Voting absentee

I forgot that yesterday was election day until I saw stories on the local newspaper’s app about election returns.

But I didn’t forget to vote. Several weeks ago the county clerk mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered voters here, I assume to reduce numbers at polling places in the face of COVID-19. What a great idea! I filled it out and sent it in.

I voted two weeks ago by mail. This was a primary election with lots of candidates running in most races. I’d never heard of most of them. It was wonderful to fill out my ballot right in front of my computer, where I could research each candidate.

I submitted what was probably my most informed ballot in over 30 years of voting. If I can, I will vote absentee every time from now on.

As I completed my ballot I recalled the first time I voted, which I also did via absentee ballot. It was the Presidential election of 1988. I was 21 and so had been eligible to vote in three previous elections. But I sat them out because they were primarily local and state elections and I didn’t feel like a man with a permanent home. I was in engineering school in Terre Haute, a temporary stop, and I’d paid no attention to local politics. My permanent address was my parents’ home in South Bend, but I didn’t actually live there anymore and had lost touch with the politics. But I wasn’t going to miss a Presidential election. I wrote to the clerk in my home county for a ballot. I felt proud to fill in the bubble next to the man I wanted to be President.