Vote early?

I got my election ballot today. I considered the candidates for Citywide office, marked my choices, sealed the envelope inside the envelope, signed it, and … then what?

I thought of putting it out for the US Post to collect, but I don’t want someone to see my ballot sitting outside my fence and think they might steal my vote.

So, maybe I’ll drop it off at the Election Center located in the Fine Arts Building at the fairgrounds. That’s where you go if you aren’t registered, or didn’t receive a ballot in the mail. Or, I could drop it off at the Courthouse. I’ll have to take a bus to either location, since they’re not within walking distance of my home.

On Election Day, there are drop locations in many schools (Cold Springs, Hellgate, Lowell, Paxson, Rattlesnake, Russell, and Seeley Lake). There is also same-day registration at the Election Center, Missoula Fairgrounds.

But, I have to ask – why did we go to all the expense of mailing out ballots, if people are just going to drive over and put their ballot into the boxes at the drop locations? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to have had a regular election – maybe with fewer places to vote, but still within walking distance?

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One Response

  1. Vote by mail does save the county a fair amount of money. That’s partly the sheer number of precincts we have in Missoula County, which we could probably reduce. Vote-by-mail also seems to improve participation in low-turnout elections (there’s some evidence of the opposite effect in high-turnout elections from some studies in California).

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