21 October 2008
It cost me € 2,70 and the woman at the post office expressed concern that it wasn't clear who the addressee was, because on the back of the oversize absentee ballot envelope there were two bar code stickers with both my address in the US and my address in Belgium. She had to ask me even which side the stamp went on. Of course, it hadn't helped that she'd put the little blue airplane sticker over the word "TO". I took the envelope back from her and wrote "TO" again in green ink. However, walking back to the office, I wondered whether I should have added "DESTINAIRE" and/or whatever the Dutch word is for who you're sending to. All in all I am not feeling overconfident in the Belgium postal system, so please ye gods of the post and all things letterish, please shine upon my ballot and all of the other oversized and confusing absentee ballots, created in the States by people who seem to have no clue that absentee voters might be living in another country, where English is not an official language, and maybe the return envelope should be as simple as possible. Please let my tiny participation in democracy be counted. I am voting in a swing state after all!