In 12 percent of Minnesota’s precincts — all rural — there is no polling place . Everybody votes by mail (or they don’t vote at all). Voting by mail in Minnesota is allowed only in precincts with fewer than 400 registered voters. Election managers send out ballots 20 days before the election and voters mail the ballots back.

Voting by mail is getting a lot more popular. In Oregon, all voting is by mail. nationally, 30 percent of the ballots will be cast before November 4.

We at the Yonder prefer voting on Election Day. We see neighbors, get a feel for turnout and enjoy a slight sense of that old-time democratic communal spirit. Voting by mail is more efficient, to be sure, and easier for many. But to have NO polling place to go on Election Day misses the little bit of fun political campaigns have to offer.