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Tuesday News: Nothing is more important today than voting (unless you...

“Over the next few weeks, we are likely to see a frenzy of clothing drives and canned food drives. Pet supplies, dry goods and books will be donated and dispatched to the affected areas. For many good-hearted people, participating in this kind of giving feels more concrete and satisfying than simply writing a check. But, as we’ve learned from studying Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, the Japanese tsunami and numerous other disasters, unsolicited donations are seldom useful and often burdensome. The best estimates available suggest that about 60% of the supplies that arrive at a disaster site are not beneficial to the survivors and should not have been sent.”

P.S. To all the authors and publishers who tried to use the Hurricane to sell your books or increase your social media presence (i.e., if you RT this, I’ll donate a dollar to the Red Cross) just know that you turned off a ton of people.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Danielle D
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 05:03:08

    Happy to say that I voted early!!!!

  2. Sandy James
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 05:33:13

    Indiana offered early voting this year. Took advantage of it Thursday. It’s getting to be such an easy process, I have no patience with people who don’t find time to get out and cast their votes!

  3. Dabney
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 06:18:18

    I voted early. In North Carolina, almost 65% of the state has already voted. Unfortunately our ballot is poorly designed. It looks as though one can vote straight ticket but, in reality, you have to turn the ballot over and still cast your vote for President and for judges. As the Duke Student paper writes:

    North Carolina is one of 15 states with straight ticket voting and the only state where the option does not include the presidential race or nonpartisan judicial races.

    Many of the straight-ticket voting alerts claim North Carolina undervoted for president in 2008. That’s correct. More than 92,000 North Carolinians did not vote for president last election because they voted a straight ticket and did not properly mark their preference for president.

  4. Ros
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 06:55:39

    Ban cat’s what?

    I loathe, loathe, loathe that kind of disaster marketing. It happens a LOT in the craft community. People were raking it in over Haiti. Ugh. If you want to help, just give money.

  5. Patricia Eimer
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 07:19:33

    PA doesn’t offer early voting and I’m still stuck in line here in rural Eastern PA after two hours. Urgh!

  6. Brian
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 07:54:12

    Voted about half an hour ago on my way into work.

  7. Nicole
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 08:27:35

    Voted absentee two weeks ago :)

  8. Lisa J
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 08:39:09

    I voted before work this morning. I live in a very, very small town and my ballot was number 4 when I fed it through the machine.

  9. dick
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 08:54:27

    We voted. If the lines were any indication, in this small town of less than 3500 people, voting will be heavy. Probably all the ladies are out trying to keep Akin from getting elected.

  10. Avery Flynn
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 08:59:22

    The lines at my polling place in Virginia were long, which I take as a great sign.

  11. DS
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 09:14:08

    I voted two weeks ago in the County Court House. There was a line of about six people even then.

  12. Carrie G
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 09:14:36

    Voted two weeks ago! Yay! I’m in NC, too and Dabney’s right. It’s a confusing ballot. My husband even got a ballot that was completely missing one race, I think it was for a judicial position.

    I’m glad Apple is getting some competition. Competition is good for everyone. It keeps innovation up and prices down. And since I don’t live in the iVerse, I’m glad some android makers finally (!) started producing tablets good enough to compete with the iPad.

  13. MrsJoseph
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 09:20:23

    Had to get out of the two hour plus line to go to work….I’ll leave early and hit it again.

    My husband is still in line…he’s been there since before 8am.

  14. Karenmc
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 09:37:28

    Oregon has mail-in voting ONLY. The only fraud that’s been discovered was a couple of days ago in my county (a temporary elections worker decided to vote for Republicans if a race was left unmarked – the state attorney general is all over that woman’s *ss; the woman’s defense was that she only marked two ballots. I wonder if she knows what “felony” means). Anyway, I voted week before last, which stops the political phone calls and let’s a person get on with real life.

  15. Charlotte Russell
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 09:45:53

    @Karenmc: I live in Washington State and we vote by mail as well, but in no way has it stopped the political phone calls after I mailed in my ballot last week. I wish! I have to say that I love voting from the comfort of my own home where I can think long and hard about each issue/candidate.

  16. joanne
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:00:34

    @Dabney: Does anyone in a position to make changes have an answer to why there haven’t been any changes to that ballot? Haven’t any voters/citizens raised a huge stink in the past four years?

    For my own personal little (but quite nasty) bias, I wonder why the brilliant Steve Jobs didn’t leave a legacy of easier and more efficient voting with Apple products for the entire country instead of that stupid Agency Pricing.

    I’ll go down the street in a while to vote and if I stand in line it will be with neighbors I haven’t seen in a while. And I’ll buy a cookie or two from one of the local bake sales. The perfect day in America.

  17. WandaSue
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:13:28

    I voted by mail two weeks ago here in San Diego County, CA. No long lines for me!

  18. Gwen Hayes
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:30:50

    I HATE those “for every RT I’ll donate…” It’s tacky and annoying, and if you don’t believe me, notice The Donald used a similar tactic. Give because it’s something you believe in, not a publicity stunt.

