Friday, November 02, 2007

Where's my sticker, damn it?

It's almost Election Day here in Oregon, but I'm not a big fan of our state's vote-by-mail elections. I voted in my first election in this state when I was 18. I remember the pride of registering to vote and in going to the polls to cast my first ballot. I've felt that same pride many times since then.

When I was a California resident, it was common to get a sticker on Election Day that read "I Voted" with an American flag on them. Corny perhaps, but I was always proud to earn my sticker for practicing my right to vote. I even liked the electronic voting machines that have been so controversial. Preferred them actually to the little punch cards famous for hanging chads.

But I don't get that same feeling of pride voting by mail. It's rather an empty feeling dropping a ballot in a mailbox. The only time I felt anything even close to the voting experience was the one time I didn't mail my ballot in and had to drop it off at a county office on Election Day.

I still haven't mailed in my ballot for the Nov. 6 election. In fact I haven't even opened the election envelop. I guess I'll have to drop it off again. If there is going to be a system where you don't have to go to a polling place to cast a ballot, I'd just as soon vote online instead of having to vote by mail. I can't remember the last time I mailed anything. I don't even know what the cost of a stamp is now, because I don't mail anything. I still have stamps from whatever the postal rate was two rate increases ago. I just don't mail anything. I don't need to. I pay my bills electronically. If I write a letter, I sent it electronically.

In the digital age, voting by mail is sort of like foregoing use of your cell phone to call someone and sending a telegram via Western Union. I suppose you can still do it, but why?

1 comment:

Gene said...

Ah, there's nothing in email reception quite like the frisson which one feels upon receiving and opening a letter arriving via snail mail. Sort of a Zen moment.

And that is not to mention the deep satisfaction one feels upon completing a scathing letter (or even a letter expressing support)addressed to a politician and thrusting the envelope, with psychic if not physical force, into the mail slot on a corner box--with a satisfying slam of the chute.

Sometimes email just won't quite do--emotionally. :-)

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