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Mama Musings - Exercising rights

I voted. I almost always do. Because, as I have explained to my children ad nauseum, a lot of people had to fight and suffer in order that we all have the right to vote today. Beyond that, I want to feel a part of the election process. Even when I knew my own vote would be canceled out by my ex’s vote, I still voted.

This year, voting was a bit of a challenge. Since the pandemic, I had been voting by mail. So when my ballot arrived, I read the instructions twice. I filled it out, double checked it, and sealed it. I put it in my bag to mail it.

A couple days later, we went to the post office. I scrounged around the car for a pen, dated the envelope and put it in the mailbox. Two days later, I received and email that my ballot had been received and logged. Good.

Then, two weeks later, just a few days before Election Day, I received an email saying my ballot was rejected. Oddly, it was from a slightly different email address than the first email. So I phoned the voting office, and waited on hold while they checked my ballot. They said my ballot envelope was not dated. I felt somewhere between amused and annoyed. I was told I would either need to go to Easton to correct the ballot, or go to my poling place on election day to fill out a provisional paper ballot. Not having time to make the trip to Easton, I opted for the provisional ballot.

I felt silly filling out the provisional ballot. Moreso when the poll worker asked me why I needed one. Because I really do remember dating the envelope.

We ended up making two trips to the polling place, as my older son Erick’s mail ballot arrived on Saturday, and so he came to vote at the polls, only to be told to return with the mail in ballot. My younger son and I waited in the car. Erick was happy though. He said the poll workers thanked him for returning.

I said it was possible some people didn’t bother to return when told to come back. I am glad he did, too.

I was more surprised to receive a phone call later on election day, confirming my mail-in ballot was destroyed. The caller seemed happy when I told her I had filled out the provisional ballot.

But voting rights are a fairly recent development if you are female, if you are non-caucaision, or if you have trouble getting to your polling place.

So never, never, take that right for granted.