Happy Halloween! My quest to vote almost had a ghoulish outcome, but I’m happy to report that Treat has triumphed over Trick this week.
I’ve voted in every presidential election since I was 18 and I wasn’t about to miss this crucial one. But it wasn’t easy, thanks to some post office shenanigans I can’t believe were “coincidental”. Here’s what happened:
Back in May, when we had no clue what the pandammit might look like in 6 months, my husband and I applied to vote by mail. We expected to be out of state but it wasn’t 100% definite, so we put down our regular address, knowing that our mail would be forwarded weekly.
Hah. Wouldn’t you know, our expensive premium mail forwarding service worked perfectly throughout July, August and September. But ballots were sent out on Sept. 24 and guess what, the weekly mail which should have arrived by October 3 never showed up. MIA with no explanation.
When I checked online, my account showed a “change in processing” that I’d never initiated. WTF?!? Several calls to the postal service and all I could find out was that I wasn’t the only one suddenly not getting their mail.
Week Two. Mail is collected, arrives on time … no ballots.
Week Three. Mail is sent, arrives Oct. 17… still no ballots.
Week Four (last chance hurrah). Same story. ARRGGHHH.
On to Plan B. I e-mail and then call the voter organization back in our home state, which says I need to write a letter canceling the original ballots, download new applications, and send all this to them by both regular and e-mail before the deadline (in 4 days) so they can send new ballots to us in Oregon ASAP. Done.
But the saga isn’t over yet. GUESS what shows up last Friday (only a month late)…. the MISSING BOX, which has clearly been bouncing around the country: bruised, battered, and containing a bunch of bills (which luckily I’ve paid online) and two bedraggled ballots!
Now a frantic call to the voter folks to ask if we can void the cancellations and use these. They say, “Well, we probably shouldn’t, but ok”, and suggest we send them in by UPS instead of the post office– they warn me that the post office is “unreliable” — gee, ‘ya think? — so we quickly fill in our ballots, race to UPS and pay for rush delivery, and hold our breaths.
Yesterday, the NEW ballots arrive. Luckily, a quick phone call assures me that the voter group indeed received and processed our original ones and I can throw these away. Whew.
BUT I keep wondering how many other people have simply given up.
If you’re in the US, stamp out the bad guys and vote in person this Tuesday! Consider it Victory.Over.True.Evil!!!