I’m responding to Phil Dirkx’s column of June 22, “I vote for the ritual of the polling place.”
I agree that “voting is serious business” but disagree that voting at the polls is preferable to mail-in ballots. First, consider costs involved in setting up polling places by precinct, number of workers needed at each and training, transportation of booths and signage, security and transport of ballot boxes, etc. Second, polling places invite “visiting” which isn’t conducive to “serious business.” They also arouse political discussions, opinions and voter intimidation which are counter-productive to privacy, the democratic process and the sanctity of our vote. Third, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to get to the polls before closing because of commitments to families, work, etc.
Voting by mail doesn’t diminish patriotism; it ensures privacy, convenience and security, which encourage increased voter participation. It allows those without transportation to vote comfortably from home.
I propose that our county and state do away with antiquated polling places and precincts and offer two choices for voters: mail-in or electronic ballots , using a secure website for the latter. More important than how to vote is to just do it.