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Letter to Secretary Kemp Regarding Wrong Addresses & Diebold

In Open Letter on November 8, 2012 at 12:56 AM

November 7, 2012

Hon. Brian P. Kemp
Secretary of State
1104 West Tower
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.
SE Atlanta, GA 30334-1505

Dear Mr. Kemp:

Regarding the Georgia election in Fulton County yesterday—taking place November 6, 2012—I would appreciate a prompt, formal response explaining in detail whether or not you received any change of address request in my name prior to election day.

Among the questions I would appreciate answered,

  1. Did your office receive a change of address request for me prior to election day? If so, when? And why was the information not reflected in the computer system as of November 6, 2012?
  2. Did any other Fulton County residents report similar issues to you? If so, then what is your formal estimate of the number of such similarly reported errors?
  3. Did you receive a change of address request for me on or after election day? If so, please indicate the set deadline date by which the information will be accurately updated in your official records. Also, I would appreciate a formal confirmation in writing once the realized adjustment has occurred (e-mail is fine as well—jamesbreedlove@gmail.com).

By surprise, yesterday it was explained to me at E Rivers Elementary School (that is, “E. Rivers”) that I was registered as living at 1916 Dellwood Drive in Atlanta, i.e., my old apartment. Since December of 2010, however, I have been living in my new apartment at 1660 Peachtree Street, Apt 5112 in Atlanta. Because both these addresses reside in the same zip code 30309, I did not have to drive in rush-hour traffic across town to some remote pre-assigned, different polling station to vote; however, I believe others were probably not as fortunate as me in this respect.

According to the poll worker I spoke with, if I wanted my vote to be counted, then I would have to sign off as saying that my current residence reflected the address registered on her computer screen. At which point, I asked, wouldn’t that be breaking the law? Her reply was that by signing I would just be confirming that the address in their system was accurate per what was registered. That’s all. She went on to offer me a change of address form that she said I could (1) fill out right there on the spot and hand back to her for your records; or (2) fill out later at home and mail in to your address. Needless to say, I was greeted by a much different ballot than the one I was expecting to see in front of me yesterday; hence, this letter of inquiry.

As an additional matter of concern, the Diebold voting kiosks presented confusion for voters. Evidently, voters had to hit the “CAPS” button on the virtual keyboard as presented electronically in order to locate quotation marks. If you could not figure out this trick on the spot yesterday (multiple poll workers did not know how to locate the quotation marks either), then you likely failed to have your write-in vote count officially in the election results.

Lastly, many people in Atlanta have to work on Tuesday. Today I have been reading reports that many people are suspected to have given up and walked off altogether without voting due to delays and long lines at polling stations in Fulton County. As a result, if Fulton County elections are to continue to take place in such a poorly administered fashion in the future, please consider moving election day to a more flexible day where-by at least the majority of working people will not be forced into weighing the decision of losing their job or losing their vote again.

Sincerely,

James Breedlove

Note: I know that one lady voting (or attempting to) in line just after me at E. Rivers claimed she had sent in her change of address request several months well prior to election day; however, she was greeted similarly with a wrong address notice by the same poll worker.

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