Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

I finally received my Absentee Ballot in the mail the other day.  It took a full two weeks for it to get here.  I have no idea if it will get back in time.  I'm not terribly confident my vote matters much anyway- let me rephrase that...of course, every vote's just that regardless of who is elected President I don't think it'll make much of a difference in the direction America is going.

But I digress.

So I received my ballot along with an Affidavit swearing that I need an Absentee Ballot.  The fancy envelope that holds the actual ballot is itself an Affidavit of sorts.  You have to sign it across the closed flap and have it notarized.

Therein lies the rub.  There are "Notaries" everywhere here in Ukraine.  I had to use one to certify all sorts of paperwork when I went through the Registration process to become a temporary resident.  But I learned something this week:  Whatever else a Notary does in Ukraine, he/she can't certify my signature on an American document.  As best as I could tell, IF I had the document translated into Ukrainian, then they could certify WHAT the document said...but still not certify my signature.  I tried to explain to them that I just need an official witness to my signature.  NO GO.  One Notary asked me what the document was and I told her it was my ballot for the Presidential Election.  She then told me that she couldn't certify my signature, but I could write...ON A BLANK SHEET OF PAPER...who I was voting for and she could stamp and certify that I wrote it.  WHAT?  I'm sure any US Election Commission would accept that, right?

But alas, my ballot is on it's way.  Ukrainians really like stamps and seals.  Almost every organization uses them.  I was tempted to go to a grocery store and have them stamp it like they do a receipt!  Technically a Notary does not necessarily have to stamp/certify the signature, but rather anyone that is authorized to administer oaths.  Therefore my Pastor is my witness and our church has a Stamp.  That should be good enough for the Smith County Circuit Clerk.  I'm sure he reads Ukrainian.

So there.  Signed, Sealed and being Delivered.

It probably won't make it there in time to count anyway.

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