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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cast "no" vote for voting sticker

I’m sorry I’m getting to this a little late.

But, thanks to the Internet, you still have time to cast your vote.

A whole day!

What are you voting for, you ask?

Your voting sticker, of course.

Yes, that little piece of information countless Ohioans slap on their shirt after doing their civic duty a few times a year is in your hands.

I didn’t know about this chance to pick the next Election Day "I Voted" sticker until I got my July 2011 Newsletter from state Sen. Nina Turner at home.

Turner represents the 25th District, which includes Euclid, Richmond Heights, South Euclid and other portions of eastern Cuyahoga County.

She was kind enough to send along updates on what she’s been doing in Columbus, what is happening with redistricting and also a note about some volunteer activities.

But, tucked on the third page in a grey box was a note that instructed those in her district to go online to vote on Ohio’s next Election Day sticker.

I read it and was surprised that there was a contest. First I knew of it.

Then I looked at the date. Not much time, I thought.

So I figured I’d hustle in a note to you, dear readers, so you can take part, too.

The method for voting is pretty easy.

You go to, enter your ZIP code and proceed to pick the design you like best.

There are six to choose from.

Because I knew I was going to write about it, I figured I’d cast my vote for my favorite.

A "thank you for voting" screen then popped up. Underneath were the percentages of votes already cast. My vote, for what it’s worth, didn’t help much, as my choice was in second-last place.

Then I got to thinking. "I wonder if it would let me stuff the ballot box?"

I logged back in, entered my ZIP code again and, boom, I was at the voting screen again.

The contest is being run by Jon Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state.

I don’t want to complain, Mr. Husted, but you could have rigged it so that each person could only vote once. Perhaps you could have used it as a test vehicle for online registration and online voting.

As they say on Twitter when something just doesn’t work, #fail.

Alas, you can vote as many times as you want for the sticker of your choice.

If you wanted, you could spend your entire Saturday and Sunday clicking away and rooting on your favorite symbol.

But, if you’re like me, you won’t find the one you really want to vote for — no sticker at all.

I just don’t see the point of having to hand someone a sticker so that they have proof they cast a ballot.

If it’s a requirement for them to return to work, or to verify why they’re late, then shame on their boss. Or, shame on them for getting in a position that their boss doesn’t believe they actually took time to vote.

The idea that you have to get something in return for doing your civic duty is a little silly, in my mind. It’s also too expensive.

Those stickers are paid for by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. Or, rather, by you and me.

Isn’t it about time, in an age when there’s so much worry about the state’s budget and how to pay for necessary services, that we cut out such frivolous things?

Then again, maybe I’m the only one who thinks the act of voting is enough of a gift.

Twitter: @Lauranh


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