There was a good article in yesterday's New York Times that hit kind of close to home. The article, "Absentee Votes: Hurdles Remain for American Voters Who Live Overseas", describes the difficulties that expats like me have in trying to exercise our right to vote--a right guaranteed by legislation but badly implemented, according to the article.
The lack of competence isn't merely Federal, as I found out a couple of days ago: I came home and found in my mail an envelope from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, labelled "Absent Voters Ballot".
What I found inside was several badly photocopied pages from the Sample Ballot booklet, with an even more badly photocopied letter of apology (the letter clearly had been faxed from somewhere before being copied), saying that the official ballots weren't ready and I should mark my votes on the photocopied Sample Ballot sheets.
This sort of thing doesn't impress me with the competence of the office of the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. Luckily, I'll be in the States in two weeks, and I can go down to the county courthouse and demand a real Absent Voter's Ballot.