Initially I voted absentee because I was literally absent. I first voted for president when I was studying abroad in Rome. Since then I've also voted from Las Vegas and The Netherlands, even though I was still registered in Illinois.
But now I prefer to vote absentee. It has two distinct advantages to regular voting:
- I don't have to get off my lazy butt.
- I can research the candidates while I fill out the ballot.
Admit it--at one point or another, you've walked into a voting booth and been faced with an extensive list of local officials you've never heard of before. Maybe even positions you've never heard of before! What is a comptroller anyway?! (Comptrollers do money stuff, FYI.)
When it comes to voting, the internet is your friend. I normally just sit down on my couch, ballot at my side, computer on my lap, and I Google the candidates one by one so I can decide who I prefer. Too many candidates to handle at once? I can spread it out over a period of several days--most states only require that your ballot be postmarked by election day.
Absentee voting makes me feel like I'm actually making informed choices. And it's so easy! The ballot comes to my door, I fill it out, I pop it in the mailbox. The end.
The one downside? I don't get a sticker. But because I'm at my apartment, I can reward myself however I want. An "I voted today" sticker doesn't compare to "I voted today" ice cream, now does it?
Absentee ballots are already available in many states! Vote.gov can help you find your local voting resources. Join me in lethargically performing your civic duty.