About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

(I wish I had a sticker that said) I voted

This year, Minnesota's primaries for the 2010 Gubernatorial election are being held in August instead of September. In Bruno Township, we've voted absentee for four years. The township of under 200 has a limited budget, and leaders felt absentee balloting would save money.

I miss the town hall. The community voting experience. And especially getting the red "I Voted" sticker after casting my ballot. Not letting the world know I voted on Election Day makes me appear as if I'm not doing my civic duty. 

The absentee balloting process took a lot of hits in 2008 during Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount. This year, I discovered a couple of different reasons to be disenchanted:

• Absentee ballots work against the undecided voter. After I mailed in my ballot, I must have changed my mind at least twice.

• The envelope adhesive doesn't like muggy weather. And we've had plenty this summer. My husband Mike waited until he was absolutely sure before filling out his ballot. When he did, he discovered the humidity had fused shut one corner of the inside secrecy ballot envelope. The flap of the outside return envelope was totally sealed. No way to fix it without spoiling the ballot. And an unexpected 80-mile round trip to the courthouse doesn't fit into a busy farm season very neatly.

For individuals who are stationed overseas or who are incapacitated, absentee ballots create a vital link to the community. For the rest of us, we muse on the irony of politicians who use the words "town hall" to describe civic dialogue, when actual town halls are closed on Election Day.

Are you an undecided voter? Take Minnesota Public Radio's Select a Candidate Survey.

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