We asked you how the vote was different this year. Many of you have responded and told us about voting early – and for the most part things seem to be going well!
Bianca Esquivel, Mission, Texas:
This year’s vote was quieter, disheartening, and much more isolated. I stood in line for about 15 minutes. The blue Xs on the floor were taped six feet apart to mark each voter’s position, and masks were needed, of course. When I approached the volunteer, she asked me to put my ID card in a basket. Once she verified my voter information, another volunteer handed me what looked like an extra-long Q-tip and explained that I had to use the Q-tip to tap the screen . There was absolutely no human contact between the time I entered the building and the time I left. I was relieved!
Flip Wood, Seattle:
I live in Seattle, where all elections are held by mail. I filled out my ballot in the afternoon, it appeared in my mailbox, and then I scanned it – through a gorgeous sunny fall afternoon in the Pacific Northwest – to the nearest official ballot box and deposited it. I wasn’t taking any chances with the USPS and I saw a lot of others walking or driving to this urn during the short time I was there.
Another big difference this year? I have been much more vocal – especially with my friends and family in Texas – in emphasizing the need to vote. And that safely, securely and as soon as possible.
George Chave, Fort Worth:
My wife and I usually take advantage of early voting. This is normally a “straight in, out” business with minimal lines and minimal hassle. This year we pulled into the courthouse parking lot and looked at the line. Although there are quite a few cars in the parking lot, the line doesn’t look too bad. We walked until we thought we were the end of the line, then realized that the line continued around the side of the building – then to the other side of the building!
Voting in Texas (especially if you’re a Democrat) has seemed pretty pointless over the past 30 years, at least when it comes to presidential and senatorial choices. Representatives and local politics are a little less predictable so we remain motivated to participate. However, this year just has a different “feel”. Ironically, with one of the less inspiring Democratic candidates at the top of the table, there is almost palpable excitement at the polls.
Margo Hebald, San Diego:
My husband and I voted with a mail-in ballot that was tracked electronically from the time it was sent to us, and every step of the way until it was received by the registrar’s office; and every step of the way we got a follow-up notice of where it was. It was wonderful! This method of tracking mail-in ballots should be mandatory everywhere, with every registered voter automatically receiving a ballot in the mail.
Katlynn Scammon, Pittsburgh:
I voted by mail for the first time this year, and as a voter who participated in the elections in South Carolina, North Carolina and now in Pennsylvania, I am a big fan of the option and will probably vote. always that way in the future. It’s easy and doesn’t stop me from waiting in long lines to vote in person.
Russell W. Cantrell, Mobile, Ala .:
Like many others, I voted absent for the first time. But the biggest difference for me was my first vote along the party lines. I have always opposed this, wanting people to instead vote for the best candidate in each race, regardless of their political affiliation. This year, I marked that “direct ticket” bubble that I had so often made fun of others for blindly filling it. The current version of the Republican Party needs the strongest rebuke I can offer.
Debbie Krygeris, Prospect Heights, Illinois:
My husband and I requested mail-in ballots for the first time this year because of the virus. When the postal service fiasco first hit the headlines, we decided to put them in a ballot box rather than mail them.
What really surprised both of us was that when we went to put our ballots in the ballot box, it was held by a volunteer who checked that we had signed our envelope and that we were depositing our own ballot. to vote. My husband and I were both impressed with the security of our voting experience this year.
Mary Beth Patten, Florence, Mont .:
We voted by absent ballot this year, as we always do. The difference this year is that we brought our ballots to a drop box, rather than mailing them. It gave us an extra sense of security. It’s also worth noting that my husband and I expressed how happy we were to have voted and how grateful we were for giving us this privilege. Even though I have similar feelings every time I vote, they have intensified this year.
Compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz. Responses have been condensed and edited.