It’s Election day in the US today. And I’m reading stories about people waiting in long lines and I’ve been reading them for weeks as people try to vote early.
Ten years ago when we moved to Portland I experienced voting by mail for the first time. A ballot arrived, a voting guide arrived, I filled out the ballot, and I mailed it back in. That was it, I’d voted.
It was awesome. I will admit that at times I miss the stickers and the excitment of voting on the day. But whenever I feel that way I remember that I get to vote on my couch. And I can research and read whatever I want as I vote to help me in my decisions.
Living on the west coast where ballot measures are much more prevalent than they ever were in Minnesota, I love having all the time in the world to decide and research. It’s so easy and I don’t have to go anywhere!
Voting by mail has other benefits. We don’t have any possibility of voter intimidation. With motor voter now in place, it’s easier than ever to register to vote. People are reminded to do it because the ballot arrives in the mail. Disenfranchisement is low because there is no having to get to certain locations during certain times and show a particular ID. And we have fairly high turnout.
Honestly, the entire country should vote this way. I got my ballot on October 19 and I voted on October 20 and we dropped our ballots in the mail on October 21. And I tracked my ballot every step of the way, so I know it was received.
I’m fully aware that there are forces in this country who don’t want to make it easier for everyone to vote, but we gotta push for this, because it’s important.