October 29, 2020

Voting safely

We, in Washington state and the lucky ones in a few other states, have the luxury of mail in voting. We can fill out the ballots in the privacy of our homes and then either mail the ballot or take it to a drop box, which are scattered around the cities and towns. A few years ago, they started paying for postage so you didn't even need a stamp. Oh, so civilized. In New Mexico, there was early voting. Also a nice option.

I do miss the actual act of going to the polls and voting. You can really understand and feel the importance of your civic duty, when you and others wait patiently for one’s turn.

But Covid-19 makes voting this year more challenging, especially in states that don't have other options except to go to the polls. The New York Times has an article on voting safely with the big reminder to wear a mask, keep the safe six foot distance while waiting in line, bring your own hand sanitizer, and also bring your own pen. If you are a poll worker, wear your glasses or try to find a face shield. If you have one, you still need to mask up.

The CDC has also looked at the risks. Some other ideas it suggests are “going at off-peak times, like midmorning; monitor the voter line from your car and join when the line is short; fill out any needed registration forms ahead of time and review a sample ballot at home to cut down on time spent at the polling location; and take your own black ink pen, or stylus to use on touch-screen voting machines”.

Voting is a privilege and a duty that I hope everyone is able to do safely this year.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, wait outside as long as possible, and vote.