The Road Is No Excuse

THE ROAD IS NO EXCUSE

John Benning often finds himself away from home for long periods of time. Still, nothing keeps him from casting an absentee ballot in every election.

“I usually have a pretty strong opinion about who I want,” says Benning, an owner-operator from Flat Rock, N.C. “I don’t do anything else political because I don’t have time, but I always vote.”

Every state allows registered voters to cast ballots ahead of time if they meet certain conditions, one of which is working out of town on Election Day. Absentee voting can help truckers ensure that their career doesn’t limit their ability to participate fully in democracy.

Absentee voting requirements vary by state. The processes are usually managed by the secretary of state’s office, though some duties may be delegated to local registrars’ offices.

Truckers should have a special interest in voting, says Sam Reed, Washington’s secretary of state. “There are so many policy-makers now who don’t want to put more money into roads,” he says. “It really does affect truckers.”

Washington has sought to simplify the absentee process by allowing people to register for a permanent absentee ballot. Those voters are automatically mailed a ballot.

“I think this has been very helpful, and we’re encouraging other states to do so,” Reed says. “I know others are moving in that direction.”

As Congress considers changing voting laws following the controversial 2000 presidential election tabulation, the National Association of Secretaries of State is lobbying for more uniformity among states.

“A big part of federal election reform that is going on right now is that of advance voting,” says Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburg, who is also president of NASS.

While Americans are guaranteed the right to vote, he notes, they have no guarantee that they will be able to cast that vote before Election Day.

Thornburg believes that new developments, such as voting online, will make voting simpler. That could be a boon for truckers.

“I think the day is coming within the next couple of election cycles when we will see electronic voting,” he says.

ABSENTEE VOTING CONTACTS

Federal Election Commission
(800) 424-9530
www.fec.gov

Alabama
(800) 274-8683
www.sos.state.al.us/election/2002/2002vge.htm

Alaska
(907) 465-4611
www.gov.state.ak.us/ltgov/elections/abinfo.htm

Arizona
(602) 542-8683
www.sosaz.com

Arkansas
(501) 682-5070
www.sosweb.state.ar.us/absentee.html

California
(800) 345-VOTE (8683)
www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_m.htm

Colorado
(303) 894-2200
www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/ elections/main.htm

Connecticut
(860) 509-6100
www.sos.state.ct.us/ElectionsDivision/absentee.html

Delaware
(302) 739-4498
www.state.de.us/sos/sos.htm

District of Columbia
(202) 727-2525
www.dcboee.org/htmldocs/absentee.htm

Florida
(850) 245-6200
election.dos.state.fl.us

Georgia
(404) 656-2871
www.sos.state.ga.us/elections

Hawaii
(808) 453-8683
www.hawaii.gov

Idaho
(208) 334-2852
www.idsos.state.id.us/elect/voterreg/absentee.htm

Illinois
(217) 782-4141
www.elections.state.il.us

Indiana
(317) 232-3939
www.in.gov/sos/elections/voters

Iowa
(515) 281-5781
www.sos.state.ia.us

Kansas
(800) 262-8683
www.kssos.org/election/adv.html

Kentucky
(502) 573-7100
www.sos.state.ky.us

Louisiana
(225) 342-4970
www.sec.state.la.us

Maine
(207) 624-7650
www.state.me.us

Maryland
(410) 269-2840
www.elections.state.md.us

Massachusetts
(617) 727-2828
www.state.ma.us/sec/ele/eleifv/howabs.htm

Michigan
(517) 373-2540
www.michigan.gov/sos

Minnesota
(651) 296-2803
www.sos.state.mn.us/election/absentee.html

Mississippi
(601) 359-1350
www.sos.state.ms.us/elections/voterinfoguide.html

Missouri
(573) 751-2301
www.sos.state.mo.us/section4.asp

Montana
(406) 444-2034 or (888) 884-VOTE (8683)
sos.state.mt.us/css/elb/absentee_Ballot.asp

Nebraska
(402) 471-2554
www.sos.state.ne.us/Elections/election.htm

Nevada
(775) 328-3260
sos.state.nv.us/nvelection/faq.htm

New Hampshire
(603) 271-3242
www.state.nh.us/sos/electionsnew.htm

New Jersey
(609) 292-3760
www.state.nj.us/state

New Mexico
(505) 827-3600
web.state.nm.us/electnet.htm

New York
(518) 474-1953
www.elections.state.ny.us/voting/absentee.htm

North Carolina
(919) 733-7173
www.sboe.state.nc.us/voterweb/voter_ab.htm

North Dakota
(701) 328-4146 or (800) 352-0867, Ext. 8-4146
www.state.nd.us/sec//votingabsentee.htm

Ohio
(877) 767-6446
www.state.oh.us/sos/absentee.html

Oklahoma
(405) 521-2391
www.state.ok.us/~elections/absentee.html

Oregon
(503) 986-1518
bluebook.state.or.us/state/elections/elections01.htm

Pennsylvania
(717) 787-5280
www.dos.state.pa.us/DOS

Rhode Island
(401) 222-2340
www.elections.state.ri.us/mailvote.htm

South Carolina
(803) 734-9060
www.state.sc.us/scsec/absent.htm

South Dakota
(605) 773-3537
www.state.sd.us/sos/absentee.htm

Tennessee
(615) 741-7956
www.state.tn.us/sos/election.htm

Texas
(800) 252-VOTE (8683)
www.sos.state.tx.us/elections

Utah
(801) 538-1041
www.elections.utah.gov/absentee.htm

Vermont
(802) 828-2464
Vermont-elections.org

Virginia
(804) 786-6551
www.sbe.state.va.us/election/absente1.htm

Washington
(360) 902-4151
www.secstate.wa.gov

West Virginia
(866) 767-8683
www.wvsos.com/elections/voters/absentee.htm

Wisconsin
(608) 266-8005
elections.state.wi.us

Wyoming
(307) 777-7186
soswy.state.wy.us/election/vote.htm

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
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