For most of the country today is voting day. (Take this as a reminder and go vote) There has been a lot more scrutiny around how voting systems can be manipulated to deter people from voting.
Though there isn’t a closely watched election this year in Washington I did want to call out how much I like the voting system here. Everyone is mailed a ballot weeks in advance along with booklets which explain all the propositions and have statements from each of the candidates. One can fill in the ballot at one’s leisure, using the the provided materials or the internet to do research while going down the ballot.
The ballots can be mailed back without postage anytime on or before Nov 5th or can be dropped off at one of many ballot boxes around. Since I had just finished adding a new lights to my bike last night I took a test ride to the ballot drop box.
For a healthy democracy I think two things are critically important: access to voting, so everyone can participate; and access to information, so everyone can vote with full knowledge of their choices. I really like the vote by mail system as it means that I don’t have to worry about finding my polling station, and I can research my choices thoroughly while filling out the ballot without pressure of holding up a line.