Vote-by-mail trial a sign of the times

Going to one’s polling place and casting a ballot is one of those time-honored traditions that has been a staple of American life for generations. It’s the stuff of a Norman Rockwell illustration.

These days, things have changed. Election Day is still an occasion, but in many places a good percentage of voters have already cast their ballots via absentee ballot and early voting options. While these conveniences benefit many, they also take just a little of the luster off of that certain pride one feels voting old-school style.

All of which is why the Ward County Commission’s decision to approve a vote-by-mail trial for four precincts – Des Lacs, Makoti, Ryder and South Prairie – is just a sign of the times.

It isn’t a bad idea and there are, sadly, perfectly reasonable reasons behind it.

It’s just another example of how the more we progress, the more we sometimes lose the little things that perhaps we didn’t value enough.

Sadly it is apparently difficult to find people to work the polls in these particular precincts and opening one for just a handful of voters is costly. Goodness knows Ward County needs to find a way to save money.

The lone dissenting vote on the measure came from Commissioner John Fjeldahl, who compared it to closing precincts.

“I am not really fond of this effort, though they are small,” he said.


The Ward County Commission decision isn’t wrong.

However, it might prompt just a slight melancholy.


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