Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voting By Mail

Oregon has Vote-by-mail, and it seems more and more states are heading in that direction, such as Colorado (as reported in the NY Times article today).
With Election Day less than three weeks away, the number of people voting by mail has exploded in Colorado, a pivotal battleground state up for grabs in November. Nearly half of the state’s registered voters have requested ballots by mail, compelling the Obama and McCain campaigns to kick-start their get-out-the-vote efforts — and devise new and imaginative ones.
I appreciate the convenience, but I do not like this trend. I much preferred, in New Hampshire, going to my community's polling station -- it made me feel like a citizen in a community. Sure, it was usually a cold snowy mess, and I hardly ever knew anyone there, and I'm not that social to begin with, but for that day, at least, I felt part of something. I saw people with placards. I got to see people voting. There was something about that.

It helps a little bit that in NH, during primary season, as soon as you come out of the building a couple of pollsters descend on you (I always declined to answer them). You feel a little special.

But I think the breakdown in community is ruining our country, and so I hate to see anything that contributes to its decline. No doubt we will all, in 8 or so years, be voting via the Internet, making it even worse. Voting rates may go up -- that doesn't necessarily mean it's a better system.

No comments: