Like many Pennsylvania voters, particularly those of us who are enrolled in colleges and universities in towns and cities other than those in which we live, I will be unable to get to my polling place on Election Day. I mailed my absentee ballot request from Philadelphia last Friday, fairly certain it would arrive in Pittsburgh by the Tuesday deadline. As Hurricane Sandy approached and then battered the commonwealth, I worried that the Allegheny County Department of Elections might not receive my request in time, or that I might not receive my ballot in time to send it back to be counted.
To my surprise and relief, my absentee ballot arrived on Wednesday and is already on its merry way back to Pittsburgh. I appreciate the quick turnaround from the workers of the Department of Elections; the work they do is vital but often thankless. I also appreciate the U.S. Postal Service workers who relayed both my request and my ballot over 300 miles during a storm of dangerous, historic proportions.
As the inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City reads: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." I'm only one voter, but for what it's worth, I am deeply grateful for their service; the swift completion of their appointed rounds made it possible for me to carry out my civic duty of voting.
The writer is a student at Swarthmore College.