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Please Vote, Now!

Early voting is allowed in 32 states and has started in most of them. My wife and I already voted a couple of days ago, and it is nice to have that out of the way. At least one-third of all ballots this election will be cast before election day.

Once you have voted early at home, you will never want to go back to the lines, parking problems, cranky voting machines, and other annoyances of going to a polling place. And a big advantage of early voting, to me, is that when faced with some obscure position and you can’t remember for whom you want to vote, you can just look it up on the web and see what your options are. No rush, no fuss, and you can vote when you want to. If you live west of the Mississippi River, then your state has early voting, and quite a few states in the east do so as well.

Where I live we only have early voting, which we call “vote by mail”. I love it. My only nod to the old days is that I don’t like mailing in my ballot, so I always drop it off. Luckily, the drop-off point is only a half mile from where I live.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    I vote absentee in the East because i get asthma attacks from cigarette smoke. I run the town Web Site so I put the ballot up on the Web Site. Again it is the propositions. Gives people time to read and think. I agree with you completely.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink
  2. starluna wrote:

    I admit that I enjoy going to the polling place to vote. I get to see neighbors that I don’t often get a chance to see at this time of year. Our polling place is the high school and they usually have a bake sale going on. It feels like a community activity.

    When we lived in another part of the neighborhood, the poll workers at the community center were cranky and half blind (literally). But at the high school,everyone is in a good mood and it makes you feel good about voting.

    My husband, on the other hand, would probably prefer early voting or absentee voting if I let him get away with it.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink
  3. C-Dawg wrote:

    Oregon sure does it right. You get an official booklet of all the candidates position statements and history (school, previous jobs, etc) about a month before the election, then the ballot about 2-3 weeks before the election. Mail it in or drop it off. I can’t believe every state doesn’t do it this way.

    No trying to work voting in around a job schedule. If someone here doesn’t vote, it’s because they truly don’t care, and then my vote counts for more than just me.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink
  4. Mark wrote:

    In my county, advance voting works just like usual, except you go to the county courthouse during the two or three weeks before election day and use the voting machines there. The county website has sample ballots you can study ahead of time. Not sure I’d feel good about entrusting my vote to the local postal service.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  5. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    Washington has vote by mail, we voted and returned to the post office (we see it as more secure) on the day we fgot our ballots!

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  6. Sammy wrote:

    I too live in Washington (the state, not the district), and LOVE vote by mail. I voted “absentee” before our state switched to only voting by mail. Plus, the added benefit is talking family members into voting a certain way through my extremely superior and convincing debating talents…or not.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Sammy, the funny thing is that here I’m supposedly the political junkie, but I’m often clueless about local races and issues. My wife, on the other hand, works at the library and talks to people there, and her knitting club has a member of the local school board, so I often end up voting based on her recommendations.

    But I think this election is the first time we have voted the same on everything (maybe because there weren’t that many things to vote on). We are both stubborn and opinionated. (And have “extremely superior and convincing debating talents”. Or not.)

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  8. Chris wrote:

    I agree with all those benefits of absentee voting, but agree with Starluna on voting in person. Democracy should be a communal process but too often we’re isolated behind cable tv or the internet and there’s little face-to-face, interpersonal participation in the process. Nothing wrong with absentee voting, and I used to do it myself, but the bi-yearly voting day is a rare opportunity for the community to cement the democratic process.

    That said, it’s nice to have the internet on hand – as I wrote in my current piece (, the arguments for and against the ballot props are getting so misleading as to be nearly useless (at least, here in CA – I’m guessing in other states too). I don’t know how the average voter can possibly evaluate them!

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  9. I used to live in a state that did early voting. Now I don’t. Nor can I vote by mail.

    And we can get ice and early snow that time of year. Blarg. I didn’t need all you lovely people reminding me of the pleasure of early voting!

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  10. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    Regarding Post Office delivery, I feel more confident in that than I do leaving it in a drop-box to be driven fifteen miles to the Co. clerk. Down south, where I’m from originally, there was more than one story (not rumor!) about extra ballot boxes, etc. So, I’ll rely on the Large P.O. Box instead of the small Deputy Sheriff! 🙂

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  11. kcar1 wrote:

    You are not entirely correct. I live just west of the Mississippi (literally, my city’s sewer system “discharges” into it) in Missouri, and there is no early voting. There is, of course, absentee but the requirements are pretty stringent. Obviously there is no policing of it but there is no “I just don’t feel like voting on a Tuesday” option and if I remember correctly, you sign something saying you are voting absentee for one of a handful of reasons (out of town, ill, a poll worker, etc.)

    I worked as a poll worker in 2008 and it was pretty cool, honestly. I definitely don’t get the same vibe when I drop in to cast my April or August ballot but it was festive 2 years ago — and I saw everyone in the neighborhood.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  12. Bump wrote:

    I early voted on Thursday afternoon at one of 4 early voting locations in my town in Texas. There were only a few people there, mostly older couples, so I was in and out in under 10 minutes. I like voting in person so I get my “I VOTED” sticker to wear around for the rest of the day.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 3:26 am | Permalink