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.