Voing from Home is easy, convenient, safe, secure, ... and smart.
Over a decade ago, my work always had me traveling out of state. So I had to choose - I could use the absentee ballot or I could skip out on voting.
Skip out on voting means that I don’t want my voice to be heard. It means I’m okay with letting other people speak for me. It means I accept whatever someone else chooses.
These were all the wrong choices. Absentee Voting was the obvious right idea. But it turned out to be much more than just “convenient”. I learned that Absentee Voting gave me time - lots and lots of time. And I used that time to become a smart voter.
Like everyone else, I knew a lot about the big candidates. The “top of the ticket” is the President, the Governor, the Senators. They were the headliners.
But I didn’t know about the rest of the ballot - the “down-ballot” offices, proposals, and selections. I never had time, or interest, in these “others”. How important could they be?
So I just checked the box - or, more often, left the boxes blank and let other people choose. Other people could choose my Congressional Representative, my state senator and representative, my attorney general, and my secretary of state. Other people could choose my school board, my town council members, my judges and justices on my State Supreme Court, the trustees on my state universities. And other people could decide whether I’d get improved parks, recreation, library services, roads, sewers, and police and fire services.
I left it to other people to decide for me because I didn’t want to take the time in the voting booth. I didn’t have the time to make smart, informed choices - I looked at these offices and felt ... so stupid. So I left it blank. I left it up to someone else.
Absentee Voting made me a smart voter. I had my ballot in my hand. I had my voter's guide from the League of Women Voters. I had Google. And one by one I learned what these offices were, who these candidates were, what these proposals were. One by one, I got smarter. And when I learned enough, I voted.
It took time, but I had time. So if it took two hours or two days or two weeks to get smart, who cared? I had a month to complete the ballot. And I used it. It became my Election Month.
That's what Election Month is about - it's about giving you the time you need to make smart, informed choices. And to use that time easily, conveniently, safely, securely.
Be a smart voter.
For information about what's on your ballot, visit this League of Women Voters' website: https://www.vote411.org/.