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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MHS Publishes Early Voting Schedule: No Tickets Required

I see the Madison Central School District has posted a list of absentee voting opportunities. Permit me to post the schedule hear in clean and simple text to spare you the trouble of clicking on the school's needlessly bandwidthy PDF:

Date Event Location Time
12/20 Middle School band/choir concert High School Auditorium 7:00 p.m.
12/21 Boys basketball Cafeteria 4:45 p.m.
1/7 Girls basketball Cafeteria 4:45 p.m.
1/10 Boys basketball DSU Fieldhouse 4:45 p.m.
1/12 Open voting Elementary Commons 12:45 p.m.
1/13 Girls basketball DSU Fieldhouse 5:00 p.m.
1/15 Gymnastics Cafeteria Noon
1/17 Forum Cafeteria 7:00 p.m. after Forum
1/18 Open voting Elementary Commons 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
1/20 Boys basketball DSU Fieldhouse 5:00 p.m.
1/21 Wrestling (Madison Square Garden) Cafeteria 6:00 p.m.
1/25 Forum Cafeteria 7:00 p.m. after Forum

Dang—I already missed a couple!

A couple things occurred to me last night about the school district's early-voting scheme. First, the school can't conduct early voting at a basketball game... or at least not on the other side of the ticket table. Suppose concerned citizens want to observe the voting, as they are entitled by state law to do. Suppose they're on a tight budget and can't afford a ticket to the basketball game. If school business manager and election officer Cindy Callies sets up a voting table on paid side of the ticket booth, she creates a barrier to poll watchers, not to mention potential voters.

There can be no price of admission to access any polling place. That's why, in the above schedule, the polling during high school games is listed at the cafeteria or the auditorium. But there still had better not be any electioneering near that voting table!

Note also that it's a bit tough to make to observe the polls when the school district doesn't include a closing time for its early polls. Keeping democracy honest is hard work, but on January 20th, for instance, it would be nice to know if voting will run for just an hour or if I should pack a snadwich and expect to be there for four hours.

Absent from the school's new gym/renovation information site is a list of workplaces that have requested early voting sessions. If any such sessions are scheduled, we should expect similar public notification.

Note, business owners, that if you invite Mrs. Callies to hold early voting at your business, you'll need to open your doors to any person who wants to come in and watch or even vote. That's our right. You can't call Mrs. Callies and say, "I have five employees who want to vote; please bring five ballots down." If folks on the street hear that you're conducting an early vote at your office, and they want to drop in and vote at that time as well, you have to let them in, and Mrs. Callies has to bring enough ballots for such a contingency.

The school district has already lost one supporter with its gaming of the vote. I hope the school will compensate for its questionable vote-stacking by keeping the process as transparent as possible.


  1. If the one supporter the school lost is you it is going to have about as much effect as your vote for SHS in the last election :)

  2. Not I, Dr. Sweet. Check the link: it's my neighbor John Hess. Winning by cheating doesn't win stakeholders.

  3. So your vote isn't lost. That's great news!

  4. Anything is possible, John... but at the moment I'm pretty strongly in the No camp. Cut the new gym, and I'm in.

    Of course 200 votes are already arguably lost, having voted early before having the chance to hear all the details through the campaign before Feb. 1....

  5. I would think that as an educator concerned about the development of the whole student, as I know you are, that you would favor improving the facilities and opportunities for all disciplines.

  6. I would think that someone proposing to improve education wouldn't use logical fallicies to further their position. One isn't against education if the choose not to support a 16 million dollar bond issue. You have created a false choice. For shame.

  7. Win at any cost and scrape that last bit of idealism off our bones.

  8. I share John Hess's concern about the lack of honesty in the vote-stacking scheme. John Sweet, I am concerned about such development. Our students appear to have a wide range of atheltic opportunities. They do not have enough AP courses. They do not have a gifted program. They have only one foreign language available. They do not have a fully active debate team. There are numerous ways in which their whole development is not being addressed. Building amulti-million gym will not improve those developments. Applying that money toward improved academic offerings will.


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