I take great pride in voting. I take it seriously. I enjoy it. I look forward to it. I have never *not* done it. When I moved from one town over and had to change my address with the DMV, I had the option of also changing my address for voting purposes. Of course I agreed to this and thought I was all set. Just to be safe though, I called the city clerk yesterday to make sure I was registered in my current town. I wasn't. Shocker. Apparently the DMV isn't too quick about getting the info to the city clerks (please note: I changed my address about 18 months ago.) The kind woman at the clerk's office told me it wasn't a problem and that I should go to the voting location for my current address, I'll sign a paper, prove I am who I am, and vote in my current town. No problem. Excellent.
Fast forward to today:
I arrive at my the designated location, explain to the nice woman guarding the list of names "L - Z" what I was told. She sends me to the help desk. They have no idea what I'm talking about. None. First, one woman can't find me as a registered voter *anywhere* in the state of Vermont. She asks if I've voted here before. I politely tell her that in 1998 and 2000 I voted in Burlington, in 2002, 2004, 2006, I voted in South Burlington (the very same location in which I was currently attempting to vote), in 2008 I voted absentee because I was away as a student, in 2010 I voted in Winooski, and in 2012, I have verified with the town clerk that I am, in fact, registered. It turns out she was only searching the local database, not the state-wide one. Great. She tapped a few keys and finally found me still listed in Winooski. I go through my story again, tell her that's exactly why I'm standing in front of her, that I need to fill out some special form and I can vote in my current town. She calls over her co-hort who was supposedly the "expert" but, as it turns out, was much less helpful and less familiar with Vermont voting laws than even I was. The "expert" tells me I can simply go vote in Winooski. I politely explain that is illegal, according to this. She disagrees. I stop just short of pulling up the website on my phone to prove it to her.
Expert: "No, no. That's not true. There's no problem."
Me: "Ma'am, according to the laws of the state of Vermont, I am to vote in this town - where I currently reside - otherwise I'll have to shell out $10k in fines. That's not ok by me."
Expert: "No. That's not true, there's no fine. You just vote wherever you're listed. I'll call the city clerk anyway and see what they say."
She called the city clerk and apparently spoke to someone who was *not* the individual I had spoken to yesterday and was told to send me to Winooski. Again, I politely explain that is illegal. She continues to disagree. She asks if I've voted in Vermont before. I run through my list again, then end with, "My parents were hippies! They raised me to vote! I'm going to vote today! Bah. Fine. I'll just go to Winooski."
I arrive in Winooski, my name is on the list, they verify my :ahem: "address", I say "Uh, sounds about right..." get handed my slip and marker, and cast my ballot.
Happy day. Please, no one turn me in. I do not have $10k and do not wish to spend the next 15 years of my life in the slammer. Besides, the city clerk and an actual election official both said it was OK, so I'm going to say that I'm in the clear. Many thanks.