This is my third presidential election voting from overseas but the first time I’ve ever been able to cast my ballot by e-mail. (And may I say it’s a pleasure to welcome the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections to the 21st century!)
Of course I still had to request my ballot by good old-fashioned snail-mail, though I can see how that’s a simple way for local election officials to be sure that I am, indeed, voting from outside the U.S.
But even though I got to submit the ballot by e-mail, it was sent to me as a PDF document, which required that I print it, fill it in, sign it, and then scan it back into an electronic version that could be attached to my e-mail message. Not a problem in our high-tech household, but I can imagine that for some people, this could present a few too many electronic hoops to jump through just to save the international postage.
Of course there a couple of reasons to suspect it was an exercise in futility regardless of how much effort was required. Besides the persistent rumor that absentee ballots aren’t actually counted unless the margin of victory is less than the total number of absentee ballots cast in any given jurisdiction, there’s the latest prediction from Nate Silver’s 538 blog at the New York Times that shows my home state with a 90% chance of going to Mitt Romney. Sigh.
But if I don’t vote, I can’t complain, right?