This might come as a surprise to the flag-pin-on-the-lapel-politicos circling the chicken coop, but our government doesn't actually want us to vote. Millions are being spent on campaign posters, make-up artists and speech writers, yet our government makes it rather hard to actually register to vote. Only Wyoming and Idaho allow walk in registration the day of a general election. The rest of us 48s can check here to see when deadline registration is, and where to do it. A memo sent around this August reminded US Post Offices not to display or distribute absentee ballot forms, as they are seen as election related paraphernalia. A spokeswoman for the USPS explained that they "believe that encouraging people to register to vote is different from encouraging people to vote..." The stocking of voter registration forms is optional.
Surprisingly, all it took was an article in last week's Shelter Island Newspaper to prompt a reverse of absentee ballot policy. A few phone calls later everything was smoothed over and absentee ballots were available nationwide. Perhaps the Shelter Island Reporter needs to temporarily suspend service and shuttle down to DC to help with a much larger absentee bank account issue.