Last Friday, I dropped off my ballot for today’s primary election. I’ve got to say, I really appreciate the new approach in LA County of mailing everyone eligible a ballot, maintaining permanent drop boxes at relevant locations (libraries, etc.), and opening some polling places early to accept completed ballots.

MUCH more convenient than needing the time on one specific day and, in elections with a lot of turnout, waiting 45 minutes, an hour, or longer.

The longest I’ve waited was when I was living in Orange County, either 2003 or 2004, and they actually had to apply the “if you’re in line at closing time, you get to vote” rule. Someone brought a box of to-go coffee from the Starbucks down the street (I think Starbucks might have donated it, too?) and was offering it either to the poll workers or to those of us still in line.

The first election in which the county implemented early voting and flexible polling places (instead of requiring you to get to the specific place on your sample ballot) was also the week before COVID-19 hit the area. Now that I think of it, they still didn’t send out an actual ballot by mail unless you requested one. That changed that when it became clear COVID wasn’t going to just blow over before November. Since then some of the smaller, local elections have been mail-only.

Four years….WTF