Surprise in Prague
Republicans try to get out the European vote with absentee ballot info.
This post is about making history instead of reporting on it. And make history we will, whatever the outcome of the imminent presidential election.
Earlier this month, while wandering the cobblestones of the beautiful old city of Prague, I was stopped short by the sight in the photo above. My first reaction was that there can’t be that many Americans in the Czech Republic that it would be worthwhile to have a rolling signboard advocating absentee balloting.
Then I realized, given the close proximity and relatively small size of many European nations, one painted automobile could cover quite a bit of area. When you think of all the American military personnel, business people, and tourists in Europe at any give time, reminding them of absentee voting doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Doing an internet search on the history and practice of absentee balloting is eye opening.
The history of allowing widespread absentee voting dates back to the Civil War. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, still want you to vote in person if you are at home.
I knew that each state is free to make its own rules, but I must admit that I didn’t realize that Oregon now votes entirely by mail. Some other states allow voting by mail for any reason, not just that you are going to be absent from your area on Election Day. Even with our state’s fairly strict criteria, I just heard today that the York County voter registration office has sent out about 8,000 absentee ballots for this election.
The moral of this story, if any, is that if so many people are taking advantage of their opportunity to vote from wherever they are, all of us who are right here in York County on November 4 shouldn’t have any excuse not to get out and help make some history.
Click here for more on absentee voting history.
Click here to read about mudslinging in the 1832 York County election.
Click here for an exciting political rally in Red Lion.
Read about the 1840 “log cabin” campaign in York.