They say, “Vote early, vote often.” I did.

4 minute read

October 25, 2006, 5:56 PM

Today, I spent about an hour at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona, doing a bit of business with the local government, getting everything all squared away with everyone.

My goal was twofold. First of all, I was going to take care of the taxes on the Sable, and find out what the deal was with a $3.00-and-change late fee that was attached to the tax bill. It turns out that the late fee is related to a form that the county sends you at the first of the year. What they’re doing there is checking to make sure that you have the same vehicles that you had the last time you paid up. I did nothing with that form at the first of the year. I think I either trashed it, or it’s still sitting in a drawer somewhere. Either way, it seems that the 39-cent price of a stamp is well worth it if it saves me from having to pay more than seven times the amount in a late fee.

And then I also paid my personal property taxes on the Sable and bought a new county sticker. For 2007, the county stickers are orange. This is a change from the dark red 2005 sticker and the blue 2006 sticker. Since the old 2006 sticker was already loose in spots due to its being transferred to the new windshield in September, I just pulled it off with my hand, and affixed the new sticker. Bingo bango done.

For those of you who do not live in Virginia, let me explain the concept of a county sticker. In Virginia, the inspection sticker goes in the middle of the windshield, near the bottom edge. Then the county sticker goes at the inspection sticker’s right, as seen from inside the vehicle. This decal is required to indicate that you have paid all of your vehicle-related taxes for the year to your local government. And here’s what it looks like:

County sticker for Augusta County

That’s my county sticker, in Dreamsicle-orange color, next to my inspection sticker, which expires in January. And I took it with the small Mavica, which still sees occasional use.

Some localities in Virginia have done away with county stickers, but Augusta County is not one of them. However, for the first month or so that I had the Sable, I looked like I was from one of those stickerless localities, because I hadn’t yet put a county sticker on there.

Then the other matter of business that I needed to attend to while at the Government Center was voting. The way things worked out, my DC week and election week are the same, and I got Tuesday and Wednesday of that week off. So… that means that November 7, election day, would be when I am scheduled to get my bi-weekly DC fix. The polls open at 6 AM, but provided I get out on time, I clear Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad, my polling location, by 5:30 AM, and am well down the road by the time 6:00 AM rolls by. Then as far as the 7:00 PM closing time goes, by then, I will likely be in either Arlington or Alexandria, doing my DC trip thing. I don’t get home until around 4:00 AM on what is technically Wednesday morning.

So I did what every good voting citizen would do. I hauled myself over to the voter registration office, which is right next to the office where I got the county sticker, and did an absentee ballot. I filled out the form, signed, and then went to their voting booth. The lady closed the curtain, and I went in to mark my choices on the electronic voting machine.

I was slightly disappointed about having to use the electronic voting machine. These machines give no paper receipt, and so I was hoping to vote via paper ballot when doing it via absentee. This way, should something go wrong, there would be a piece of paper somewhere with my vote on it. But no dice.

So I made my votes via the touchscreen, confirmed, and submitted. All done. If the rest of the state votes like I did, our racist cowboy senator, George Allen, will be run out of town, and Jim Webb will succeed him come January. We shall see come November 7.

I just hope that this photo from the September 24 protest comes true:

11-07-06: The day on which the House and Senate will be reclaimed by the people.

And as a side note, I finally used up my first pad of checks from my current checking account. It took me nearly three years to use up that pad. And it’s because I rarely write checks. Admit it – checks are a pain in the butt. My debit card, on the other hand, sees so much use that the numbers on the front are no longer silver, and the signature bar on the back is starting to rub off. Still, this was a milestone, finally having to replace the pad in my checkbook. And considering I still have five pads in reserve, at my current usage rate, I won’t have to order checks again until I’m almost forty.

Web site: The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg on Stafford County's considering the elimination of the county stickers.

Song: Ringtone #9 on my cell phone, which is my "wake-up" chime. I use it because it's bouncy, and is perhaps the most annoying ringtone on the phone.

Quote: By the way, if you want to see another photo of county stickers, see this Journal entry towards the bottom, where I discuss the windshield wiper job I had to do at that time. The inspection and county sticker, as well as a big crack in the windshield, are visible on the Previa in the last photo.