I Vote In Person, Just Sayin’
By Bob Small
Preventing voter denial.
So this was the Presidential Election of 2004 and my Pennsylvania Social Service Union (PSSU) arranged for some recent retirees to work the election season with America Coming Together (ACT).
Technically non-partisan — we could not be pro John Forbes Kerry — but we could be non-favorable to George Walker Bush i.e. telling the citizenry that it may be time for a change.
Due to these niceties, many of the people we came in contact with believed we were Socialists, once we convinced them we were not Jehovah’s Witnesses as we were going from urban door to urban door and suburban door to suburban door. Our stated task and what we were funded for, was the noble task of voter registration.
Once I decided I no longer wanted to go with my crew on the mean streets of Boothwyn or Philly, I invented a program which would have a crew to go to senior homes and help the residents complete absentee ballots.
We did this for the rest of the election season, until the absentee ballot deadline.
The facilities loved us because our program would begin in the late morning and continue until lunch then begin again, answering all manners of questions and leaving before rush hour.
Sadly, these efforts to provide absentee ballots to the old and disabled doesn’t seem to have been continued in the 17 years since.
While this does not qualify as voter suppression could it be called voter denial?
Most of the staff in these facilities probably have no reason to work to register the persons living there
This was one of the original reason for absentee ballots but, well, that reason seems to have mutated to people wanting to avoid large Covidy crowds.
I can understand that reasoning but, personally, avoid embracing it.
Due to Covid, we try to avoid large crowds, but on Nov. 2, we will walk the block to our Polling Place and cast our in person votes, because, as Americans and as Greens, that is what we do. Then, as husband and wife, we will go home and argue about it. Because that’s also what we do.
Lastly, because, well, I have worked for the Post Office and other government bureaucracies, I vote in person.