Among the objections Oregon state senators have raised to the closing of rural post offices — now put off for a while — is that this would hamper voting by mail.
It would, but maybe this could be fixed with an old-fashioned remedy: a rural polling place.
This from a statement, by Ted Ferrioli, the Republican state senator from John Day: “These closures potentially shut off access to the ballot box ... Shuttering a rural post office in Oregon is akin to denying access to constitutionally protected voting rights. Such closures will likely reduce voter turnout and harm the elections process. For this reason, no post office in rural Oregon should be included in the review for possible closure.”
The senator might be getting carried away just a little. But cutbacks in mail service certainly would affect Oregon elections.
If next-day delivery ends, ballots will have to be sent out a day or two earlier. Voters will be advised to send them back earlier as well.
In isolated areas, voters might not get mail service at all. So they’d have to drive to the nearest polling station or even the county seat if they wanted to vote. Kind of like the good old days before voting by mail became the Oregon way. (hh)