The Election is Almost Here!

Well, I've never worked this hard in my life (except maybe for Đại Hội). Yesterday I worked 17 hours and it looks like the next 3 weeks will be the same thing. I've been placed over Early Voting this time around, and it's a killer. Needless to say, there's not much time to blog (or clean or cook or do anything other than eat and sleep) but I just wanted to drop a line and let my 8 readers (or maybe we're up to 10?) know that I'm still alive. If any of you have emailed me in the last month, please know that I'll respond after Feb 5th. hehe

Remember, get out and vote!

Here's some pictures from before the madness took over my life.


Triet said...

Are you working for a specific party?

xanghe said...

No, you know me, I'd never do that. Never could make up my mind about a party anyway. I work for the county and we conduct the election and tally the results. HUGE operation, but it's nice when it's over

Triet said...

yes, that sounds like you...indecisive. j/k

so the county conducts both parties' primaries?

Let's open a larger can of worms:

20% of voters in California are independent. Democrats will allow them to vote in the Democratic primary. Republicans will not, choosing to make the Republican primary open only to Republican party members.

Since you are a worker, do they allow you to vote? Do you have to vote at certain locations (for fear of tampering)? Any funny rules they make you follow?

Which primary will you vote in?

Triet said...

Another question.

i thought about putting that ultra cool vdict functionality on my wanna be ultra cool blog, but when i double click a word on your blog, the dictionary doesn't come up any more.

it just says "chao cac ban nhe." No tones even. What gives?

Have you liked the functionality? found any issues with it?

xanghe said...

crap, I don't know what's up with the viet. I'll have to look into it after the election. It's a cool addition to the blog, but I don't think it's real practical, I don't think anybody really uses it so it might not be worth the load up time of the javascript.

As far as the election goes, the counties, under the Secretary of State, conduct elections in California. Our agency is responsible for maintaining the voter registration database (1.5 million voters), conducting the election and tallying the results, all of which is transparent and open to the public. So the county runs the election for all parties (there are 8 qualified parties here).

I am allowed to vote. It's funny that you ask if there are any rules that we have to follow because just last year the Secretary of State "de-certified" all of the electronic voting systems in California, except the one we're using. But she did slap a bunch of requirements on us to "heighten security" in the voting process. The problem is, as I see it, that the people making these decisions and requirements aren't completely in tune with the internal processes behind conducting an election in the 21st century.

For example (now you got me going), we are now required to affix tamper-evident seals to all of the equipment to show any tampering of the data ports, seams, etc. So we've had to purchase seals and hand place them on all of our equipment. 7 seals per machine, over 9000 machines in our warehouse. Instead of devising a programmatic security method that can be installing into the system, the SOS office has chosen to follow a much-more-visible, much-less-effective security feature that voters can see and supposedly therefore feel comforted in the fact that their vote has not been tampered with. Truth is, the seals do nothing to protect the integrity of the vote (haven't these people steamed stamps off an envelope before?).

Ok, I've got to open another early voting site tomorrow morning at 6:30 so I'm going to bed. How are elections run over there?

Triet said...

How incredibly interesting.

Contrary to your belief, I have used your dictionary. I don't really care for the search box in your sidebar, but I use the double click feature. If I'm reading something, then I can quickly find out what the word means, without having to have vdict open in another tab (like I habitually do).

I thought I'd use it most to look up cool viet words that you know and I don't (since you use your viet so much and I speak worse than before I entered the MTC...) but actually, i use it most with English posts.

I see a word I know in English, then realize it's kinda a high quality word (not just conversational English) and I don't know its counterpart in Viet. Quick double-click, and I've made myself feel smarter for the next five minutes (until I forget the word).

On the other hand, voting in Texas is open. I quite like it that way, because I am an independent. that way, i can walk into a voting place and vote for whomever I feel like. If I want to vote for the dems in the primary, yea! If not, yea!

However, if I was a political party, I think I'd side with the California Republicans on this one. It's like US citizenship. If we give every illegal immigrant the same rights and privileges we have as citizens, then what's the benefit of being a citizen? If you want to have a say in who the Republican candidate is, you should show some allegiance to the Republican party.

In fact, I'm surprised that a candidate like Bush, who ran unopposed in 2004, *never* (maybe he did and we don't know it) purposely invigorated his base/the independents to vote in the other party's primary.

If it's open, it's legal. Heck, if you know you have to face one Democrat in the general election, wouldn't you want to stack the deck as to whom it is?

Sorry, I digress.

As a voter in Texas, i don't know if we have tamper stickers or not. I've never looked for them and I don't care. We go into a place (last time it was a ballroom at the Marriott) and someone sitting at a table by the door makes us show our card or driver's license. We then sign next to our name on a paper roster.

Then I go to another table and they print out a piece of paper that I assume is my "receipt."

Then I walk to one of the machines lined in a row with dividers that don't divide separating the machines. I use some funny swivel key to select who I want (like a poor man's ipod functionality) and press another button to confirm the selection, then move to the next race.

When I'm done, I walk out. No worries about tampering or losing my vote because too many people watch these results for "irregularities."

Triet said...

the other cool thing about this comment thread, is I am comparing co.mments with the built-in blogger functionality to have all comments emailed to me.

verdict out soon...if people keep commenting.

Triet said...

p.s. you never answered the last half of my question -- which primary will you vote in?

xanghe said...

I'm declined to state and this time around the Republican party of California is not allowing declined to state voters to vote in their primary so I went Democratic. The only other choice for decline to state voters was American Independent - no thanks! Anyway, I don't follow politics like a hawk because working in the election office has kind of turned me sour to politics. No, not sour, but more like I feel disenchanted with all the hubbub about political candidates. I don't vote based on principle because I think principle gets lost in politics. Alright, off to work...

I get my comments by email, too.

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travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)