For those of you outside of the United States, yesterday (Tuesday) was Election Day in the Thirteen Colonies Plus Thirty-Seven Other Sub-National Entities. Much of America still embraces the “old school” method of voting, where one goes to an official polling location. Here in Progressive Oregon, we have a complete Vote By Mail system. Ballots along with voter information pamphlets are mailed to registered voters about three weeks in advance of election. Completed ballots have to get to election officials by 8 pm on Election Day (not just post-marked by then!)
Some people (mostly those from places other than Oregon) complain that it doesn’t feel like “voting” if you don’t have to go to a Polling Station. You know, wait in line before or after work, then get into the booth or whatever and have a minute or so to vote on all the different candidates and measures, some of which (or maybe most of which) you have no clue about. Yeah, that’s how voting “should” be. (Don’t forget the part about showing up to the polling station and find it not open because they don’t have the voter rolls yet, or staffers haven’t shown up. This has happened in 2014!) Me? I enjoy the ability to open up the ballot weeks in advance, look over who’s running and what ballot measures are up, and make an informed decision. Then I can slap a first-class stamp on the envelope (currently 49 cents) and drop it in any mail box.
But I still like the idea of voting on Election Day itself. Of course on Election Day, it’s too late to drop the ballot in a mailbox. But never fear, there are many places to drop off ballots! Namely any library in the city. There is also the box at the main elections office on SE Morrison. And there are several 24 hour drop boxes scattered around town too. So I get the benefit of voting on Election Day sans waiting in line and all that, I save 49 cents to boot!
And Tuesday November 4th is a day off from work, which qualifies for a Coffeeneuring Ride as well. So, let’s fulfill my civic duty on the way to a cup o’ joe!
Close to my house, I have two drop-off options: the Kenton branch of the Multnomah County Library and the drop box by Goodwill on N Lombard. I had some donations to drop off, and also am in need of a new sweater, so off to Goodwill! Yes, here in Portland one can drop off their ballots along with unwanted clothes, basically in the same place! If Yakof Smirnoff was still with us, he may exclaim, “What a country!”
After fulfilling my civic duty, it was time to get coffee. Yes, coffee, no tea this week, remember, we are no longer Britain’s colony! So what if I’m feeling a little under the weather? So what if I’m riding a British bike?
After an obligatory stop by the Horseshoe on Willamette Bluff to observe the changing colors, I swung by Blend on N Killingsworth where I enjoyed some house coffee and drew.
COFFEENEURING/VOTENEURING RIDE FIVE, Tuesday 4 November 2014
- Coffeeneuring Destination: Blend, N Killingsworth St at N Burrage Ave
- Voteneuring Destination: Ballot Box by Goodwill, N Lombard St at N Knowles Ave
- Bike: 1970s Raleigh Wayfarer three-speed
- Length of ride: about 4 miles one-way
- Type of coffee: Stumptown!