I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I used to think the whole early voting concept was stupid, that it missed the point of having an “election day.” Why have a designated day if you can just vote willy nilly for two weeks in advance?
Then one election a couple of years ago, I knew I would be crazy busy covering election day and wouldn’t have time to go vote. And truth be told, I sometimes got frustrated with well-meaning poll workers trying to help the girl in a wheelchair vote like I couldn’t mark the names all by myself. So, I decided to try the early voting thing. Begrudgingly, I went to the Benton County Clerk’s Office and cast my ballot a full week early.
I was hooked. Not only was the county clerk’s office closer to where I worked and lived at the time, the workers knew me and knew I was capable of figuring out how to vote by myself. It was quick, it was easy. I’ve pretty much early voted in 90 percent of elections since then including school, primaries, major elections and other local special elections.
When we moved to Elkins, I learned that my voting precinct was very close and that for me to early vote, I would have to travel about 20-30 minutes away to the County Administration building in Fayetteville. I voted in Elkins for the May primary and enjoyed it because it was quick and easy. I figured I would just vote in Elkins for the November 6 election but decided today that since I was close by the county offices in Fayetteville and I didn’t know how much a cranky national election would bring out voters in Elkins, that I should early vote. (Yes, I know that was a poorly constructed sentence. See the About Jamie’s Thots for my thoughts on that).
I’m really glad I did. Now I can really, really ignore all the political ads. I can not have to think about how I’m going to vote any more, no more decisions to be made. I’m at peace with my decisions and I can just relax while the rest of the country gets all worked up until Nov. 6.
I highly recommend early voting. It’s easy and it prevents you from accidentally missing the opportunity to vote in case “life happens” on election day.