a hat or a button, and if it's clothing, election officials (at least in San Francisco) have ponchos they can provide so you can vote without intimidating others.  You will not be turned away from the polls.

2. Can I observe voting at a precinct?
Yes.  However, you may not talk to other voters about your voting preferences.  If you talk to the pollworkers they will effectively say "no comment" as they're not allowed to divulge their political standing while working at the polls.  Additionally, please introduce yourself to the pollworkers as an observer; you're allowed to observe, but we cannot accept help.

3. Can the media film the polling place?
Yes, as long as they do not film someone actually filling out a ballot.  They also must present credentials in order to interview voters within the polling center.  They may not ask how voters voted; exit polling must occur at least 25 feet from the polling center.

4. Can I put up a sign at the polling center for Obama?
No.  It needs to be 100 feet from the door into the polling center.  If the polling center is within a building, it is 100 feet from the inside door, not the door to the building.

5. Am I required to bring ID?
If you have voted before, no.   Here are the requirements according to the Secretary of State
If you filled out registration without documenting ID, and you haven't voted in the county previously, you will be required to demonstrate ID.  If you know your driver's license number or the last four digits of your social, this information can be used in lieu of showing ID.  See the list for guidance.

6. Can I demand a paper ballot?
Depends on your jurisdiction.  In San Francisco, in order to make sure the voting is more smooth, we've been told to quietly not encourage use of the touch-screens, and only offer it if someone needs to use an audio ballot.

7. A pollworker at my precinct seems to be looking at/touching my completed ballot.  Is this legal?
If you asked for assistance, yes.  At that point the pollworker also needs to fill out a form stating that s/he helped with your ballot.

8. I've just been told I need to fill out a provisional ballot; does this mean my vote will be thrown out?
No! In fact, there's a receipt on each provisional envelope that has a trackable number that you can use to see if your vote counted, 40 days after the election.  It obviously doesn't tell you how you voted.

9. There's a long line at my polling place, can I still vote even if the polls have officially closed?
If you're in line at 8pm when the Inspector goes outside and shouts "The polls are now closed", then you're still entitled to vote.  If you show up at 8:01pm, you're out of luck.

Find out the rules and regs for your state prior to heading out.  Also, if you find that your registration is in a different place than you expected, or you run into difficulties, please please please please do not take it out on your election officials; we care just as much as you do about making sure you can exercise your right and responsibility in democracy in a fair manner.  If you do run into an election official who's not being helpful, you can always call the hotline posted at every polling center.

No on 8!  Obama/Biden!

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California, that liberal hellhole according to many conservatives, is the only state that extends the First Amendment to private colleges, which as a matter of educational philosophy should encourage, not restrict, freedom of expression.

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Burning the First Amendment: Sarah Palin and the Bookburners

Sarah Palin may not have personally burned any books, but she didn't speak out against those who have. Her muted voice is a codnemntation of a life that has missed a part of the Constitution.

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The Indictment of XXXXX XXXXX By Justice and History

Cross-posted at XXXXXXXXXX

Having discovered that XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, (XXXXxxxx and XXXXXX of XXXXXXXXXXXXX) has a long history of participation in and support of the XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX and, moreover, trained or worked or "interviewed"with the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX in 200X, now research into the life and history of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has revealed and established the following facts and, therefore, justice and history now bring this thirty-one count indictment of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

1).XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX was active for six months at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX offices in Washington, DC in 200X, with or without pay.  (XXXXX carefully to XXXXXXXX's speech to the XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXX, on June XXXXXXXX, XXXXXX.) Therefore, nothing that he, XXXXXXXXXXXX say can be accepted at face value.

2). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX was born in XXXXXXXX, not in XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Therefore, he is a XXXXXXXXXX is NOT and never was an XXXXXXXXXX, in spite of his habitual assertions to the contrary.

3). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has used at least three aliases, including XXXXXX  XXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. No one seems to know XXXXXXXXX's complete name with certainty, but it certainly is not what he has said it is.

4). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX lied when he said "I don't have money.  I don't come from a famous or powerful family.  I was an XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX." XXXXXXXXXX   XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Counter to the rags to riches XXXXXXXXXX story XXXXXXXXXXXX has conveniently adopted recently for public consumption, XXXXXXXX has said that he can and does "always close the door" on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX identity "in detached selfishness."

5). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX was a XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, taking credit for supporting XXXXXXXXXXX, campaigning for George. H.W. Bush, and for Republican Representative ZZZZZZZZZZZ, the House prosecutor in the Clinton impeachment hearings.

6). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX  XX is not a "liberal" and he is not a "progressive." In an essay submitted to the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX University campus newspaper, the XXXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXX strenuously opposed ALL XXXXXXXXX by XXXXXX in the US XXXXXX, a position more extremely Republican and discriminatory than that taken by many other military members and conservatives.  XXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXX

7). Like David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX promotes "states rights," a codeword for opposition to integration and determined acts and policies of segregation.  Is XXXXXXXX a White Supremacist Group?

8). XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX has told the media, without naming her, that his mother "returned to XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX several years ago to run a XXXXXX." XXXXXXXXXXXX Gate

9). In fact, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX family owns a sumptuous and "exclusive" resort hotel and tourism conglomerate in XXXXXXXXXXXXXX called the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX a unit of which is theXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

10). Demonstrating his connection to these, what XXXXXXXXX has called "family business" interests, XXXXXXXXX invited his xxxxxxxx, friends and family to celebrate XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxx after he was married in the year XXXXXXXXXX.

11). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"family business" actually received five million dollars in foreign investments between 1997 and 2000, immediately before the period in which XXXXXXXXX states that he sought work at the XXXXXXXX because he was "underemployed, unemployed."Audiotape of 2006 XXXXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXX .

12). XXXXXXXXX ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, the "family" member listed in government records as "manager" of the XXXXXXXXX hotel is also president of the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, the national tourism board of XXXXXXXXXXXXX.  XXXXXXXXX News. He has aggregated power in ZZZ  XXXXXXX through participation in a series of interlocking tourism-related directorates and has used this power to facilitate the destruction of the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX by his XXXXXX conglomerate, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, even though the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX is universally recognized by international groups as an endangered habitat for imperiled marine life.  



13).  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, the man listed in public documents as the XXXXXXXXXXXX of the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, is also president of the "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" of the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, the national XXXXXX board of XXXXXXXXXXXXX. In addition, he is a member of the member of the "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" of the XXXXXXXXXXX (System for Integration of XXXXXXXXXXXXXX).

14). The man listed as the manager of the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX is also named in XXXXXXXXXXXXX Government documents as the "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" (Administrator Sole Proprietor) of XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

15).XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XX is also known as the"XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX," which does business as "XXXXX XXXX."

16). XXXX  XXXXX distributes XXXXXXXXX and industrial XXXXXXX in the United States, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Central and South America, and maintains offices in XXXXXXXXXX, where President George W. Bush was born. This XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX office shares a telephone number, fax number and physical address with a peculiar equipment rental and petroleum industry business, Light Tower Rentals, Ltd, listed along with Halliburton Energy Services Group in the Texas organization records of USA Oilfield. These activities associated with ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ's ZZZZZZZZZZ have not been sufficiently explained.  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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NY Cops Deny Press Pass to Respected Police Blogger

During his 20+ years working the cops beat for Newsday, the New York Post and the AP, Leonard Levitt dug up some of the best police reporting in the business. But when he started his own muckraking web site,, and exposed the underbelly of the NYPD, the police department suddenly denied him a press pass - a vital tool for any reporter that enabled Levitt to cross police and fire barriers to report news at emergency and crime scenes. Today, the New York Civil Liberties Union (the NY chapter of the ACLU) sued the NYPD to protect Levitt's right to report freely and fairly on one of the largest and most important police departments in the country.

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