Yesterday Tom and I joined their ranks.
It was around 9:30 am when we climbed into the car for the eight-mile trip to the Franklin County Board of Elections, to where we had decided to hand-carry our absentee ballots.
It felt strange climbing into the car together, we hadn't gone out anywhere together in such a long time. Not that we don't run our separate errands these days, me mostly to the supermarket, Tom mostly to Home Depot or the local hardware store to buy supplies for the home improvement projects he's undertaken over this past homebound summer. But we don't go on outings together anymore, which made this outing feel for a moment like the good old days when we used to go places: to the movies, out to lunch or dinner, on a trip.
And though this trip was none of those, still it was one we'd been anticipating, and on this beautiful, balmy October morning,
For this upcoming election, for example, every registered voter in Ohio was sent an absentee ballot request form.
The office of the Ohio Secretary of State began sending out the absentee ballots the first week in October and the ballots can be returned: 1. By mail, and must be postmarked by November 2 and received by the local boards of election by November 13, or 2. In person to the drop box at one's county board of elections by election day, November 3.
The other voting options in Ohio are early in person voting, which began on October 6, at one's county board of elections or, of course, in person on election day at one's precinct polling location.
So, in Ohio one has options and plenty of time to vote.
And here in Ohio, as in other states that offer the option, the early in person voting has taken off like a rocket, as Tom and I witnessed first-hand when we dropped off our ballots at the Franklin County Board of Elections.
The Franklin County Board of Elections is located in Columbus on Morse Road, a busy six-lane highway that cuts east-west across the northern part of the city. It's located in what used to be a Kohl's department store in a vast, sprawling strip-mall with a vast, sprawling parking lot.
However, when we arrived around 10 am there was a line on Morse Road to get into the parking lot. That parking lot - that huge parking lot - was all parked up,
As for the line to the early voting center, it was long.
As for the ballot drop-box, it was located in a tent in the parking lot and was attended by several workers.
The line for the ballot drop box was not long, and we waited only a few minutes.
The real draw the morning we were there was the in-person voting.