Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Some Once-Proud Words on a Dusty Upper Shelf

I wrote these words, okay not these words <= seven years ago today. That first bunch I wrote just now, if you wanna synchronize calendars and meet back here again in seven years ago that works for me. What was true at that moment seven years ago remains so to this day. Read on, or not. 

It was a quiet story at the time seven years ago, but it's a part of the form of government we've chosen and it's included in the overhead. The CT Secretary of the State released a report on the number of deceased people who are still listed as registered voters. I think we're looking at a challenge to bookkeeping rather than a conspiracy and that's pretty much what the news stories said.

Having helped bury a parent a very long time ago, I can recall the bewildering number of notification forms and advisories we all filled out at the time-in my family's case, all of this was compounded by the fact that the parent who died, my father, was Senior and I was (still am?) a Junior. 

Were there people we should have notified, and didn't? Yeah-the state motor vehicle folks who mailed a license renewal to my mom some time later-she probably didn't need that reminder and I suspect none of us notified the Mr. Met Mailing list that Dad was gone. To this day, every once in a while, I'll get a piece of mail that (to my mind) is clearly intended for my father.

So much of what we do in our everyday lives seems so automatic that I'm hard-pressed to imagine a system that might better help local voter registrars keep track of all of us (and when we register to vote, but then can't seem to be bothered to do so, I'm not sure we're helping the process). As I said, I don't think as I read the news release, anyone connected to the Secretary of State's office was suggesting any form of hanky-panky, just that there's some free play in the accounting system. 

Maybe we could hold mandatory block parties once a month and take attendance? If you're going on vacation, you must bring a note from your travel agent? I think we're doing the best we can do and that considering how free-wheeling we Americans are in settling and resettling, the registrars do the best they can to keep track of us.

I don't know about you, I always assume when I stop seeing people I'm used to seeing that they've moved (if I've even noticed that I don't see them anymore. I'm not the most perceptive guy in the room, even when I'm by myself). People could be in witness protection, I suppose, though making new friends is probably not high on their 'to do' list; I just don't assume the worst and I don't think any, or many, of us do. 

We could probably check with the telemarketers and see who hasn't renewed a 'Do not call' listing or ask one of the Nigerian spam mailers to double check or we could try a little harder to watch out for one another. Considering we're all each other has, it might be a good idea to keep an eye out and the porch light on. Just in case.
-bill kenny

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