  19. library addict
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:35:37

    I voted on Halloween. I know the states always claim it’s their individual right to set election times, ballots, etc, but it seems we learned nothing from 2000. This country needs voting reform so these suppression efforts will go the way of the Whigs. Too many people have died to expand the voting electorate for us to put up with this crap. We are all citizens of the US and should share these democratic (little d) values and not try to disenfranchise people. I’m looking at you Husted in Ohio and Scott in Florida and others! /rant

  20. Dabney
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:48:29

    @joanne: We have a fairly useless state legislature and I’ve heard nothing about changing the ballots. And don’t even get me started on the district lines drawn up last year. It’s so biased it should be illegal.

  21. Janet W
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 11:24:10

    Yeah, that RT and I’ll contribute boondoggle — I really dislike that. Along the same lines, commenting on a blog to get a chance to win a book — that’s great. I often participate in such opportunities. Saying a comment on a blog will result in a donation to a good cause, that is not something I like.

    I’m thinking that the great Android ads, gently “mocking” Apple users in line, were very effective. Who doesn’t celebrate competition?

  22. Karenmc
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 11:40:13

    @Charlotte Russell: The political parties are able to check with the county elections offices and see whose ballots have been turned in. Once a ballot is in, they don’t waste their time trying to contact the voter.

    And yes, sitting down with the voters pamphlet at hand in my living room on a quiet Sunday afternoon is the best way to mark my ballot. I could always wait and drop the ballot off on election day, but the mail-in thing stopping the phone calls is a winner.

  23. Leslie
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 12:20:50

    Voted early this morning, the polling place was in my neighbor’s garage. It was fun chatting, drinking coffee and separating kids and dogs while waiting to vote.
    I am at UCLA now and I feel so proud to see all the students with their “I Voted” stickers.
    The Red Cross needs blood and money! Most major banks’ ATMs will let you easily donate to the charity. If everyone donated $10 it would be such a help.

  24. Lada
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 12:21:19

    I feel bad for those of you suffering such long lines. I live in MN & while we always have an 80%+ voter turnout, I’ve never had to wait longer than 30 minutes.

    While I sort of love the process despite the madness, I envy those people who get to vote by mail…especially if it results in a stop to those annoying phone calls! May go for early/absentee ballot from now on.

    Good luck to those voters still suffering effects from SS Sandy who want to participate in their civic duty today.

  25. Darlynne
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 14:20:10

    Early voting in Nevada is one thing that works well here. If only people will turn out …

  26. Fiona McGier
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 15:26:44

    I became a registrar 4 years ago, and since then have registered a lot of new voters, mostly high school students just turning 18, or junior college kids who also are facing their first election. One high school senior I registered just told me last week when I subbed for her that she got called and agreed to be an election judge! Way cool! I told her I want a report from her afterwards on how it felt to be a part of things from the very start. We take too much for granted, when folks will voluntarily not vote to “make a statement”. And what kind of statement? That you are ignorant of your rights and not entitled to complain if not happy with the election results, because you blew your one chance to have a say in things? Sheesh!
    And yes, if you want to help, money is the best choice. There are so many needs and no way of knowing what they are until you are there.

  27. Mireya
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 15:34:58

    I am going to vote after I leave work at 5. My husband and I like to go to vote together, so I’ll go to pick him up and then come back to vote (the building where we vote is right across the street from the building in which I work, but we still like to do it together, and we don’t live far away from it at all).

    Today I got my Samsung Galaxy S III. It was a tough decision between that model and the Note II, but in the end I felt the Note II would have been a bit too big for me to haul it around in my pocketbook. I LOVE the new phone already! I am anti-Apple so I tend to go Android every time I replace a gadget or am looking for an “upgrade”.

  28. Ridley
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 16:04:40

    I’ve never waited more than 30 minutes to vote. Ever. Not in Boston, and not in [REDACTED] here on the North Shore. Even when the place was slammed in 2008 with the prime time, after-work crowd I was in and out in 45 minutes.

    I can’t help but wonder if those precincts with egregious wait times aren’t that way by design, rather than by accident. We don’t seem to want to talk about this new kind of voter supression.

  29. Isobel Carr
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 16:20:40

    The last time I voted in person I waited four and half hours. Four and a half hours, while the machines on the other side of the gym sat idle. But oh, no, because these are electronic machines and those were for another district (a district where apparently NO ONE VOTES!), we just had to watch them sit there and WAIT! Never again. I went permanent absentee.

  30. MaryK
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 16:35:36

    I had to wait for about an hour which usually never happens; it’s usually walk in walk out. There were just a ton of people in line. Plus, we have a lot of constitutional amendments and things on the ballot and if people haven’t prepared ahead of time they spend time reading the things in the voting booth and hold up the line.

  31. Liz H.
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 17:55:59

    I voted! And since I’m out of the country and had to vote absentee, I really miss my sticker.
    I think Jane and Dear Author deserve one for putting up this announcement. On author blogs I often see reminders about every holiday under the sun, reminders to do this that and the other thing (as my grandmother would say), but today not a single one out of the 30+ I scanned through had a reminder to vote. It’s something I would think is far more worthy of space than best wishes for the first day of fall, etc., but maybe that’s just me…

  32. Estara Swanberg
    Nov 08, 2012 @ 13:52:03

    Thank you from this German to everyone here who voted, even though your voting process can be so tortuous.

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