In many ways, the privilege of participating in the election process has become a gauntlet. A gauntlet is defined as a challenge or symbol of defiance. Voting — the most basic of rights — should not be hindered.

Logistics — time constraints, scheduling, long lines, confusion (the list goes on and on) are what keep many people away from the polls. Voting should not be a headache for anyone who wishes to exercise that most basic of American values.

The public would be well served to promote a nationwide effort to encourage the absentee voting system. I believe it would result in a more representative voice and a truer touchstone of the average American. People deserve the talking heads they elect, so they should not let anything deter them from utilizing that most precious of rights.

One call to the local city clerk’s office is all it takes, and an absentee ballot will be sent. And it is the voter’s choice when to send it back.

I swear by absentee voting and have been using it for years. No gauntlet is going to stand in my way.

Michael Boom, Lewiston