Doing my civic duty

25 Oct


I strode through the library doors, eyes peeled for the blue box. It usually sits on the counter top to the right of the doors. Sure enough, it was right where I expected it to be. I marched forth bearing the all important white envelope and dropped my ballot in the box.


Oregon is a vote-by-mail state, but that requires a stamp. To ensure that the price of a stamp isn’t a hindrance, official ballot drop off boxes are available in all libraries. There are other official drop off locations, including some 24-hour drive-through drop off boxes.


Ballots can be dropped off from the day they are received until 8:00 PM on Election Day.

It had felt especially satisfying filing out the ballot this year. I had worked on a ballot measure and felt as though I was a little more on top of Oregon politics than I’d been in some previous years. I always vote, but  I pay more attention in some years than others.

Civic duty #1 accomplished, it was on to the embarrassing civic duty.

With a little less sparkle in my step I walked up to the check out desk.

“I  have a fine and seem to have lost a book. I would like to pay for it,” I shamefully admitted to the librarian.

“Let’s take a look at your account,” she replied cheerfully. If she was judging me, she did not show it.

I gave her my card and, before I could say the title of the book, she asked, “It Ain’t So Awful Falafel?”

“How did you know?” I queried.

“It was the oldest book in your account. That comes to $16.99,” she replied.

“What about the overdue fine?” I asked. “I returned a book two days late, too.” This felt like confession!

“No overdue fine for children’s books,” she chirped cheerfully.

“Even for adults?”

“Even for adults.”

Fines paid, I went to the holds shelf to pick up the books awaiting me. I promised them, I’d take better care of them than I did with It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel. 

I had pulled up to my local public library ready to perform two civic duties: one exciting, the other, embarrassing.  I left feeling satisfied.


6 Responses to “Doing my civic duty”

  1. Ramona October 25, 2016 at 5:48 am #

    Glad you took care of your civic duties! Time for me to cast my vote. And the occasional cost of a lost book is a small price to pay for the luxuries provided by our public libraries! Our library will refund you if the book is found within the year.

  2. the purple lady 💜 (@th_purpl_lady) October 25, 2016 at 5:54 am #

    I’ve never heard of only voting by mail! How is voter fraud avoided? So many questions actually. I really liked your slice. So balanced.

  3. arjeha October 25, 2016 at 7:30 am #

    Why is it that in out minds the outcome of what we know we must do is often worse that the actual consequences? Glad to hear that you took care of two very important duties. This election day does promise to be one for the books I imagine.

  4. lisaorchard1 October 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    Glad you took care of things. I’ve never heard of voting only by mail, but that is way more convenient than the other way! 🙂

  5. lindabaie October 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    We have voting like that, plus at the polls too. I turned in my ballot last week! Glad you took care of your ‘other’ duty too. I was late one time and found that we have a grace period, so didn’t owe anything. But, I felt guilty, just as you shared.

  6. Brian Rozinsky October 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    I enjoyed how you folded together these two duties into a single slice. My mail-in (or drop-off) ballot awaits me, so thanks for the push 🙂

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