Opinion | Election Day Stories: Voters Reflect
To the Editor:
I just voted. The rain was pouring down pretty heavily where I live in Pennsylvania, but the weather did not dampen the turnout in my ward, which, I was told, was up dramatically from the last midterm election.
I admit that I got a bit emotional as I stepped into the voting booth and the curtain closed behind me. I have always considered myself a patriot, and while I love my country and have voted in every election since 1969, this one was different. My country was calling. Somehow the phrase “we the people” has a weighted resonance for me today.
A woman standing near me in line commented that she was glad to see the long line at the poll, because she was afraid that the bad weather would make it difficult for people to vote.
I thought about what she had said. Difficult is storming the beaches at Normandy. Difficult is running toward the gunfire of an active shooter but finding the courage to act anyway. For me personally, difficult was serving in Vietnam in 1968.
But casting my vote today — even in a torrential downpour — that was easy.
To the Editor:
My grown daughter suggested that my wife and I host a “voting party.” It’s possible to do that in Washington State because it is only one of three states — along with Oregon and Colorado — to hold all elections entirely by mail. Our ballots arrive early and there is plenty of time to vote.
You want to see civics in action? Gather around a dining room table during election season for a “voting party,” your ballot at the ready. You’ll discover debates and decisions, agreements and disagreements. Best of all, you’ll find citizens performing their own personal due diligence, and then voting.
I’m writing this letter on Election Day, and I am grateful that the Washington State Legislature had the foresight to bring our state into the 21st century. Our legislature abandoned the idea that voting should be a test of fortitude — withstanding long lines, enduring bad weather or suffering lost wages.
They understand that speed and convenience are the hallmarks of our lives. After all, can’t we make airline and hotel reservations and purchase cars, furniture and everything under the sun while sitting at our own desk? Yet far too many states make voting slow and inconvenient — insisting on Model A voting in a Tesla universe.
It’s time for the residents of those states to ask their legislators to trade in that Model A.
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