Becky Says...

October 17,2000

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North Carolina has instituted a new absentee voting policy, which is known as "No Excuses." The name comes from the fact that you don't have to say you'll be out of town on election day; you merely have to state that you'd rather cast your vote during a three-week period that ends the Friday before the election. I think this is a good thing, though I probably won't need to use it this year.

The only drawback I see is that no matter that you've already voted, you still have to deal with (usually by muting in my dwelling) the campaign commercials and the stuff that arrives by mail or phone (toss it; screen the calls).

I've been lucky in recent years in terms of telephone calls for candidates---I haven't had many. It may be that I've managed to get myself on some "don't bother to ask; she won't tell you" list.

For a few years, people from my party's local group called. After asking for me by name, the callers would ask me if I planned to vote. Upon receiving an affirmative, the next question would be for whom I was planning to vote. The first couple of times I was content just to tell the caller that I'd rather not say. But the last time it happened, I asked why the party thought I would answer that---did they no longer believe in secret ballots?

The caller said that since they were only calling those registered as members of that party, they figured we would probably be supporting the party's candidates. I told him that I didn't care to divulge for whom I planned to vote (certainly not in each race on the ballot that time).

Sometimes even my best friends don't know for whom I'm voting. Why in the world would I tell a stranger?

Yes, I understand that support from voters before the election is important. But unless I choose to state my preferences, it's my secret to keep.

But I did wonder if I had said I was voting for an opponent what the response would have been.

Text © copyright 2000 Becky