BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The Kern County Registrar of Voters says some 40,000 people had already voted by day’s end Monday. Thousands more, evidently, were saving their efforts for Election Day.
What is it about voting in person, in this age of mail-in ballots, that still draws people to physical polling stations? The reasons are many.
Manuel Torres, voting Tuesday morning at the Park Stockdale Community Center, said he believes voting is too special, too important, to treat the same as, say, paying one’s bills.
“You mail it in, you feel like you’re mailing your water bill,” he said. “I’d rather come in here.”
There’s something about slipping your completed ballot into the slot at your neighborhood voting precinct knowing there’s no middleman, no detours along the way.
That’s what attracted Diane and Harvey Allen.
“We want to make sure,” they said in unison, “it gets in the box.”
Lea Spencer and her granddaughter Sescily Valdez like the security too but also the social aspect of voting in person.
“I feel like I belong more so than if I just drop it off to a steel box,” Spencer said. “This way I get to say hi to someone.”
For Sue Salvucci, voting in person is a way to gauge voter enthusiasm.
“I always do like to see how busy it is,” she said. “Who’s voting, who’s not voting. I’m kind of surprised not to see anybody here this morning. Usually there is, so I was prepared with a book to stand in line.”
Jim Black says vote by mail serves a purpose. Just not his purpose if he’s in town on Election Day.
“When I was gonna go out of town that’s how I voted,” he saudi. “But if I’m gonna be home I’m going to vote in person. That’s the way it should be.”
Lindsay Magar argees. There’s something about the personalized experience.
“I wanted to feel like I was participating in the election process,” she said. “And it’s fun to get your little sticker in person, and all that.”
For Keith Barnes, it’s simply a matter of habit.
“It’s just something I’m used to,” he said. “I come down here, and I turn in my ballot.”
Then there are those among us like A.J. Battle. She knows the importance of voting. She just might not get around to the act of voting until the deadline is upon her. Sort of like writing a college term paper.
“I’m honestly a master procrastinator,” she said. “So I’d much rather vote in person than mail it in. It just feels more personal to me – the act of going in to vote.”
Many consider vote-by-mail a great convenience. But many still prefer the old fashioned way – a trip to the polls. Vote by mail, vote in person, or some combination. It’s really up to you as long as you vote.