I went to vote today and was told my name wasn't on the rolls. I went home and checked online. "No information found."
But wait, I registered last year! During the primary I had run into the same problem. On April 19th I called to verify I was indeed registered to vote and was "good" for the general, but had not met the deadline for declaring a party for the primary this year. Ok. I have been an Independent for years and this is a closed state. As long as I knew I was registered for the general, I was willing to accept that. So imagine my surprise when it turned out I wasn't registered. In fact, the clerk at the Court House said they had no record I had ever been registerd. My son was registered. He voted. But my name was nowhere to be found. What answer could they give me? I could not vote. The clerk suggested I try to get a court order.
I don't currently own a phone. I haven't for months now. I live in a rural part of the county. My polling place is a block away, but the Court HOuse is downtown. Luckily, my son had rented a car for the month and he drove me downtown. Also luckily, I had saved the confirmation screen when I changed my party affiliation. This demonstrated to the judge that I had indeed been registered, as you can't change a registration you never had! There was the proof that I had registered in plenty of time. Obviously a clerical error. So I got my court order, and back we went to the polling station.
Imagine how many people must give up when told their name just isn't on the list. Imagine how many people had long ago cleaned out their email and have no proof, or who registered so long ago they no longer can locate their registration cards. Imagine how many people take three buses to get to the polling place in the first place. Imagine people waiting until they get off work, only to discover the Court House closed, or not enough time to get there and back again before the polls close. If you can vote, vote. Don't get discouraged if they send you on a paper chase. They don't have to cheat, if you forfeit the game. Vote for the ones that don't have a car, or have to work, or can't get a babysitter, or whose paperwork mysteriously vanished. Even if you have to get a court order.