Editorial: Ready to vote in your pajamas?

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

If your schedule is open today and you already have voting on your mind, you can get yourself an absentee ballot for the Aug. 12 primary election.

No questions asked.

Thanks to a new Minnesota law, voting has gotten easier.

It used to be that those who wanted to vote absentee would have to offer election officials an excuse as to why they couldn’t make it to the polls in person on primary or general election day. And if your reason was deemed valid, only then could you vote early via absentee ballot.

No more.

Now you can just be too lazy to go to the polls on Aug. 12 or Nov. 4, and it’s OK. You don’t even have to tell election officials that pajamas are your everyday wear. You can even skip picking up a ballot in person and instead apply for one online and it will be mailed to you.

You do, however, need a registered voter to witness that your ballot arrived blank and that you voted in private. (The witness also can be wearing pajamas, though.)

General election absentee ballots are available Sept. 19.

Loosening restrictions on absentee balloting isn’t a new idea. Twenty-seven states already don’t require a reason for requesting an absentee ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Making voting more convenient is a win-win for Minnesota, which is known for its top turnout at elections.

We can boost the turnout even more with the easier absentee voting.

Participating in democracy should be voter-friendly. For those voters nervous about if their absentee ballot will be counted, they can check the status of their ballots on the Secretary of State’s website.

There’s nothing magical about voting only on designated election days. It’s casting the ballot that’s the magic.

— Mankato Free Press

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