Reflections on Voting, Turnout, the Postoffice Redux?

I’m here in a small B and  B, “without the breakfast,” on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Temperatures about 70, some clouds, gentle breezes, no cares but passively awaiting election returns. So far I’ve seen that our Kentwood city clerk is quoted in the local pulp as opining that turnout is puny, and I’ve heard estimates of 10% for our August primary.

Our hosts, Joe and Joy are politically active and are also awaiting for returns from the county’s primaries, but they will have to wait a few days. Also, their “turnout” is over 60%. It seems that they do only mail in balloting. The election pubbahs drop the forms with the ballots addressed to each registered voter, into the mailbox on a certain day.(Candidates try to get their mailers out to coincide and sway the voters with their wiles.) Voters fill them out, apply stamps and drop them into the mail, postmarked before today.  The election board tabulates the results in secret while leisurely waiting for the mail to arrive, and then announces the results by a certain date. Pretty slick.

I wonder if we could not try this in Kentwood. The methods of doing elections is probably set by state law, but it might be possible to get special permission on a trial basis. It probably would save us money, increase voter participation, and make candidates pay attention to the broader concerns of Kentwood residents. The same concerns with voter fraud and unlabeled return envelopes do not change.

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