Monday, October 27, 2008

Voting in Oregon

We got our mail-in ballots last week. We have until Nov. 4 to have them into the County Clerk's office, but since we live in the county seat it is just a matter of going to the court house to turn in our ballots. I think the vote by mail system is pretty good at getting a good turnout of voters. I miss the old days of going to the voting site, we would always meet our friends and neighbors and get some visiting in. There was something magical about going into the voting booth and filling out your
ballot and then putting it into the ballot box and hearing the elections official saying, "Daniel Gardner has voted." I miss that camaraderie that went along with going to vote at a polling place.

Voting by mail has also done away with poll watchers. When I served as mayor of our little community we would take turns sitting at the polling sites with a list of registered voters marking the names of those voting. From time to time someone would come and look at the list of those who hadn't voted and then go and call supporters who hadn't voted. Of course, the other side would do the same thing and we would lighten the day by saying "there's one of yours voting" and they would reciprocate. Now days, all you get is "thank you" from the county employee watching the ballot box.

We don't have problems with hanging chads since our ballots are like the old standardized tests we took in school. "Fill in the appropriate box with a number 2 pencil." The only problems that arise from time to time are the misplaced ballots that occur when the mail is picked up at the Post Office and not put in the proper place at the Court House. That doesn't happen around here where the numbers are relatively small, but in the Portland area where there are 1.5 million people there is a a better chance of misplacing a batch of ballots. Actually, there haven't been any problems with misplaced ballots affecting an election's outcome.

I will continue to be apprehensive about the outcome of the election, I'm afraid that our country won't be able to survive another 4 years of Republican control. My great-grandchildren have already been saddled with an unpayable debt caused by Rebpublican malfeasance and conciete.

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