Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why Am I Not Surprised?


Why am I not surprised? My polling place is a church. It is located three blocks from my house. I voted at noon. When I arrived at the polling place, there were about 20 voters ahead of me. As I stood in line, I glanced over to a table next to the wall and saw a sample ballot.

I decided to examine the ballot as I waited in line. There beside the ballot was a copy of the Oklahoma Voter's Guide. (Click on the photo to see a larger view) Someone had apparently gone to the Oklahoma Family Policy Council website, copied the entire contents of the voters guide, and placed it beside the sample ballot. I was amazed beyond belief that anyone would have the audacity to break the law like this. It is against the law to post any sort of political advertisement inside a polling place, much less beside a sample ballot.

Rather than cause a ruckus, which I could have easily done, I registered, received my ballot, and went to the voting booth and marked it. After entering the ballot into the voting machine, I casually went to the table, picked up the voter's guide, and walked out. I was angry. Very angry.

I decided to drive down to the Garfield County Election Board and lodge a complaint. I told the official at the Election Board office what I experienced. I received a mixed response. The official indicated that it was against the law for something like this to occur. She said the people at the polling place were supposed to be on the watch for incidents like this, but didn't seem overly concerned. She asked which polling place had allowed this to occur. I told her and she declared that I had done the right thing by removing the document from the premises.

I don't honestly don't believe any election official, either at the local polling place or the county election board, had anything to do with placing the document where is was. Rather, I think it was probably someone from the Oklahoma Family Policy Council. I'm not sure how wide spread this was. It could have occurred just at my polling place. But knowing what I do about the zeal of people from the OFCP, I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of thing didn't happen all over Oklahoma.

The date on the voter's guide is 10/20/2006. Someone, whoever it was, apparently deliberately planned to plant this guide at a polling place. I would be interested to learn how many other polling places had these illegal documents beside the sample ballots. Of course, not being an election official, there's no way I could ever learn. But whether it happened just at my polling place, or whether it happened only at other polling places around the county and state, the people of Oklahoma Family Planning Council should be ashamed that one of their number should stoop so low as this. This is illegal by any standard of measurement.

Many Christians preach long and hard about faithfully abiding by the laws of the land. But when it comes furthering their own agenda, breaking the law apparently doesn't matter. Small wonder the world sees so many Christians as being hypocrites. Then again, why am I not surprised?

1 comment:

Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

This would have upset me as well. I've heard of these voter guides and have been told you can even take them into the booth with you. It's hard to imagine one would be sitting out like in such an obvious place. I don't know what kind of influence something like that would have on folks who know who they're voting for anyway. It's the principle of the thing.