Posted Sep 14, 2010 13:21 UTC (Tue) by firstname.lastname@example.org (subscriber, #21779)
In reply to: Citizen Linus by Janne
Parent article: Citizen Linus
In the US, one enlists themselves to the eligible voter list at their primary residence. This can be done by visiting your town/city/county offices, or, by federal law, can be done when applying for a drivers license. In most states, one registers as a party member, or as unaffiliated.
Election ballots are combinations of city/town, county, state and federal offices. There are a *lot* of elected officials in the US.
Political parties play a substantial role in organizing and executing elections (and in organizing the affairs of constitutional bodies - which are often not specified in any great detail constitutionally or legislatively). For an example specific to elections, in most states, political parties are responsible for nominating and supplying poll workers. Our parties certainly look raucous and crazy from afar (and they are), but they have many practical responsibilities which might be harder to notice at a distance.
In Finland, if you receive a paper that allows you to vote, how does the paper-issuer know which address to send the paper to (if you have more than one residence). Or, in general, how does the issuer know where you live to send even a single paper? Or how many eligible residents there at each dwelling? It seems some registration somewhere must be necessary to issue accurate voting permits.
I apologize for the off-topic comment - I'm proud to be a US citizen and hopefully sharing a few simple details might offset in some gentle way the ugly name calling that occurs above..