The mail-in ballot takes some of the fun out of election day.
Going to your polling place, chatting with poll workers and neighbors, and, best of all, getting the "I voted" sticker to proudly wear for the rest ofthe day -- the mail-in ballot just doesn't give you any of that.
The tradeoff, we've been told, is that more people actually participate in mail-in elections, and those who are homebound have an easier time with the whole process.
We grudgingly support the new way of voting -- but still miss getting our sticker.
The biggest drawback to the vote-by-mail system is that would-be voters sometimes leave their ballot in their in-basket too long.
We typically encourage voters not to vote too soon -- in case some last-minute development changes the equation -- but we most definitely advise against voting too late.
So if you're one of the many still holding onto your ballot, get that thing in the mail or drive it to the drop-off box at your county auditor's office.
Election day is Tuesday and you have to drop your ballot off by 8 p.m. or have it postmarked that day.
And no, the post office will NOT be open until 11:59 p.m. for procrastinators.
Benton County voters can drop their ballots off at:
-- Benton County Auditor's office, Courthouse, 620 Market St., Prosser
-- Benton County Auditor's office, 5600 W. Canal Place, Kennewick
-- Benton County Auditor's office, 101 Wellsian Way, Suite E, Richland
Franklin County locations are:
-- TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco
-- Election Center, 116 N. Third Ave., Pasco
-- Franklin County Courthouse, 1016 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco
Still unsure how to vote? Once again, here are our recommendations. And, once again, they're only recommendations. You get the final say.
Referendum 71 -- No consensus
Initiative 1033 -- Reject
Franklin Public Safety tax -- Approve
16th District -- Laura Grant
9th District -- Pat Hailey
Port of Kennewick -- Skip Novakovich
City council Pos. 1 -- Don Britain
City council Pos. 2 -- James Hempstead
City council Pos. 3 -- Tom Moak
City council Pos. 4 -- Bob Parks
City council Pos. 7 -- Chris Smart
School district Pos. 1 -- Heather Kintzley
School district Pos. 2 -- Dawn Adams
City council Pos. 3 -- Sandra Kent
City council Pos. 5 -- Phillip Lemley
City council Pos. 2 -- Mike Garrison
City council Pos. 7 -- Todd Samuel
Mayor -- Dale Jackson
City council Pos. 1 -- Angie Tyree
City council Pos. 3 -- Gail Brown
City council Pos. 4 -- Mark Hanneman