Thursday, September 22, 2016

Register To Vote By Text?

In another indication of how modern technology is making life more convenient and wonderful you can now register to vote on your cell telephone.

Fight For The Future, one of the activist groups that's engaged in the ongoing battle to keep the internet free and open to everyone, sent me an email today with a link to a new system that lets you to register to vote by exchanging a series of text messages with a computer.

After you enter your phone number into this form, it sends you a text message and from then on it's all by text messages. It doesn't have to be a smart phone either.

I have to say it didn't work for me and they emailed me a registration form to print out and send in.

I moved recently and it might be that my updated registration information isn't on file at the "national data base" they checked. Maybe there are glitches that need to be worked out. When I did find my registration at the New Mexico secretary of states' office with a handy link Fight For The Future provided it says I'm registered at my current address.

The New Mexico secretary of state is keeping track of my voting history. I moved to New Mexico in 2000 and apparently didn't start voting here until 2004. I was driving over the road then and was only "home," a rented house outside of Moriarty, every couple months. I had a post office box out there and would sometimes come through New Mexico in the middle of the night and stop and get my mail but I rarely took time off as I was able to create time off for myself when I needed it by manipulating the dispatch system a little bit and I usually did that in southern California. For example, if I was delivering a load in California on a Friday and wanted to stay in California for a few days, I'd deliver the load but not tell my company about it until I knew that all the loads that were leaving California had been taken by other drivers. That meant I had to sit and wait until at least Monday morning, so it was off the the beach or the laundromat in Long Beach where I could park the truck on the Pacific Coast Highway or my favorite restaurants, malls, movie theaters and so on where I knew of places I could park the truck. And places where I could steal a free wifi signal; if you park outside a lawyers office, for instance. A lot of them are not very security conscious and you don't need a password to pick up their wifi signal. But many businesses are like that. Just drive around an industrial park with your computer on and eventually it will pick up an unsecured internet wifi signal.

The secretary of state link that shows your registration, by the way, also lists every kind of district you're in -- state house and senate, school board, water conservation, US house, etc., and your precinct number, which are all usually a mystery to me.

The battle to save the internet, incidentally, is a constant and ongoing struggle as corporations and the political class are constantly coming up with schemes to commercialize the internet and allow deep pocket corporations to push aside the web traffic of the little guy, activist groups and any kind of insurgency not to mention local garden clubs. They want most of all to be able to create fast and slow lanes. I.e., if you pay a fee your web site gets seen. If not it would be hard to find it.

As it is now, every web site from AT&T to my blog to Boeing to a community forum in Bangladesh all have equal access to the internet and travel over the internet at the same speed and download at the same speed. If our politicians and their Capitalist masters have their way a big company could pay to have their web site hog up all the internet space and little "free" sites would be difficult to find and download, or could even be eliminated altogether if they didn't pay or if the controlling authority didn't like their politics.

Find out more at Fight For The Future.

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