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Opinion: A better way to vote — in your underwear

Voters huddle in the dryer section to mark their ballots at Super Suds laundromat polling place on Alamitos Avenue in Long Beach on Nov 6, 2012.
(Los Angeles Times)

Remember those long lines at the polling places in 2008 as people crowded the polling places to vote for the country’s first African American president? Get ready, 2016 is shaping up to be another election in which the polls are crowded by motivated voters — this time by fear, not hope.

Despite long lines at the five early voting centers this weekend, Los Angeles County election officials say that waits won’t be as bad as 2008 thanks to their preparations and the increased interest in voting by mail.

Maybe — hopefully — they will be right. But why take chances? There’s still time to sign up for a vote by mail ballot. Go online and request a mail ballot by the Tuesday, Nov. 1, deadline.

Sure, checking off your paper at your kitchen table in your bathrobe and slippers lacks at the same glamour as casting a vote in a flimsy cardboard booth at the senior center or the elementary school auditorium (or, a laundromat! See above).

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Don't worry. Sebastian Villegas, 14 months old, didn't vote. That's his dad's "I Voted" sticker.
Don’t worry. Sebastian Villegas, 14 months old, didn’t vote. That’s his dad’s “I Voted” sticker.
(Los Angeles Times )

But there are real benefits to voting by mail.The ballot comes to you. You still get an “I voted” sticker (it comes with the mail ballot) and the smug satisfaction that comes from wearing it all day. And you can either mail it back or bring it to one of more than 70 ballot drop-off centers.

Best of all, vote by mail ballots received by Nov. 7 will be counted first on election day, before those cast the usual way and before provisional ballots.

(No matter how you vote, use the L.A. Times recommendations as a starting point. You can find them all here.)

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mariel.garza@latimes.com

Follow me @marielgarzaLAT


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