New voting methods will work

I have voted in every General Election for the last 20 years, and since that time I’ve been shocked at the number of people I’ve encountered who have said that heading to the polls has been a hassle for them on election day.
It’s been a lot of people.
I had coworkers at the Independent Newspaper group in Burlingame lament about how much time was taken out of their day to go to the polls, even though they lived less than two blocks from a polling place. Instead, they opted to be an absentee voter, mailing their ballots in by a certain date for their vote to count. To me, that would be more of a hassle, because you have to remember to get to the mailbox to cast your vote. Maybe I’m in a small minority, because I’ve let mail sit on the table for weeks before I remember that an important bill is due tomorrow. Given my habit — which I’ve lately been able to correct by putting notes on a calendar (even though sometimes I forget to do that!) — I’d be afraid my absentee ballot would never get mailed in.
In addition, if I recall, you had to apply to be an absentee voter and have a very good reason, such as being permanently disabled.
But that will all change in a few years, as the Secretary of State has announced legislation that would allow all voters to vote by mail if they choose. Your vote-by-mail ballot will be mailed to you, and all you have to do is send it in by Election Day. Sounds easy enough.
I, for one, love going to the polls to vote. It feels like I’m accomplishing something. It feels like I’m actually making a difference. Not that voting by mail isn’t accomplishing anything, because you are still making a difference when you send your ballot in by mail.
I understand the need to change the way Californians vote. Very few people vote anymore. they’re not heading to the polls, and many don’t want to fill out the application to vote by mail.
According to the Secretary of State, just 30.9 percent of Californians voted last November. However, the State of Colorado, which has employed a similar voting model since 2006, had 56.9 percent of its residents casting ballots last November. In 2008, 70.7 percent cast ballots, and in 2012, 70 percent cast ballots.
The new model seems to be working, and our county’s Registrar of Voters wholeheartedly supports the move.
Not only will we all get to vote by mail, we can go to any polling place in the county. I like that.
I’d always have to stop in at the polling place on my way to work when I lived in Pacifica, which wasn’t bad because it was a block away from my house. However, there was one year I forgot to stop in the morning and had to rush home from Milpitas — a good 60-minute drive — to vote before the polls closed. For times when residents won’t have time to stop in at the polling place on their way to or from work, this is great. There will now be one near your place of work, most likely, so you can head on over during the day to cast your ballot.
In addition, polling places will be open 10 days prior to election, and drop off boxes will be located in various places for you to place your ballots. These are great measures for those on the go with little to no time to head to the polls.
As for me, I’m still going to go, stand at my booth and mark my ballot before feeding it to the counting machine, which is always the best part!

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