Saturday, October 02, 2004

Online U.S. Voter Registration from Berlin

I've been in Berlin for the past few days, visiting the first INDICARE workshop: ''Business Models on Mobile Music and DRM''. It was pretty interesting and I'll post on it when I'm back in Amsterdam, tomorrow. Right now I'm sitting in a Dunkin' Donuts easyInternet hybrid at the PotsdamerPlatz. Typing on this German-style keyboard is a real pain. Especially the Y is hard to handle, positioned in the down left corner. They got a QWERTZ-board here.

Behind me sit an American man and woman, registrating votes over the Internet. I saw them posted at a movie house, earlier on the evening. The filled out ballots for Berlin based Americans. Now they surf tens of government sites, from
California to Ohio: ''This State is important. Is this one of those soldiers?'' Addresses, fax numbers, State numbers are entered. Redding California gives some problems with its poor website. Triomfantically another woman comes in, waving a registration card in here hand: ''I got someone from Texas!'' That a vote for Texas won't change anything, doesn't make her less enthusiastic.

Right now they are getting into a fight with some woman on speed, speaking Italiano-Russian or something. She's agitated, because the Americans are reading out the voter information for all to here. ''You're not in your house! You set a very bad example for Americans!'' It sure is a though job, saving America from Berlin.


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