Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The other day, a colleague of mine posted a crazy story to Facebook. He mailed his absentee ballot for the U.S. presidential election from England to New Hampshire on Oct. 15. He sent it with a tracking number, so he could keep an eye on it. It landed in New York City on Oct. 17, and then, mysteriously, it went to a Postal Service processing facility in Hazelwood, Missouri. From there it's gone through facilities in St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville and Lexington. Last he heard, on Oct. 24, it was back in Louisville. He Tweeted the USPS to ask what the heck was going on, but it doesn't look like he's had any sort of response.
It's clearly marked "absentee ballot enclosed," so you have to wonder if someone with a political axe to grind didn't make it go awry -- based on the fact that it's an absentee ballot, which I think statistically favors one party over another, or on the fact that it was going to New Hampshire, a traditionally conservative state.
The whole story made me a little paranoid. When I mailed my ballot in September I didn't put any tracking on it, because I figured I wouldn't be able to do anything if it went missing. Tracking its progress through the mail just seemed like a way to torment myself.
But I went to the web page for the supervisor of elections in my district, and found that I could see the status of my ballot. And yes, it got there, about a week after I mailed it. I suppose there's no guarantee it's actually been counted, as opposed to being discarded for some obscure paperwork technicality -- like the fact that I used Scotch tape to seal the privacy sleeve. (Is that allowed? I have no idea.) Anyway, there are limits to reasonable paranoia! Right?
(Photo: Oak leaves on Hampstead Heath, Sunday.)