TO: People in states that don't already have 100% vote by mail
FROM: An Oregonian (me!) who loves vote by mail
SUBJECT: How easy it was for me to vote today
First, I want to emphasize that you shouldn't believe anyone, such as Donald Trump, who claims that vote by mail is beset with problems. It isn't. For quite a few years Oregon has had vote by mail for every election. Screw-ups are very rare. Fraud is virtually nonexistent.
With that out of the way, here's a brief description of what I had to do to cast my ballot today in the May 19 primary election. In short, not much.
(1) Yesterday I got an email from Marion County Elections that told me my ballot was about to arrive in the mail.
(3) I sat on a stool at our kitchen counter and completed the May primary ballot in about five minutes. I could have done it sooner, but I needed to check the Voters Pamphlet about the candidates in a few races I wasn't familiar with.
Also, I had to spend some time gazing at the name of my wife, Laurel Hines, on the ballot -- first time she's appeared! I also wrote in a few names of neighbors who, I'm sure, would love to serve as a Democratic Party Precinct Committee Person. Or, maybe not.
(4) This year I didn't even need to stick on a stamp to mail my ballot. The Oregon legislature passed a law that requires prepaid postage on every return envelope. This afternoon we went to Minto Brown Island Park for a dog walk along the Willamette River, so along the way I mailed my ballot on the same day I received it.
It makes perfect sense at any time, but extra perfect sense in this COVID-19 time. We Oregonians can cast our ballot without coming close to another person. In my case, I did, but it was just my wife -- who soon will have the title of Most Exalted Precinct 788 Democratic Committee Person.