I have been trying to wait a decent interval -- say, until after the election -- to complain about how much I hate the mail-in ballot for the municipal election, but I can't hold back any longer. I hate it.
Here it is, a week or two before the actual election -- whenever it actually is -- and I am just about to the point where I normally would begin to take interest. But quite likely, it's already all over. My mailed ballot sits along with the bills and credit card scams in a pile in the foyer. Voting used to be a pleasure; now it's just another form to fill out. Maybe I will bother; maybe I won't.
Is it really just me, or is there less excitement, anticipation and general all around interest in this election than in any election we've had since the last mail-in ballot? Elections used to be one event that pulled people out of their thick shells for at least an hour or so a year of civic activity. Now we shrink ever deeper into our tiny domains, lost to the world and to public discourse.
The only real argument I have heard for mail-in ballots is that they increase turnout. For most people, that seems to settle the matter. But it isn't clear to me how adding up the opinions of a bunch of people too lazy to drive a few blocks to a polling place strengthens democracy.
Yes, I know, I'm old and grumpy and helplessly stuck in the past. But you've got to say one thing for us geezers: We vote. And we don't need a mailed invitation to do it.