Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, February 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 49° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Clark: Top 10 reasons why mail-in ballots are more fun

Being a stodgy traditionalist, I’ve groused and griped plenty about Washington’s vote-by-mail system.

Sure, I realize our impoverished postal system needs to sell every stamp it can.

But the long, slow trickle of ballots by mail can’t compare to the joys of going to the polls on Election Day.

Not to mention that the smiling ladies who ran the polls would always give me a cookie.

But that’s the way life crumbles, I guess.

It’s time to stop complaining and focus on the many benefits that come from having two weeks to hunt for where you put your damn ballot so you can fill it out and get it in the mail on time.

To help out I have spent literal minutes creating the Top 10 Advantages of Voting by Mail.

1. Voting at home is pants-optional. This was frowned upon at the old polling places, especially Franklin Elementary School, where I always voted.

2. Potheads can smoke a joint while voting for Initiative 502 to make it legal.

3. Just like on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” mail-in voters can seek help from a “phone a friend” lifeline.

VOTER: “Hi Uncle Bob. I’m filling out my ballot right now and, well, don’t you know Clint Didier?”

UNCLE BOB: “No. But if you hum a few bars I’ll fake it.”

4. Hosting a voting party is a way to have a guaranteed good time while doing your patriotic duty. Especially when guests take turns reading aloud from their ballots, as in …

“This amendment would, starting July 1, 2014, phase-down the debt limit percentage in three steps from nine to eight percent and modify the calculation date, calculation period, and the term general state revenues…”

Oh, my gawd. That’s so hilarious!

5. Voting at home creates opportunities for spousal togetherness.

HUBBY: “Look, honey. James Harris is running for president on the Socialist Workers ticket.”

WIFE: “Didn’t see that coming. I sure hope 2008 candidate Roger Calero is OK.”

6. Voting by mail gives citizens plenty of time to harass their political enemies.

“Hey, Dad. I know you’re going for Romney so I thought I’d call to tell you that I JUST NULLIFIED YOUR VOTE!!!”

7. Mail-in voters can unlock the deeper meanings contained in names appearing on the ballot.

Rearranging the letters in Brad Owen’s name, for example, will reveal that this candidate for lieutenant governor is “rawboned.”

And Todd Mielke, who is trying to remain the Airway Heights Racetrack Commissioner, can be rescrambled to say:

“Deed to Milk.”

Man, that’s heavy.

8. On the lighter side, candidate names can be repurposed into new curse words.

“Holy Baumgartner! I’m so sick of these yellowbellied Cowans who want my vote.”

9. As a protest, mail-in voters have the time and privacy to fill their ballots with completely unqualified write-in candidates.

You know, like Mickey Mouse for state representative.

Or Randy Dorn for superintendent of public instruction.

10 Follow these simple instructions and you can recycle your mail-in ballot into something far more beneficial to humanity.

Step 1: Fold ballot into shape of paper airplane.

Step 2: Open nearest window.

Step 3: Toss while hollering …

“Elect that, you lousy Finkbeiners!”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.