It's election day in South Dakota. You can go to your precinct and vote in the Democratic primary, that has already been decided, and you can participate in local elections as well. But I won't be doing that.

For the first time ever I voted absentee by mail. It was strange to sit at my kitchen table and fill out my relatively short ballot. All that was on it was the at-large candidates for city council and a school board position. That was all. The Democratic primary ballot also came separate, but since it had been decided, I didn't feel like wasting the money on the stamps to send it in.

The process to make it happen was even simpler than normal, I am guessing, because we didn't even have to request the mail-in ballots. Back in April we got a letter from the Minnehaha County Auditor that asked if we wanted to vote absentee by mail because, at the time, we weren't leaving the house much with the soft lockdown happening in Sioux Falls. That seemed like a simple solution to a problem I had yet to consider so both my wife and I sent in the forms. We even had stamps already.

After sending it off I forgot about it until one day a couple of weeks later we got the first of two manila envelopes. Then they sat around until early last week, just shy of a week before election day, when we figured we should get those sent in.

It's simple to do the process by mail, it's really convenient but I like the normal system of showing up to vote; convenience causes problems. In November I will definitely go to my polling place to vote. I don't want to vote while I drink coffee and yell at my kids for being loud while I'm trying to read the ballot. I want to participate in our republic.

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