Ross: Your ballot is delivered to you, all you need to do is vote
If you are a registered voter – having sworn, under penalty of perjury, that you are a U.S. citizen, that your address is current, and that you are eligible to vote – you should have received your mail-in ballot.
They were mailed last week. I received mine on Saturday.
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If you don’t get yours by tomorrow, call your county election office! You can fix any registration problems online – until Monday, Oct. 31, and if you miss that deadline you can still register and vote in person at an election center until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8. Those in-person centers will also assist you in filling out a ballot if you need help.
If you’re feeling under-informed, you also have two voter’s pamphlets by now. One from the state, one from your county. They contain the statements of every candidate on your ballot who wanted to submit one. And the text is unedited – not even for spelling.
The pamphlets also list the locations of all the drop boxes and in-person voting centers.
And this year the King County pamphlet includes an unusually passionate statement from the director of elections: “Over the past few years, the climate of rampant misinformation and blatant lies about our work has been devastating… I think when folks continuously question my integrity and that of my team – that we are rigging elections, that we are secretly switching votes or throwing away ballots, that we are literally committing felonies – they forget that our elections are run by real people.”
You can read the rest of it for yourself – it’s posted online – but she goes on to ask that if you have a question about anything – an accusation, a rumor – that you call her office. And I know for those of you convinced the news media doesn’t deal in facts, you sure don’t want to be part of the problem yourself by sharing falsehoods on social media.
And if you’re still worried about fraud – a few tips. If you get someone else’s ballot, call the number in your voter’s pamphlet, and get the right ballot. If instead, you tell yourself, “this is my lucky day – I get to vote twice” there’s an excellent chance your phony signature will lead to a friendly call from an elections official.
The official county video on voting does not want to scare people whose genuine signatures have simply evolved over the years.
“Your ballot signature is compared to the signature we have on file,” the video says, “If there is an issue, not to worry, trained specialists investigate any discrepancies. And if needed, we’ll reach out to make sure you’re you.”
So not to worry – unless you’re not you. Then I would say — worry. Because tolerance for vote fraud is pretty low these days.
For those of you not intending to commit fraud, my point is that you have everything you need: information about the candidates, a way to correct mistakes, the addresses of the reinforced ballot drop boxes if you don’t trust the mail, a postage-paid envelope if you do – everything you need to participate in the democratic process.
You would have to really hate democracy to have all that delivered to your door, and just toss it into the garbage.
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