This follows my plaint account yesterday about the uncertainties involved in voting from overseas.

1) Although it's now moot, FedEx deserves recognition for a plan it operated between September 15 and October 29. During that time, it offered to send ballots from overseas US voters back to their home voting offices -- and to do so free, I am pretty sure. FedEx's CEO, Fred Smith, is a big Republican supporter and donor (see here, with some interesting exceptions for local Tennessee Democrats and fellow Vietnam vets like John Kerry). But this was a very broad-minded and bipartisan offer. I didn't take advantage of it because by the time I learned about it we'd already shipped our write-in ballots another way.

2) I hear that my own DC elections board will accept faxed versions of the write-in absentee ballots that my wife and I already tried to mail. Then the faxed version is counted only if it matches a mailed-in ballot that eventually arrives. I have limited faith in the mail-in part of the process -- given that the problem started when the DC board failed to answer a mailed-in request for a regular absentee ballot. But still, this is one more way to satisfy my ritualistic desire to feel as if I'm participating.

3) I mentioned that the only time I missed voting in a presidential election was eight years ago, when "an early blizzard and ice storm" kept the small airplane I was flying grounded for four days in Duluth, Minnesota.

Someone who was actually in Duluth that day reminded me that there was no blizzard on November 7. Fair point! The historical weather records for election day show frigid rain. But even without the (imagined in retrospect) snow on the ground, the clouds were low and full of the perfect ingredients for a small-airplane crash: sub-freezing temperatures and "supercooled droplets," which together make for "airframe icing" and bring airplanes to the ground.

Better safe than sorry, is my motto. So I went to the bar!

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