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Adam Trachtenberg is the Director of the LinkedIn Developer Network, where he oversees developer relations and marketing for the LinkedIn Platform. Before LinkedIn, Adam worked at eBay in platform product management and marketing. Even earlier, he co-founded Student.Com and TVGrid.com. Adam is the author of PHP Cookbook and Upgrading to PHP 5. He lives in San Francisco.

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Early Voting Thanks to MAX and SFGov

I’m going to Macromedia MAX at the beginning of November. While it’s always good to be in New Orleans, it means I’ll be out of town during the US Presidential Election, so I need to register for an absentee ballot.

Fortunately, California lets you request an absentee ballot all the way up until Tuesday, October 26th. (Although, voter registration closes on October 18th. Not a problem. I’m already registered.) I’m safe there. Still, final ballots need to be received by November 2nd, so I was worried my vote might arrive too late to be counted. I still need to mail in my request, get the ballot back, mail it back, and still arrive before the election.

However, after a little investigation on SFGov, I learned two cool things:

  1. You can download a PDF application and fax it back. I knew about the online application before, but I didn’t know about the fax back service.
  2. If you’re really worried about not getting everything in on time, you can vote early by going to the San Francisco City Hall. Just show up between October 4th and October 31st and you can vote.

That’s really cool. I guess it makes sense. It’s really no different than picking up an absentee ballot in person, filling it out, and then submitting it in person.

Still, City Hall has gone out of their way to ensure that everyone can cast their ballot. They’re even open on weekends, so even people who can’t take off from work can drop in. That’s a great service. I know you’re legally allowed to miss work to vote, but it’s still difficult for people who commute using public transportation or travel all the time.

I just faxed back my form today, but if I don’t get a ballot in the next week, I might just drop by myself to check it out.

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