Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Newton Election Commission

Letter 1, 29.01.08:

Dear Sir,

I have ordered an absentee ballot for the Republican primary about 3.5 weeks ago by mail. Is still hasn't arrived. Mail takes about a week to arrive from there to here.

This is not the first time this happens, and I am afraid not the last, either. What is going on there? The only absentee ballot that ever came on time and without any problems was the ballot for the last congressional election. The one for the 2000 presidential election never arrived at all, in spite of multiple letters and phone calls; the one for the 2004 election arrived only after multiple phone calls.

What exactly is the problem? I send in an absentee ballot request, and more often than not get no answer whatsoever.

Best regards,
Vera Izrailit

Answer, 29.01.08:

Dear Ms. Izrailit,

In regards to your e-mail refering to a problem with your ballot, this is the first time I have received your request for an absentee ballot. I was hired in June of 2007 and find it offensive that you would presume that we are not processing absentee applications properly. I can assure you that this is not the case. My staff is very competent and that your absentee ballot was mailed to your Finland address on January 24, 2008. Remember the deadline to receive your ballot in Newton is Wednesday, February 20, 2008.

Craig AJ Manseau, Executive Director
Newton Election Commission

Letter two, 30.01.08:

Dear Mr Manseau,

If you are offended by the public's complaints, I am afraid the public service is not for you. I do, however, share your feelings, because I am also offended by the fact that you are not processing the absentee applications properly.

Obviously, if you have started working there in 2007, anything that has happened before that is not a personal fault of yours. I, on the other hand, have had experience with your staff and their predecessors since 1996, and I assure you that my complaints stem from experience and not from presumptions.

I an quite surprised that you have not received my request for an absentee ballot before now, because in my experience both Finland's and United States' postal services are quite reliable, at least as long as the letters are not going to the Newton Election Commission, or coming from it. I am, however, quite grateful that you have posted it on the 24th of January, and congratulate you on your acquisition of a time machine.

Best regards,
Vera Izrailit

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