is that we’re in mail-in ballot counties. Which means no going to the polls. Instead your ballot is mailed to you at home. You fill it out at your leisure, and you mail it on or before Election Day.
At first glance, it’s a great idea. Saves time, saves money, greater participation, it’s all there.
But the human element, the pull of the citizenry, the we’re-all-in-this-boat-together mentality of seeing everyone at the polling place is gone. I know I am not the only person who gets choked up when I see a person who is different from me – elderly, male, red-haired, unmarried, hazel-eyed, whatever I can see at first glance that indicates, “this person is not like me.” But this person in front of me, or coming out of the booth or walking through the doors reeking of cigarette smoke, this person is an American, like me. And they care, like I do. And they’re voting, which is a right that others fouight and died for. Someone died so that I and the person behind me, and the person who doesn’t know which precinct they’re in, and the first time voter – we can vote.
Filling in a rectangle at my kitchen counter with Dancing with the Stars on in the background just doesn’t remind me of the greatness of the country. And that’s the bad thing about living in one of the 36 of 39 counties in Washington state that are mail-in ballot states.